Principal Bioinformatician - Experimental Cancer Genetics Group

Updated: 22 days ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND

The Opportunity:

Are you a Principal Bioinformatician with a passion for genomics who would like to improve the prevention and treatment of skin cancers?

We are seeking a Principal Bioinformatician to join our Experimental Cancer Genetics group  who can support us drive computational data analysis for the DERMATLAS Project . The project aims to profile the somatic mutational landscape of rare skin tumour types, and to understand the germline drivers of these conditions. You will need to be able to use existing pipelines and tools, as well as develop new analytical and statistical methods to effectively mine the data that we will generate.

About Us/The Project:

The Experimental Cancer Genetics group aims to identify cancer genes and to understand their function. We are also interested in how genes interact to promote cancer development, and how these interactions may be exploited for therapy. The DERMATLAS project aims to understand the genomics behind skin cancers to improve patient treatments and preventative measures. The project is a shared initiative which will give you the opportunity to work with global collaborators.

About You:

You must be a good communicator and able to understand the objectives of the project and the clinical need. You must be proficient at devising and implementing software solutions and statistical analyses and able to effectively communicate with wet-lab scientists. This role would suit somebody with significant previous bioinformatics experience and a deep understanding of next-generation sequencing data analysis. You will join a multidisciplinary team with the opportunity to work in conjunction with computational biologists, bioinformaticians, PhD students, postdocs in the Cancer Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme, as well as collaborators both within the Wellcome Sanger Institute and externally. You can find out more about working at the Wellcome Sanger Institute as a Bioinformatician here.

Essential Skills


  • A degree or further degree related to biology/computer science ideally at PhD level or equivalent experience.
  • An interest in genomics, cancer biology and genetics
  • Excellent programming skills in R
  • Experience with modern coding practices: Git, Agile, Cloud and Containers
  • Experience of other languages and development tools such as Unix, Java, Python, and SQL
  • Experience with variant calling and transcriptomics
  • Strong design and analysis skills including object orientated software development
  • The ability to think laterally in order to combine disparate technologies
  • Ability to rapidly attain new technical skills and understanding of new concepts 
  • Experience of basic systems administration in Linux

Competencies and Behaviours:

  • Ability to work with a high degree of thoroughness, independently or part of a team 
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate with people from a wide variety of disciplines 
  • Ability to understand new scientific processes via communication with laboratory scientists 
  • Ability to develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with internal and external groups 
  • Excellent, broad based and self-reliant problem-solving skills 
  • Good time management skills leading to high quality solutions within often short timeframes 
  • Ability to manage prioritise your workload  and meet tight deadlines 
  • Strong influencing skills 

Ideal Skills
  • A computer science related professional qualification
  • Existing knowledge of scientific processes
  • Exposure to working with, or developing, LIMS
  • A history of working in a research orientated environment
  • Experience of integrating applications with third party APIs
  • History of contributing to open source projects

Other information


Whilst the developments around COVID-19 continue to evolve, the Wellcome Genome Campus is closed for all but essential functions and facilities. 

People remain at the centre of everything that we do and the majority of our staff are now working remotely to ensure continuity of operations, making use of remote communication and collaboration tools.

Interviews will be taking place virtually and the successful candidate should expect to be fully supported through remote on-boarding and working from home until the Campus re-opens to all staff. This approach may vary for individuals located overseas and/or where a visa is required and starting will be based on a number of factors, we will be able to provide specialist advice to those affected candidates.

Application Process:

Please apply with your CV and a cover letter outlining your suitability for the role addressing the criteria set out above and in the job description.

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