Research Fellow, Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research

Belfast, Northern Ireland
£33,797 per annum
Feb 22, 2021
End of advertisement period
Mar 29, 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Application closing date 29/03/2021
Salary £33,797 per annum
Job category/type Research

Job description

We are recruiting for a Research Fellow to work with the Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Translational Research Group led by Dr Richard Turkington at the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research (PGJCCR). The aim of this work will be to develop a biomarker capable of predicting progression of Barrett’s Oesophagus (BO) to Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma (OAC). Using the Northern Ireland Barrett’s Register (NIBR), one of the largest BO population-based data and tissue resources available worldwide, the proposed project will develop a molecular signature that may be applied in clinical practice to stratify BO patients according to cancer risk. This project will use a nested case-control design with BO patients who developed High Grade Dysplasia (HGD) or OAC more than 12 months after initial BO diagnosis matched (on age, sex, year of BO diagnosis) to a BO control who has not developed HGD/OAC. Following profiling using the Illumina TruSeqTM RNAexome panel, clustering-based analysis of the RNAseq data will be carried out to identify transcriptional changes associated with progression of BO to HGD/OAC. The project involves identification of relevant molecular subgroups and signature generation to identify a gene signature capable of predicting progression to HGD/OAC in cases of non-dysplastic BO. Transcriptomic clonal diversity of BO will also be assessed using interim biopsies to assess its interaction with any biomarker. This project will provide new knowledge relating to the molecular biology involved in BO progression to cancer. It has the potential to identify novel tissue markers that may be used in clinical practice to identify BO patients at highest cancer risk, thereby enabling targeting of interventions to maximise benefit for, and reduce harm to, BO patients.  

This post is available until 31 May 2023 or for 2 years, whichever is soonest.

The successful candidate must have:

  • Have or be about to obtain a PhD in either Bioinformatics, Maths, Stats or Computing or PhD in Natural Sciences with a significant bioinformatics component.
  • At least three years relevant experience to include experience of:
    • Processing and analysing high-dimensional omics datasets;
    • Curating and analysing clinico-pathological data;
    • Presenting statistical results to multi-disciplinary audiences;
    • Statistical programming e.g. R or Matlab

The School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences is part of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences.  The School has the perfect balance of world-class teaching resources and internationally recognised research infrastructure and comprises of three education and three research centres. 

The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research

Established in 2007, The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research is a 5,000m2 purpose-built interdisciplinary centre, comprised of scientific teams from Biomedical Science, Clinical Medicine, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering and Radiobiology. The centre works collaboratively with partners around the world in order to translate research into innovative cancer treatments that enhance and extend life.

The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research is the beating heart of a comprehensive cancer research programme in Belfast, focused on accelerating the delivery of scientific discovery to clinical application. The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research is the research hub of the Belfast ECMC and the Belfast Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), operating in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Our integrated clinical and scientific programmes address clinically unmet needs. Our principal objective is to promote evidence-based, innovative clinical trials in order to underpin improved patient outcomes in high incidence solid tumours of Gastro-Intestinal, Prostatic, Breast and Ovarian origin, and in specific Blood Cancers. Our unifying research theme is to develop translational outputs, in the form of biomarkers and/or novel therapeutic strategies that enable our Centre to be at the forefront of personalised cancer medicine in these prevalent diseases.

Queen’s University Belfast is a driver of innovation and talent based on excellence. Throughout the University, our academics collaborate across disciplines and with outside agencies and institutions on projects of world significance. We are connected and networked with strategic partnerships across the world, helping us to expand our impact on wider society locally, nationally and globally. The University is committed to attracting, retaining and developing the best global talent within an environment that enables them to realise their full potential.

We are a leader in gender equality and diversity, and are one of the UK’s most successful universities in the Athena SWAN initiative which promotes gender equality and career progression.

The University holds an Athena SWAN silver award and the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences holds an Athena SWAN Gold award in recognition of our commitment and success in addressing gender equality, representation, progression and success for all our staff. 

We are ranked 1st in the UK for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (Innovate UK), 9th in the UK for University facilities (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018) and 14th in the UK for research quality (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019).

Based in Belfast, a modern capital city, our beautiful campus is surrounded by abundant acres of parkland and is renowned as one of the safest and most affordable cities in the UK. There is an excellent range of local Schools from pre-nursery upwards and we are immensely proud of what our city and our University will offer you.

For full job details and essential/desirable criteria please refer to the candidate information link on our website by clicking apply.  You must clearly demonstrate how you meet the criteria when you submit your application. For further information or assistance contact Resourcing Team via email on resourcing@qub.ac.uk

Fixed term contract posts are available for the stated period in the first instance but in particular circumstances may be renewed or made permanent subject to availability of funding

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all. However, our employment monitoring data tells us that individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, people with a disability and those who identify as LGBT+ are currently under-represented at the University. Also Protestants are currently under-represented in this category of work. As such, we particularly welcome applications from these individuals.

As you may be aware, Queen’s is recognised as one of the most diverse organisations in Northern Ireland. We are committed to ensuring our workplace is a safe, welcoming and inclusive place to work, which is why we subscribe to Equality Charter Marks such as Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, Diversity Charter Mark NI and Athena SWAN.

It is also why we have established award winning Staff Networks such as PRISM and iRise. These networks provide an opportunity for staff to meet in a friendly, informal way to support each other.  More details on all our networks can be found here.

Candidate Information 

Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr Kienan Savage via email to k.savage@qub.ac.uk    

About the Centre
About Dr Richard Turkington 
Information For International Applicants 

Similar jobs

Similar jobs