Job:Postdoctoral researcher in computational (epi)genomics (Maastricht, The Netherlands)
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Job description:

We are looking for a highly motivated, self-driven and creative, recent PhD graduate in bioinformatics/computational biology or related fields, to be part of the individual and forensic (epi)genomics research group of the Clinical Genetics department at the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, led by Dr. Athina Vidaki. The successful candidate will be offered a postdoc position for one year, which will be extended for a further two years, subject to satisfactory progress.

You will contribute to our recently funded research from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO, Vidi grant) to conduct innovative, technology-driven research in the areas of human individuality, the repetitive (epi)genome and long-read sequencing. In addition, as part of a multidisciplinary environment with the core goal of innovating healthcare, you are also expected to contribute to other ongoing projects in clinical (epi)genomics.

As a postdoc in our research team, you will not only use advanced tools, but also develop new methods and approaches to holistically study the inter-individual (epi)genomic variation of our genome. The ultimate goal is to uncover new levels of DNA uniqueness, including in identical twins. You will use whole-genome sequencing data generated by long-read (nanopore) sequencing in various human tissues to study (epi)genomic variation, with a focus on diverse types of repetitive elements, associated with a wide range of phenotypes.

You will also help with the implementation of long-read sequencing within the department and Diagnostics & Advice unit. You will have the unique opportunity to work across disciplines by collaborating with fellow bioinformaticians and other PIs, and supporting the translation of your own findings into clinical and forensic practice.

As a postdoc within our team, you will be expected to carry out key research activities, including maintaining current literature and analysis tools in the project area, developing and maintaining easy-to-implement codes and reporting results, supporting other team members and students, actively participating in multidisciplinary research, contributing to organizing events, writing scientific publications and writing/collaborating on writing proposals as part of the search for new funding.

Importantly, you will be supported by postgraduate bioinformatics students and you will also have the opportunity to supervise a PhD student, also funded by the same research project. Finally, if you want to build university teaching experience, you will have ample opportunities to contribute to the group's educational activities.

Qualifications and skills:

  • Highly motivated candidate with a completed university PhD in bioinformatics, computational biology, computer science or related fields
  • Excellent PhD program from an internationally renowned university
  • Strong interest in computational biology research, personalized (epi)genomics and novel DNA sequencing
  • Strong programming skills in Python and/or R (or other languages)
  • Previous experience working with a Linux command environment and high-performance clusters
  • Previous experience with version control (git) and workflow management systems (e.g. Nextflow, Snakemake); practical experience dealing with container applications (Docker, kubernetes) is a plus
  • Familiarity with high-throughput sequencing data analysis and modern statistical methods
  • Previous experience with nanopore sequencing data analysis is highly appreciated; knowledge of variant calling and DNA methylation tools (Guppy, Nanopolish and others) and GPU acceleration is a plus
  • At least one publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal as leading (first) author
  • Ability to develop innovative ideas in a project, but also for the development of a future line of research
  • Results-driven, detail-oriented candidate with strong personal leadership and proactivity
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team with minimal supervision; experience working in multidisciplinary teams is a plus
  • Excellent communication, teamwork and organizational skills
  • Experience with teaching and supervising students is an advantage
  • Strong written and oral English language skills (working language of the group); knowledge of the Dutch language is not required but is appreciated

Our department:

The approximately 190 employees of the Clinical Genetics department of Maastricht UMC+ strive to provide patients with answers to their healthcare needs. Through our own expertise, international knowledge networks and high-quality laboratory techniques, we strive to detect the exact genetic cause of hereditary diseases and, after making a diagnosis, we advise patients and their relatives.

The department consists of an outpatient clinic, where patients can go with all questions in the field of heredity and clinical genetic diagnosis. Our spearheads are reproductive genetics, cardiogenetics, rare genetic syndromes and intellectual disability, oncogenetics and genodermatology. We also have a clinical genetics laboratory with an integrated laboratory for hereditary metabolic diseases. The MUMC+ is the only center in the Netherlands with a permit for Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT), also known as embryo selection.

Since January 2024, a new expertise and research team has been established within the Clinical Genetics department in the field of individual and forensic (epi)genomics, with a focus on innovating DNA analysis methods, studying new levels of biological uniqueness in health and disease, and working towards implementation in both clinical and forensic practice.

We work closely with the Genetics department of Radboud UMC and the process has started to form one center together: Academic Alliance Genetics (AAG). For more information, please refer to our website.

Employment contract:

This concerns a temporary employment contract of 1 year, for an average of 36 hours per week in accordance with Article 2.4.2 of the UMC Collective Labor Agreement, with the option to extend the employment contract for another two years upon successful performance. Depending on education and experience, the salary is a maximum of 5,292 euros gross per month for a full-time appointment (scale A10, CAO UMC).

We offer you:

  • End-of-year bonus of 8.3% of your gross annual salary
  • Good pension provision at ABP
  • Possibility to take out collective insurance for, among other things, medical expenses (UMC) and disability (Loyalis)
  • Collective Agreement a la Carte, including, for example, a bicycle scheme and fitness subscription
  • Various in-company training courses and possibility of development via e-learning methodology

Do you want to apply?

To apply, you can submit your application on our website. Deadline: March 1, 2024

Please submit a detailed CV, a motivation letter stating your interests in the research topics of the position, your publication list including a copy of one of the publications of your choice, and 2-3 names of senior scientists who can provide a reference.

For more information about the position, the team and the research topic, please contact Dr. Athina Vidaki, assistant professor, via email: athina.vidaki [at] mumc.nl. For information about the application procedure or other questions, please contact Team Recruitment. Available every working day on telephone number: +31 (0) 43-387 59 77 or by email: recruitment [at] mumc.nl. More general information about employment conditions and working at Maastricht UMC+ can be found here.

Long-read-Sequencing Postdoc Homo-Sapiens Repetitive-Elements Epigenetics • 252 views
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