Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Epigenetics and Cancer

London, United Kingdom
£33,615 - £44,015 per annum inclusive of London Allowance (Grade 4)
Saturday, 8 June 2019
End of advertisement period
Monday, 1 July 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department: Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine
Salary: £33,615 - £44,015 per annum inclusive of London Allowance (Grade 4)
Location: Charterhouse Square
Closing date: 01-Jul-2019


Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Centre for Cancer Prevention

Applications are now invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant with experience of molecular biology, biomarkers identification and epigenetics of cancer to work on a research project exploring biomarkers for early detection of cervical cancer.

This post will be based in the Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine within the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. The candidate will work in a world-class epigenetics research environment. We are looking to add a Postdoctoral assistant to a high-performing group focusing on bioinformatics, data science, statistics and epidemiology to support research to explain the mechanisms of epigenetics in cancer prevention.

Dr Nedjai leads the Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory (MEL) and is specialised in the identification of early detection biomarkers for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infection with high-risk HPV. While immunisation strategies have been implemented with success to prevent against HPV infections, the currently approved vaccines will only slowly bring down cervical cancer rates. However, it will not solve the entire problem since a vast number of women are already HPV infected, the resources and logistics required for achieving a high uptake are challenging, particularly for low and/or middle income regions. Therefore, secondary prevention strategies are going to remain essential to combat cervical cancer far into the future.

MEL has developed a methylation classifier that is well suited for triage of women who might be at risk of developing cancer using cervical exfoliated cells. The post holders will contribute to an exciting newly funded project by CRUK aimed at 1) validating this classifier on non-invasive specimens from the UK: self-collected vaginal samples and urine. 2) developing it further with worldwide samples from the UK, USA, Germany, Mexico, Ethiopia and Sweden.

Applicants must be educated to PhD level and have expertise in cancer and epigenetics with strong experience in basic molecular biology techniques. In addition, expertise such as circulating cell-free DNA, single-cell epigenetics, digital PCR, and long-read epigenetic sequencing would be an asset. The post-holder should have a proven track record in developing biomarkers assays. They will be expected to carry out analysis of data in collaboration with the Centre’s statisticians and bioinformaticians and write up manuscripts for publication. The successful applicant will work independently under minimal supervision.

The appointee must have excellent organisational, written and communication skills. They must have the ability to apply extensive working knowledge to address complex problems and challenges and have a comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of governance and legislation for the conduct of research (including GDPR).

The post is full time and fixed term for 24 months and we are particularly seeking applicants who will forge a pathway to personal independence. Starting salary will be in the range £33,615 - £44,015 per annum inclusive of London Allowance. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and pension scheme.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme. The Centre for Cancer Prevention requires applicants to provide all certificates at interview to confirm their qualifications (as specified in the Job Description).

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Belinda Nedjai, Senior Research Fellow: b.nedjai@qmul.ac.uk

Details about the institute can be found at https://www.qmul.ac.uk/wolfson/centres/ccp/

Application enquiries should be directed to n.turnbull@qmul.ac.uk

The closing date for applications is 1 July 2019.

Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.

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