Job:Bioinformatics Analyst - University of Cambridge UK
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7.9 years ago

Bioinformatics Analyst (Research Associate): The Genomics and Epigenomics of Nucleic Acid Structures and Base Modifications in Cancer

(To apply online and for further information see

We seek a highly motivated bioinformatics analyst for a key role supporting Professor Balasubramanian's pioneering research programme at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CI). The CI emphasises multi-disciplinary approaches to link laboratory findings to the clinic and has state-of-the-art research facilities for over 300 scientists supported by outstanding core resources including a high-performance computing cluster (HPC) and high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms. The Balasubramanian group also owns MiSeq and NextSeq sequencing instruments and collaborates with industrial partners (Illumina, CEGX).

Our research is focused on the chemical biology of the genome, and the post-holder will join our existing informatics team and be involved in data analysis for several projects in parallel including:

  • The fundamental roles that non-canonical nucleic acid structures, such as G-quadruplexes, play within the genome and transcriptome as exemplified by Lam et al., Nat Comm. 2013; Rodriguez et al., Nat. Chem. Biol. 2012.
  • Identification, mapping and function of modified bases in nucleic acids such as our invention of methods to sequence, at single base resolution, cytosine modifications (5-hydroxymethylcytosine and 5-formylcytosine) in the genome (Booth et al., Science 2012; Booth et al., Nat. Chem. 2014).

Key functions of the role include:

  • Using existing pipelines or implementing new ones to play a leading role in experimental design, optimal sample size estimation, data QC, and visualisation of genome-wide datasets.
  • Performing ad hoc analyses together with customised algorithms on data obtained from our experimental approaches that employ novel ChIP-Seq, RNA-Seq, and genome sequencing methodologies. This will include, for example, expected outcome simulation, algorithm design for read density normalization and enrichment detection and prediction of secondary DNA/RNA sequence. New bioinformatics techniques will be required and it is expected that there will be opportunities for computational method development.

Applicants should have a PhD in a computational discipline such as computer science, quantitative biology or similar and have significant experience in bioinformatics or computational biology. We are especially interested in candidates with experience in statistical modelling and use of mathematical tools (e.g. Bayesian statistics, Markov models, simulation models) to interrogate and model genomic datasets. Skills required include:

  • Good programming/scripting skills in languages such as R or Matlab, Python or Perl, C/C++, Ruby or Java.
  • A good working knowledge of Linux/Unix, with experience in data processing in a HPC cluster environment.
  • Familiarity with SQL and relational databases (e.g. PostgreSQL, MySQL).
  • Algorithm development, data mining and statistical analysis of large datasets.

The position requires excellent communication skills and involves regular interactions with our research scientists and other bioinformaticians. The successful candidate will need to be highly organised with good time management skills to support multiple concurrent projects, with an ability to work well within a team. Experience in project management would be welcomed.

The post is available immediately. See and for further information.

Closing date: 20 November 2014. Interviews are expected to take place 26 November-5 December.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

For queries regarding applying online for this post, please contact Leanne Moden, PA to Professor Shankar Balasubramanian, email:

For an informal discussion on the bioinformatics aspects of the role please contact, Dario Beraldi and Giovanni Marsico (;

Please quote reference SW04457 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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.

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