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Job Opportunities


Research Associate in Genetic Epidemiology of Metabolic Disease (Fixed Term)

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral Researcher in Genetic Epidemiology. We are looking for a candidate with computational and quantitative skills to mine large-scale human genomic datasets for the identification of genetic associations, causal genes/mechanisms and potential drug targets for metabolic diseases.

This is a three-year fixed-term position based in the Unit's Aetiology of Diabetes Programme, working closely with other groups in the Unit, the University and external collaborators including academic and industry partners. The focus of the post will be the use of genome-wide association studies and Mendelian randomisation approaches in the setting of large population-based studies to find genetic variants implicated in the causation of cardio-metabolic disease and related traits (e.g. diabetes, obesity, fat distribution, insulin resistance and their complications). The goal is to identify mechanisms that influence human metabolism and health outcomes which could be pharmacologically targeted for the prevention or therapy of metabolic conditions. There will be the opportunity to take part in high-profile collaborations with academic and pharma industry partners, including Astra Zeneca, GSK, Pfizer and other global players. The post holder will have access to large-scale genomic data in deeply-phenotyped studies, including "omics" measurements and linkage to electronic health records in thousands of individuals. They will work on the development of analyses that combine internal data resources with publicly available databases using genome-wide association studies, Mendelian randomisation, phenome-wide scans and similar approaches.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a department within the University of Cambridge's School of Clinical Medicine and is situated in the Institute of Metabolic Science on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Its mission is to study the genetic, developmental and environmental factors that cause obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders and develop strategies for their prevention. The Unit benefits from a number of large-scale, cross-programme epidemiological studies with detailed phenotyping coupled with genome-wide genotyping. Highly experienced information teams and other specialist teams support the scientists in the delivery of their research aims.

The post holder will have the opportunity to contribute to and lead high impact scientific publications, present at scientific meetings and participate in international collaborations. The post-holder will also have the opportunity to be simultaneously appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) at Wolfson College Cambridge ( The assessment for the award of a JRF will be included within the interview process in a single interview, and a separate application will not be required.

The successful candidates will have a PhD (or equivalent) in epidemiology, statistics, computational biology, genetic epidemiology or closely-related field, or due to complete doctoral studies within 6 months of applying. Applicants will also have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be motivated, independent individuals with expertise in the handling, analysis and interpretation of large-scale, multidimensional datasets.

Please contact Nick Wareham (, Claudia Langenberg ( and Luca Lotta ( for informal enquiries. If you have any questions about the application process please contact Jenny Hunt (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Closing date for applications is the 24th October 2017, with interview dates yet to be confirmed by the department.

Please quote reference SJ13387 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online