Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Updated: 19 days ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Job Type: Permanent
Deadline: 10 Nov 2020

An opportunity has arisen for a talented statistician researcher at the MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU), Cambridge University, within the Statistical Omics Theme.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to contribute to the work of the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award "Primary Immunodeficiency (PID): mechanism and diagnosis via integrative clinical immunogenomics", PI Prof Ken Smith. The post-holder will contribute to the work package on statistical integration of whole-genome sequencing (WGS), clinical and immune phenotype data in PID, under the primary supervision of Prof Sylvia Richardson, with support from Prof Ernest Turro and Dr Daniel Greene.

PID is a rare disorder characterised by recurrent life-threatening infections. Over 80% of patients present in adulthood with no apparent family history and a variable clinical phenotype of widespread immune dysregulation. The role genetics plays in these patients has been challenging to identify in the past. Using sophisticated statistical approaches developed at the BSU, however, we demonstrated it was possible to discover monogenic causes of sporadic PID from WGS data. The present Wellcome Trust Award aims to build on this foundation by expanding the PID cohort in size and generating a novel set of immune phenotypes for each patient. These include serum profiles, measures of functional responsiveness of immune cells, flow cytometry of immune cells, transcriptomics, signalling pathway activity, metabolic status of immune cells, measures of cell proliferation and profiles of B/T cell repertoires.

The postholder will develop novel integrative methodology that exploits these data to improve our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of PID and related diseases. The postholder will develop approaches to cluster PID patients into subgroups sharing common immune profiles, and characterise these subgroups so that they can be used to stratify PID patients and guide mechanistic studies. Each of the identified subgroups will be treated as a set of cases in a case/control genetic association study. The postholder will be expected to network with researchers a wide range of expertise who are involved in this study, including statisticians, immunologists and cell biologists.

We are seeking an ambitious and motivated individual to join the PID analytic team in Cambridge. The successful candidate will have a PhD in a strongly quantitative discipline, ideally statistics. Past experience with analysing genetic or other omics data would be advantageous, but not essential; training will be given on the basic concepts necessary to the post. A desire to address questions of substantive biomedical and societal importance is essential. Good communication skills and an enthusiasm for collaborating with others (including non-statisticians) are also essential. Strong programming ability would be desirable. The successful applicant will be supported in their career development with a range of formal courses and on-the-job training.

For an informal discussion about this post please contact: sylvia.richardson@mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 42 months in the first instance.

The post is full-time but applications are welcome from those who would like to work flexibly.

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

The closing date for applications is 10 November 2020 with interview date to be confirmed.

Please quote reference SL24360 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.


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