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Research Assistant/Associate (Computational Immunobiology) - University of Cambridge

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  • Research Assistant/Associate (Computational Immunobiology) - University of Cambridge

    We are currently seeking a postdoctoral researcher in computational immunobiology to join our team at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care (DPHPC). The post will suit an ambitious researcher, who is interested in applying their skills to multi-omic data to address fundamental questions in immune biology. The project will focus on using data science to understand humoral immune memory in the gut, in particular: Why do some plasma cells in the human intestine live for decades? What interactions do long-lived plasma cells have with gut microbiota and proximal cells of the immune system?

    The Inouye Lab at DPHPC conducts world-leading interdisciplinary research with a major focus on the development of biostatistical and machine learning approaches as well as the application of bespoke approaches to multi-omics data from both population-level and experimental studies, with the overarching goal of improving the prediction and prevention of disease. The position's supervisor Associate Professor Michael Inouye heads the lab and is a Principal Researcher in Systems Genomics at the University of Cambridge. More information about our collective interests and activities can be found at The project is a collaboration with the Mucosal Immunology Group (PI: Prof Frode Jahnsen) at Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo, and the post-holder will be expected to work closely with Prof Jahnsen and an Oslo-based postdoc in plasma cell biology.

    The successful candidate will be involved in analyses of the multi-omics data (particularly transcriptomics and epigenomics) from both bulk and single cell immune cell types together with cellular phenotypes. In addition to these analyses, the selected candidate will collaborate closely with an interdisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, bioinformaticians and statisticians in the DPHPC and the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (CEU). They will closely interact not only with collaborators at Oslo University Hospital but also other groups in the wider Cambridge ecosystem and internationally.

    In addition, together with local and international collaborators, the post-holder will be encouraged to design and implement further experiments and analyses of using -omics data. The post-holder will also be expected to evaluate and develop the statistical methods necessary to test hypotheses of interest, such as those listed above and advise on appropriate statistical practices. The work of the post-holder is expected to lead to first author high-impact publications.

    The post-holder will be expected to do some international travel, in particular to our collaborators at Oslo University Hospital but also to national/international meetings to present the research.

    Essential Qualifications/Skills
    • A PhD in one of the following subjects Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Systems Biology, Statistical Genetics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics or equivalent qualifications or experience*
    • Experience working with multi-omic data types, including quality control and statistical analysis.
    • Experience with inference and analysis of networks for analysis of multi-omic data.
    • Experience of manipulating and managing large datasets
    • A sound understanding of statistical concepts, ideally in relation to genetics.
    • Strong quantitative (in silico) analysis skills using statistical programming packages such as R.
    • Experience working with Linux and high performance computing.
    • Experience of statistical method development.
    • Excellent communication and collaboration skills.

    Desired Knowledge/Skills
    • Experience with programming and scripting languages (e.g. C, C++, Java, Python).
    • Working knowledge of transcriptomics, proteomics and/or metabolomics.
    • Working knowledge of the human immune system
    • In addition to these skills, the post-holder should also be able to work independently judging priorities and have excellent organisational and communication 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 this post are available for 3 years from commencement in post.

    The post-holder will be based at Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Worts Causeway, Cambridge, CB1 8RN (approx. 2 miles south of city centre)

    Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Michael Inouye by email ([email protected]).

    Closing date: 16th December 2018

    Interview Date: Week commencing 17th December 2018

    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.

    The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

    Further information: