University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate* in Functional Genomics (Fixed Term)

Research Assistant - £26,243 - £30,395

Research Associate* - £32,236 - £39,609

We are currently seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher in Functional Genomics to join our team at the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (CEU) at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care (DPHPC) and the Department of Human Genetics at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The successful candidate will join the Integrative Genomics Group (Head: Dr Dirk Paul), which aims to connect genetic variants associated with human diseases to their molecular mechanisms that can be exploited for medicine development.

The successful candidate will combine analytical (dry-lab) and experimental (wet-lab) approaches to discover new biological mechanisms underlying genetic regions associated with foetal haemoglobin (HbF), a major modulator of the clinical features of sickle cell disease. This disease is an inherited, serious and lifelong condition that affects red blood cells.

Specifically, the post-holder will validate candidate genes associated with HbF through CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in hiPSCs suitable for erythroid differentiation followed by deep phenotyping of the engineered erythroid cells. Genome editing will be performed in close collaboration with the CRISPR core facility at the Sanger Institute. The post-holder will differentiate the engineered lines into erythroid cells and perform detailed characterisation of these cells, which will include quantification of: gene expression using RNA-seq; HbF levels using FITC-conjugated monoclonal antibodies; and erythroid markers using flow cytometric analyses. The post-holder will analyse all resulting data of the phenotyping assays to uncover the mechanisms underlying the candidate genes. The results of this work will provide a clearer understanding of the biological processes that regulate HbF levels leading to sickle cell disease, and nominate targets for therapeutic development.

This project was awarded a Sanofi Innovation Award (2019 Europe programme). The post-holder will work in an agile and interdisciplinary team of genome engineers, bioinformaticians and statistical geneticists, and be primarily based at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The work of the post-holder is expected to lead to first-author, high-impact publications.

The post-holder will have PhD in functional genomics or related discipline or have equivalent qualifications or equivalent experience. They will have experience in analysing and managing large-scale genetic data (e.g. genotyping, GWAS) and functional genomics data (e.g. RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq); strong quantitative skills and sound understanding of statistical concepts, ideally in relation to genetics and experience in using statistical programming packages (e.g. R) and bioinformatics tools. The post holder is expected to have excellent organisational, strong interpersonal and communications skills, including scientific writing and presentational skills.

*Appointment at research associate is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience is recognised), including those who have submitted but not received their PhD. Where a PhD has yet to be awarded or submitted appointment will initially be made at research assistant and amended to research associate when the PhD is awarded. If an individual has not submitted a PhD or is not working towards one they could be appointed as a Research Assistant if they have either a degree (degree and/or Master's) in a relevant area or equivalent experience.

The funds for these posts are for 1 year initially from commencement in post.

Location - Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Dirk Paul,

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Closing date: 21 July 2019

Interview Date: w/c 29 July 2019

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. 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.

Please quote reference RH19654 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online