Funded Postdoctoral Positions

We are currently recruiting for:-
3 Postdoctoral Research Associates: Chemists/chemical biologists - closing date 12th May 2022
Postdoctoral Research Associates: Bioinformatician - closing date 7th June 2022
Postdoctoral Research Associates: Chemists/chemical biologists to study DNA base modifications and their epigenetic functions (Fixed Term) MA30961

We seek up to 3 postdoctoral scientists to work with Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian on a Wellcome Trust-funded programme to investigate the structure and function of chemically modified nucleic acid bases. This is an interdisciplinary project that encompasses the use of biophysics, chemical biology and molecular biology on DNA and on the genome.  See DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b01915, DOI: 10.1038/s41570-017-0069 for further information.

We look to appoint chemists or chemical biologists to explore how chemically modified DNA bases affect the structure and function of DNA.  The research will involve chemistry and enzymology of nucleic acids, protein-DNA interactions, epigenetics, chromatin structure and transcription. We aim to gain a deeper understanding of the function of base modifications and their involvement in regulating gene expression in normal and disease states using cellular models from human, and mouse and also parasite models.

Our ideal candidates will have a capacity for innovation, initiative and creativity to solve biological problems using molecular and cellular strategies. We value good communication skills and an ability to work well in a multi-disciplinary team. This project provides an opportunity for an outstanding individual to make an inspired contribution to the fundamental understanding of genome function.

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Bioinformatician (Fixed Term) SW31049

We seek a highly motivated computational researcher for a key role within Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian's pioneering research programme to advance our understanding of sequence, structure and chemical modifications in DNA and RNA. Using their expert knowledge of programming languages, statistical/machine learning methods, bioinformatics tools and resources, the ideal candidate will use and develop computational approaches to transform raw sequencing data into biologically meaningful information. The candidate will have strong problem analysis/solving skills and be able to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team working at the interface between chemistry, biology and bioinformatics.

Specifically, the post-holder will work as a bioinformatics research scientist contributing to research areas such as:

  • Elucidating the fundamental role of non-canonical nucleic acid structures, such as G-quadruplexes, in the genome and transcriptome (e.g. Chambers et al., Nature Biotechnology 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3295; Hänsel-Hertschet al., Nature Genetics 2016, DOI: 10.1038/ng.3662; Marsico et al., Nucleic Acids Research 2019, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkz179; Zyner et al., eLife 2019, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.46793; Zyner et al., Nature Communications, 2022, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27719-1).
  • Identification and mapping of chemically modified bases, such as cytosine and thymidine modifications, and understanding their function in the genome and epigenome (e.g. Booth et al., Science 2012, DOI: 10.1126/science.1220671; Bachman et al. Nature Chemical Biology 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1848; Kawasaki et al., Genome Biology 2017, DOI: 10.1186/s13059-017-1150-1; Hofer et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b01915; Liu et al., Nature Chemistry 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0279-9)

Key functions of the role include:

  • Playing a leading role in experimental design.
  • Performing, customising and/or developing computational analyses/algorithms for raw data from sequencing-based assays such as ChIP-seq and RNA-seq and other data types (e.g. proteomics).
  • Pre-processing of raw datasets and high-level analysis and visualisation to enable interpretation and deduce new biological insights.
  • Managing research collaborations with experimental scientists and developing independent projects.

Skills required include:

  • Programming/scripting skills in languages such as R or Matlab, Python or Perl, C/C++, Ruby or Java.
  • Working knowledge of Linux/Unix, with experience in data processing in an HPC cluster environment and basic understanding of computer systems administration.
  • Knowledge of biological data resources (e.g., NCBI, EMBL-EBI, KEGG, ENCODE and ELIXIR) and bioinformatic tools.
  • Algorithm development, data mining and statistical analysis of large datasets (such as Bayesian statistics, Markov models, simulation models or machine learning).
  • Experience collaborating with experimental scientists e.g., chemists or biologists, and managing several concurrent projects with changing priorities

Applicants should have a strong foundation in statistical methods and computational science with a PhD in a computational discipline such as bioinformatics, computational biology/chemistry, computer science or quantitative biology. Previous experience in analysing genomic (especially high-throughput sequencing data) and or other type of biological datasets is highly desirable. For academic candidates a consistent record of strong scientific publications is essential. We also welcome candidates with equivalent industrial experience. The position requires strong communication and teamwork skills and involves regular interactions with experimental and computational researchers across Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian’s two laboratories based at the CRUK Cambridge Institute (CI) and the University’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry. The role holder will be based at CI but expected to spend part of the time in Chemistry. The successful candidate will be highly organized, with good time management skills.  Experience in project management would also be welcomed.

We look to appoint chemists or chemical biologists to explore how chemically modified DNA bases affect the structure and function of DNA.  The research will involve chemistry and enzymology of nucleic acids, protein-DNA interactions, epigenetics, chromatin structure and transcription. We aim to gain a deeper understanding of the function of base modifications and their involvement in regulating gene expression in normal and disease states using cellular models from human, and mouse and also parasite models.

Our ideal candidates will have a capacity for innovation, initiative and creativity to solve biological problems using molecular and cellular strategies. We value good communication skills and an ability to work well in a multi-disciplinary team. This project provides an opportunity for an outstanding individual to make an inspired contribution to the fundamental understanding of genome function.

GENERAL INFORMATION:
All positions we advertise are fixed-term and the funds are available for 2 years in the first instance.  Successful candidates will have a capacity for innovation and creativity. Strong communication skills and the ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team will be important. Experience in working in an interdisciplinary environment, particularly with chemists/chemical biologists/molecular biologists/biologists would be an advantage. Candidates for all positions advertised should have (or be about to receive) a PhD in a relevant discipline.

For queries, please contact Jo Lockhart, Science Administrator, Balasubramanian Group, quoting the appropriate reference number via email: BalasubramanianRecruitment@ch.cam.ac.uk