View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Bioinformatician - Cell Biology - Dr Madeline Lancaster - LMB 1368

Open Date
09/09/2020, 13:15
Close Date
08/10/2020, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.
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MRC - 4
£31,602 - £34,443 per annum
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 years
Overall purpose:

An opportunity has arisen for a Postdoctoral Bioinformatician to work within the group of Dr Madeline Lancaster in the Cell Biology division at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) within an overall programme that uses organoid systems to investigate development of the human brain.  In particular to pursue projects to design and analyse next generation sequencing data such as single cell RNA sequencing, ATAC-Seq, and comparative evolutionary genetic analyses, so as to investigate the formation of cell types in the developing brain.  Work will be co-supervised by Dr Tim Stevens, a Senior Investigator Computational Biologist in the Cell Biology division.

To play a major role in the work of the research group, and also to provide bioinformatics advice to other LMB groups beginning to use next generation sequencing approaches.  Within the Cell Biology division there are a variety of such research programmes offering many different opportunities for collaboration that bring with them new kinds of datasets.

To be a focus of expertise on bioinformatics and to set up user-friendly pipelines that enable Scientists who are not bioinformaticians to analyse data.

Main duties:

Under the general leadership of the Group Leader, to be responsible for setting up, developing pipelines to analyse next gen. sequencing data, preparing the work for publication and disseminating the results at meetings.

To present your work at seminars within the laboratory and at external meetings.

To contribute to laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the laboratory, particularly in the use of new techniques or new equipment.

To keep up to date with developments in the field, proposing or implementing changes of direction as necessary.

To prepare the research data for publication.

To work in collaboration with others to achieve joint research projects.

To train students, Postdoctoral Scientists and others and line management of group members where appropriate.

To contribute to the MRC’s engagement with the public and in the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.

Key Responsibilities:

The key responsibility is to undertake analysis of sequencing data, aimed at key questions within the remit of the research group.  You will be expected to provide the intellectual energy and independent thinking necessary to deliver the research and to play a major role in shaping the overall aims and success of the group.

While advice will be available from others in the laboratory, you will be expected to have the skill and understanding to be able to act independently in solving problems, many of which may require novel approaches.  This will require the integration of different activities to ensure the successful delivery of the research projects.

To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches.  To set up pipelines enabling non-specialists to analyse data online.

To interact effectively with a wide range of staff, students and others to ensure the smooth running of the research group.  This will include setting an example in the effective use of resources, training others in methods and use of equipment and taking responsibility for the use of communal facilities.

To potentially take on specific responsibilities for managing equipment.

To write scientific papers and to present at internal meetings and at conferences.  

To ensure that any research is conducted in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.

To recognise opportunities for the creation of intellectual property and to cooperate in patent protection and in exploitation.

To identify new equipment which will assist the group programme and to present argued cases for new purchases.

To identify opportunities for additional funding and to apply for external grants where appropriate.  Where line management responsibilities are undertaken, these responsibilities, including staff development and performance management, should be applied in accordance with the MRC’s policies and procedures.  Training will be provided if required.

Working relationships:

You will report to Dr Madeline Lancaster and Dr Tim Stevens and will liaise with other Research Support staff, Postdoctoral Scientists and students, not only in your group, but also across the LMB and with external collaborators.

Additional information:

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC.
Education / qualifications / training required:

A PhD in a relevant subject.

Experience using UNIX/Linux based systems and fluency in scripting with R, Perl or Python.

Working knowledge of statistics, e.g. using Matlab, Mathematica, R etc.

Previous work experience required:

Bioinformatics experience in analysing next generation sequencing data.

Setting up internal work flows for non-specialists to analyse data.  Use of parallel computing clusters.

Comparative analysis of next generation sequencing across different species.

Knowledge and experience:

Specific Research Skills

Use of industry standard software to analyse genome and transcriptome data.
Experience of collaborating with experimental biologists doing wet work.

Data mining using publicly available databases; setting up and curating in house relational databases.

Skills in programming in multiple languages and in statistics.

Able to help people design sequencing experiments and advice on how to prepare samples for submission to a sequencing facility.

A working knowledge of wet-lab pipelines for generating NGS data, i.e. 10X scRNA-seq, NGS library preparation, etc.

Creativity and Initiative

Has developed new techniques / methodologies that have added value to scientific work.

Experience / results in cutting edge research.

Have independent scientific recognition.

Independent working

Proven skills in working independently to solve problems in data analysis.

Verbal and written communication skills

Experience in presenting scientific work, both written and orally.

Good quality publications in bioinformatics.  Experience of teaching in informatics, or a related subject.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

Other relevant evidence of:
•    Excellent standards of research conduct,
•    Highly-motivated,
•    Strong team player,
•    Capable of taking independent decisions,
•    Collaborative.
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.

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