View Vacancy -- MRC Postdoctoral Research Scientist LMS - 857

Open Date
13/06/2018, 08:30
Close Date
16/07/2018, 23:55
MRC London Institute of Medical Science

A 3-year postdoctoral position is available at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) to work in the Host-Microbe Co-metabolism group headed by Dr Filipe Cabreiro. The LMS is an Institute funded by the MRC and part of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College. We are located on the Hammersmith Hospital Campus in West London (W12). The institute has first-class facilities and provides investigators from clinical and basic science backgrounds with the opportunity to pursue innovative, multidisciplinary research within the excellence of Imperial College. For more information, visit

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MRC - 4
£35,340 - £38,181 pa inclusive*
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 years

Overall purpose:

Work in the Host-Microbe co-metabolism group, led by Dr Filipe Cabreiro, focuses on understanding how the microbial communities that inhabit the gut regulate human physiology, and if they can be targeted by drugs to improve human health and ageing. We developed a complementary pharmacological pipeline with the potential to unravel drug-diet-microbe-host interactions. For this purpose, we utilise two tractable genetic models: the bacterium E. coli and the nematode C. elegans, and mouse models widely used for host-microbiome research. We combine classical and advanced microbial genetics and high-throughput genomic/chemical approaches with targeted metabolomics at the host-microbe level. This strategy will identify drugable mechanisms in bacteria (e.g. signalling/biochemical pathways) that alter microbial metabolite availability with the capacity to regulate host physiology.

 Specifically, the postholder will be developing computational tools to integrate multi-omic and high-throughput datasets, with the aim of identifying principles governing complex interactions between two organisms. The project will also involve considerable wet lab method development including the acquisition of high-throughput C. elegans and microbial data. The postholder will design and execute experimental work, record and analyse results, and publish findings in high impact scientific journals. The post-holder will be a key member of the Host-Microbe Co-Metabolism group, and as such will enjoy a high level of scientific responsibility. The post-holder is expected to pro-actively develop their research question within the group’s areas of interest and expertise.

Main Responsibilities:

  • To plan, carry out, and analyse research in accordance with the agreed project aims
  • To attend all lab and related research meetings, and to present work when required
  • To attend and contribute to journal clubs and seminar presentations
  • To keep up-to-date on the scientific literature and technical advances relevant to the project
  • To present data at national and international meetings (where and when appropriate)
  • To interact and collaborate with researchers in related projects
  • To take an active part in the academic activities of the LMS
  • To write-up work for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • To form good working relationships with other members of the group, as well as internal and external collaborators
  • To assist others and co-supervise students when required
  • To contribute to the development and maintenance of the group’s experimental infrastructure as appropriate
  • To help with the daily running of the lab by assisting with general lab duties as required

 This is an MRC Postdoctoral Scientist position providing training and development supporting post-doctoral scientists in early or changed career paths helping establish them as a successful research scientist in their chosen field. The position is for 3 years and available on the 1st of September.

 Applicants should have a PhD (or be in the final stages of completing one) in a relevant discipline, an excellent publication record and a commitment to scientific excellence.


Education / Qualifications / Training required:


  • PhD degree or equivalent in computational biology, systems biology or a related discipline. Excellent candidates from other backgrounds (e.g. computer science, mathematics) will be considered

Previous work experience required:


  • Strong experience with a proven track-record in computational biology
  • Evidence of high-level proficiency in at least one programming language (Java, Python, etc.)
  • High-level proficiency in a programmatic statistics language (ideally R)
  • Prior experience with the generation and analysis and integration of complex and multi-dimensional data sets


  • Prior experience with the processing and analysis of genome-wide data sets
  • Advanced skills in computational biology, specifically relating to the efficient processing and analysis of short read data generated by next generation sequencing experiments
  • Knowledge of organismal biology, in particular microbial and C. elegans metabolism and/or signaling.
  • Strong interest in metabolism

Knowledge and experience:


  • Proven publication record, with at least one first author publication under revision/published in a peer-reviewed international journal
  • Evidence that the applicant can plan and independently carry out experimental and computational projects
  • Familiarity with statistical methods commonly employed in the analysis of genome-wide data sets or multi-omics datasets
  • Excellent, clear and succinct communication skills in English, both verbal (i.e. seminar presentations, participation at lab meetings, discussions with the PI) and written (i.e. reports, preparation of manuscripts, potential fellowship applications)


  • Experience with database construction and maintenance (e.g. in mysql)

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


  • the desire to learn about previously unfamiliar biological systems (both eukaryotic and prokaryotic), to acquire new computational and analytical skills and to pro-actively seek novel and creative solutions to scientific problems
  • Willingness to share knowledge and skills with other members of the group on a daily basis
  • Ability to work independently but equally important as part of a team (both in situ and remotely with international collaborators)
  • Evidence of ability to conduct research independently, from the planning stages to execution and write-up
  • Ability to constructively criticise one’s own and others results

Please upload your CV, the names and contacts of two scientific references, along with a cover letter stating why you are applying for this post (showing evidence against the requirements as per the Job Description and Person Specification). Please quote reference number LMS - 857.

*Salary quoted is inclusive of London weighting. Additional allowances comprise a £1,000 lump sum Settlement Allowance plus a yearly Training Allowance of £850 in the first year, paid in monthly instalments. The Training Allowance increases to £1,300 in year two, and £1,800 in the third year.

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.