Postdoctoral Fellow – Statistical Genetics

at Wellcome Sanger Institute (view profile)
Location Cambridge, United Kingdom
Date Posted November 29, 2019
Category United Kingdom - Tier 1 Visa Jobs
Job Type scripting


Applications are invited for 3-year Postdoctoral Fellowships within the Genomics of Inflammation and Immunity group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, headed by Dr. Carl Anderson

Our group uses large-scale genetic and genomic data to understand the biological basis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) risk and progression. The ultimate goal of our IBD research is to identify new drug targets for the disease, and ascertain which individuals should be prescribed a given drug.

Genome-wide association studies have identified hundreds of common loci associated with immune-mediated disease, though the causal variants at the majority of these loci remain unknown. Furthermore, the role of rare genetic variants in IBD is poorly defined, largely because powerful rare-variant association studies, likely requiring tens of thousands of sequenced cases and controls, are yet to be performed. By combining massive-scale genetic datasets with functional genomic data from a number of relevant primary cell types, the successful fellow will lead a research project that contributes to addressing one of three high-level questions:

a) What role does rare coding and non-coding genetic variation play in shaping IBD risk and progression?

b) What cell types and pathways are dysregulated in IBD, and how do genetic risk variants shape this dysregulation?

c) Can deep clinical, genetic and molecular data be used predict which drug should be prescribed to a given patient to bring about and maintain disease remission.

To achieve these ambitious research goals, Fellows will have access to a number of large-scale genetic datasets derived from well-phenotype cohorts of IBD patients, including GWAS data on around 80K cases, whole-exome sequence data on more than 40K IBD cases, and whole-genome sequence data (20X coverage) on 7K patients. The subset of these patients that have been recruited via the IBD bioresource (N~17K) ( are recallable by genotype and phenotype for downstream studies. Equivalently large cohorts of population controls are available for comparison. In addition to these genetic datasets, we are also generating single-cell transcriptomic profiles from intestinal biopsies ascertained from hundreds of IBD patients and controls, and undertaking eQTL mapping.

In addition to making use of these existing resources, Fellows are encouraged to propose specific research questions that require the creation of new genomic datasets, enabled by the group's extensive network of clinical and scientific collaborators, and Sanger's world-class core data-generation pipelines.

We are looking for individuals who enjoy scientific problem solving, are creative thinkers, have experience analysing large-scale genetic and genomic datasets, work effectively in a multi-disciplinary environment and are looking to establish a long-term career in scientific research. A strong publication record and an interest in the immune system and its diseases would be an advantage.

Essential Skills

  • Ability to work with others in a collegiate and collaborative environment.
  • Motivation and ambition to make a personal contribution to genomic research
  • A PhD in a relevant subject (genetics, functional genomics, computer science, maths)
  • Experience with large-scale computational analysis
  • Statistical/computational genetics skills and an analytical mindset
  • Experience with computer programming & scripting
  • An attention to detail and a drive for rigor
  • Previous experience with analysis of genotype, sequence or functional genomic data.

Ideal Skills

  • Strong scientific publication record
  • An interest in understanding the biological basis of immune-mediated diseases

Other information

Open Targets is a pioneering public-private partnership between EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Sanger), Celgene, Sanofi and Takeda, located on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK.

Open Targets brings together expertise from six complementary institutions to generate evidence on the biological validity of therapeutic targets and provide an initial assessment of the likely effectiveness of pharmacological intervention on these targets, using genome-scale experiments and analysis. Open Targets aims to provide an R&D framework that applies to all aspects of human disease, to improve the success rate for discovering new medicines and share its data openly in the interests of accelerating drug discovery.

Genome Research Limited hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Please include a CV and a Cover Letter.

Closing date: 20 October 2019

Visa Assistance

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1) United Kingdom - Tier 1 Visa Jobs

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