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Senior Computer Biologist - Bacterial Genomics
Premium Job From The Wellcome Sanger Institute
Recruiter: The Wellcome Sanger Institute
Listed on: 3rd September
Location: Cambridge
Salary/Rate: £36,737 - £44,451
Type: Permanent
Start Date:
Reference: 83639_1567514305
Contact Name: The Wellcome Sanger Institute

We are looking to recruit a Senior Computer Biologist to join our project Juno: a global genomic survey of Streptococcus agalactiae. Juno is a major international research collaboration, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that aims to sequence and analyse the genomes of a global collection of Streptococcus agalactiae samples to inform disease prevention strategies.

The role

The role will involve bioinformatic analysis of large genomic datasets to gain important biological insights into the pathogen population and its diversity, pathogen genetic association with disease and pathogen transmission. This post offers an exciting opportunity to join a global research consortium and to collaborate with a number of international project partners to deliver key data analysis outputs and scientific papers.

About you

We welcome application from candidates who recently completed their PhD as well as those with previous postdoctoral experience. We are seeking to appoint a talented and motivated individual with a keen interest in the application of genomic data to study pathogen biology and evolution. Ideally you would have an experience in microbial genomics, statistical genetics, computational biology, or a related discipline, with a demonstrated expertise in applying a broad range of genomic analysis approaches to complex datasets.

The team

You will be based in the Genomics of Pneumonia and Meningitis team, part of the Parasites and Microbes Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The Institute has a world class record of pioneering the use of large-scale genomic data analysis to understand pathogen biology, epidemiology and evolution. You will join a team that is engaged in many exciting research topics such as person-to-person transmission of pathogens, global spread of high-risk clones and evolution of resistance to antibiotics and vaccines. Our studies are supported by genomic, clinical and epidemiological data for thousands of samples providing opportunity for well-powered analyses. We are a multi-disciplinary team that combines the expertise of microbiologists, mathematicians and bioinformaticians. Here's a selection of recent and past papers that gives an overview of our interests:

  • Lo et al., (2019) Pneumococcal lineages associated with serotype replacement and antibiotic resistance in childhood invasive pneumococcal disease in the post-PCV13 era: an international whole-genome sequencing study. Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • Lees et al., (2019) Joint sequencing of human and pathogen genomes reveals the genetics of pneumococcal meningitis Nature Communications
  • Gladstone et al., (2019) International genomic definition of pneumococcal lineages, to contextualise disease, antibiotic resistance and vaccine impact. EBioMedicine
  • Lees et al., (2019) Fast and flexible bacterial genomic epidemiology with PopPUNK. Genome Research
  • Lo et al., (2018) Global distribution of invasive serotype 35D Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates following introduction of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Journal of Clinical Microbiology
  • Lees et al., (2017) Genome-wide identification of lineage and locus specific variation associated with pneumococcal carriage duration. eLife
  • Chaguza et al., (2016) Recombination is Streptococcus pneumoniae lineages increase with carriage duration and size of the polysaccharide capsule. mBio
  • Chewapreecha et al., (2014) Dense genomic sampling identifies highways of pneumococcal recombination. Nature Genetics

For informal enquiries about the post please contact Stephen Bentley ()

Essential Skills

  • PhD in microbial genomics, statistical genetics, computational biology, or a related discipline
  • Demonstrated experience analysing genomic data
  • Excellent communication skills, ability to interact with a multi-disciplinary team to develop and maintain good working relationships
  • Keen to learn and share scientific ideas
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving and data skills
  • Proven track record of publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Ideal Skills

  • Demonstrated experience working with large microbial genomic datasets
  • Demonstrated experience in developing novel approaches to analysis of large genomic datasets
  • Working proficiency in UNIX/Linux and a scripting language (e.g. Python, R, Perl)
  • Demonstrated experience working with international collaborators
  • Excellent quantitative skills and statistical knowledge

Other information

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world leading genomics research centre. We undertake large-scale research that forms the foundations of knowledge in biology and medicine. We are open and collaborative; we share our data, results, tools and technologies across the world to advance science. Our findings are used to improve health and to understand life on Earth. Find out more at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and on our Blog

Our campus

Set across 130 acres, just outside of Cambridge, The Sanger Institute is located on the stunning Wellcome Genome Campus. Home to some of the world's foremost institutes and organisations in genomics and computational biology, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale, and creativity to solve some of humanity's greatest challenges.

Our benefits:

There's an attractive benefits package on offer at the Genome Wellcome Campus. We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

As well as the usual benefits you would expect, we go much further:

  • 25 days annual leave (extra 1 day to a maximum of 30 days for every year you work)
  • Auto-enrolment into a generous Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, with enhanced company contribution (for more information, see our Pensions page)
  • Up to 2 days annual paid volunteering leave
  • Up to 10 days paid Emergency Carers Leave per year
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, an on-site Workplace Nursery salary Sacrifice Schemes for pre-school children
  • and Summer holiday club
  • Life Assurance Cover and a Group Income Protection Scheme (if on a contract of 12 months or more)
  • Enhanced maternity leave and parental leave
  • Access to substantial number of courses and training events onsite
  • Private Healthcare Scheme (after 6 months service)
  • Eyecare and Dental payment plans
  • Concessions and discounts from our corporate perks site

Being part of the Genome Wellcome Campus you will be part of the beautiful working environment with an impressive range of benefits, services and facilities also including:

  • Free bus service to and from Campus, covering various routes around Cambridge, Saffron Walden and surrounding villages
  • A car-share initiative
  • Free parking
  • A number of on-site venues where you can meet, eat and socialise with colleagues
  • A thriving Sports and Social Club which provides members with subsidised access to a gym, tennis courts, sports hall, fitness classes and a vibrant social calendar of events

To find out more about our Genome Wellcome Campus, see here

We 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 covering letter and CV with your application. Closing date: 3 October 2019

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