Research Fellow, Colorectal Cancer Analytics Tool Development

Belfast, Northern Ireland
£33,797 per annum
22 Jul 2020
End of advertisement period
20 Aug 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Application closing date: 20/08/2020
Salary: £33,797 per annum
Job category/type: Research

Job description

Available from 1 December 2020 as part of a CRUK-Booby Moore Foundation funded Programme Grant “Impact of chemotherapy on anti-cancer immunity in molecular-stratified subgroups of colorectal cancer”, working within  the Functional Genomics and the Cell-Death groups, led by Dr Simon McDade and Prof Dan Longley as part of our internationally renowned colorectal cancer (CRC) research team based in the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast.

Next Generation Sequencing technologies have driven a boom in Bioinformatics ‘big data’ over the last decade. Accessing much of the data requires significant computational skills, is time-consuming, hard to reproduce and share. To address this bottleneck we have developed suite of customisable applications using the R based wrapper, Shiny, built on a combination of novel and established analytics. These applications simplifies analysis and visualisation of genomics data to enable biologists, clinicians to rapidly iteratively interrogate genomics data and share analyses and insights in a robust supervised analysis framework.

The Research Fellow will develop a suite of bespoke CRC specific applications that will enable analysis of a broad range of in-house and publicly available CRC genomics and functional data to enable rapid interactive annotation, integration, visualisation, analysis and sharing. The wealth of data (including genomics, CRISPR screens, drug sensitivity and patient outcomes) incorporated into these resources, will in turn be leveraged by the Research Fellow to identify genetic or treatment induced targetable vulnerabilities (particularly those linked to p53/KRAS status, cell death and immunity) in molecularly defined sub-groups of CRC.

Applicants will therefore be expected to have significant experience working in the R/Shiny environment as well as using next-generation sequencing technologies (NGS). The successful candidate will also be expected to also provide organisational support to the programme, in terms of storage and analysis of data, and presentation of results. They will become an integral member of a dynamic, collaborative and well equipped research group that puts a strong focus on interdisciplinary functional genomics driven research. The post holder will be expected to liaise strongly with the team leaders, learn and be familiar with appropriate techniques; as well as providing organisational support to the programme, in terms of storage and analysis of data, and presentation of results. Our group provides a stimulating research environment where collaboration and development of new ideas is strongly encouraged, alongside support for career development for emerging talents. 

The successful candidate must have:

  • Have or be in preparation for submission of a PhD in molecular cancer biology, computational biology, bioinformatics or related discipline.
  • 3 years relevant computational experience with genomic data analysis, to include NGS alignment pipeline development and implementation in high-performance computing cluster and downstream NGS analysis  workflow development
  • Significant experience in development of R/Shiny applications for genomics data analysis,  integration and sharing
  • Experience of working with Linux/UNIX and high performance computing environments.
  • Publication of peer-reviewed papers that include a component of bioinformatics analysis.
  • Relevant NGS laboratory experience (e.g. RNA-seq, ChIP-seq etc.)  

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 based on our talented, multinational workforce. Throughout the University, our academics are collaborating across disciplines to develop new discoveries and insights, working with outside agencies and institutions on projects of international 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 School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences currently hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Silver award. 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 affordable cities in the UK. The choice of local Schools from pre-nursery upwards are some of the best available, and lovers of the outdoors can enjoy any number of activities from rowing and kayaking to top class golf among many others. We are immensely proud of what our city and our University will offer you.

For full job details and criteria please see 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 please contact Resourcing Team, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN. Telephone (028) 9097 3044 or email resourcing@qub.ac.uk.

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. We welcome applications from all sections of society and particularly from people with a disability.

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.

Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr. Fiammetta Falcone via email to ffalcone01@qub.ac.uk

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