University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Research Associate* - Bioinformatician/Genetic Statistician/Genetic Epidemiologist (Fixed Term)

Research Assistant: £26,715 - £30,942

Research Associate*: £32,816 - £40,322

Applications are invited for a talented Bioinformatician/Genetic Statistician/Genetic Epidemiologist to join a team of clinical, genomic and bioinformatic scientists working across the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (led by Professor John Danesh) and the department of Human Genetics in the Wellcome Sanger Institute (led by Professor Matthew Hurles). The post is supported by the Cambridge BHF Centre for research excellence and will become an integral part of the Genomic Medicine sub-theme embedded into the Cambridge Hub of Health Data Research UK (HDRUK), led by Dr Seamus Harrison (Vascular Surgeon/MRC CARP Fellow).

This overarching remit of this post is to tackle key research questions relating to implementation of genomic medicine in rare cardiovascular diseases, such as aortic aneurysm and dissection. Aortic aneuryms/dissection can occur in individuals of any age and often present with fatal rupture. Using genomic medicine to identify individuals at the highest risk is a key challenge in developing and "precision medicine" approach to preventative strategies. The post-holder will develop methods for integrative analyses using genomic data, electronic health records, imaging data and other high dimensional intermediate phenotypes. Addressing these research questions has become possible through generation of large amounts of data through national vanguard projects such Genomics England (GEL), UK Biobank, NIHR Rare Diseases Bioresource and large-scale studies of blood donor health (STRIDES, UK INTERVAL, COMPARE). Research questions will relate to development of models to predict risk of rare, occult cardiovascular disorders utilising genomic and other data. Specific projects will seek to explore incomplete penetrance of high impact genetic variants in key mendelian disease genes both in healthy individuals and those with manifest disease.

The role holder will be embedded within a multi-disciplinary research group enabling close interaction between informatics teams, genetic epidemiologists and clinicians. This exciting role is supported by the unique infrastructure provided by the Cambridge hub of HDRUK and the post-holder will have the opportunity to work across both the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Group and the Wellcome Sanger Institute. In addition to establishing their own world-leading research project there will be considerable opportunity for professional and career development.

Essential Qualifications/Skills:

  • PhD in a related field such as Bioinformatics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Genomics or equivalent qualifications or have equivalent experience
  • Good working knowledge of programming languages (Perl/Python)
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills using statistical programming packages such as R.
  • Experience with genomic and/or other sequence based analyses (e.g. transcriptomics)

Desired Knowledge/Skills:

  • At least one year of relevant work experience
  • Experience of integrated analyses using multiple data sources & health informatics
  • Ability to assimilate rapidly new software, scientific, medical and statistical concepts

In addition to these skills, the post-holder should also be able to work independently judging priorities and have excellent organisational and communication skills.

The Head of Department may also from time to time require the role holder to perform other duties appropriate to the grade of the post.

*Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience), including those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD. Where a PhD has yet to be, awarded appointment will initially be made at research assistant and amended to research associate when the PhD is awarded (PhD needs to be awarded within 6 months of the start date). 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 (and/or Master's) in a relevant area or equivalent experience.

The post holder will work closely with Professor Emanuele Di Angelantonio as well as an interdisciplinary team of scientists, bioinformaticians and statisticians at the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (CEU) and scientific collaborators based in other institutions.

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

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Seamus Harrison (

Location of post: Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Worts Causeway, Cambridge, CB1 8RN

The funds for this post are available until 30 September 2022.

Closing date: 19 October 2020

Interview date: week commencing 26th October 2020

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 e-mail address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Please quote reference RH23457 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