Research Associate OR Research Fellow in Human genetics

London (Greater)
Research Associate £40,386-£47,414 / Research Fellow £48,737 per annum, including LWA
15 Feb 2023
End of advertisement period
22 Mar 2023
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with a strong background in statistical genetics and/or computational biology to join our team. 


The successful applicant will lead a cutting-edge research project aimed at understanding the genetic mechanisms of complex disease, with a specific focus on acne.  


Acne is the most prevalent skin disease worldwide affecting up to 85% of teenagers, with 8% having severe disease. In addition to inflammatory pain and discomfort, as a visible skin condition, the symptoms and scarring of acne are associated with a substantial psychological burden and increased suicide risk. 


Over the last 10 years our team has led the identification of the genetic variation that contributes to susceptibility and severity of acne and the biological mechanisms through which it operates. We are at an exciting point in the project's development. 


Having secured funding from the Leo Foundation, we have leveraged research collaborations across the globe to build a genetic dataset including over 75,000 individuals diagnosed with acne. The vastly increased cohort has provided a step-change in our ability to identify and resolve the genetic variation that contributes to acne susceptibility and sex specific risk. 


This role represents a unique opportunity to generate biological insights from this research dataset alongside cutting-edge single-cell transcriptome sequencing data from skin and endocrine tissues and organoid models to enable the identification of the causal mechanisms of acne, the cell-types in which they occur and the identification of therapeutic targets. There are also substantial opportunities to explore the impact of selection and use genetics as a tool to investigate the potential causal relationship between acne and mental health traits. 


The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in computational or statistical genetics and genomics or a related field with a proven track record in the analysis of large biological datasets. 


They are expected to be able to work effectively as part of a team but also to direct research independently as required. This post represents an exceptional opportunity for career development within a highly supportive environment for both early- and mid-career researchers. 


The post will be based in the research group of Professor Michael Simpson a multidisciplinary team with expertise in genetics, genomics, immunology and dermatology. The group is co-located in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and the St John's Institute of Dermatology at King's College London at the Guy's Campus in London Bridge. 


This post will be offered on an fixed-term contract till the 31st October 2025.  

This is a full-time post, 35 hours per week.


Key responsibilities

- Undertake original and state of the art human genetics research as an integral member of the team 


- Identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio of the team 


- Identify scientific and technical challenges and implement new technological approaches to solve problems 


- Contribute to collaborative decision making with colleagues 


- Manage research progress and contribute to setting objectives for the achievement of project aims 


- Maintain comprehensive analysis notes and prepare reports on results for verbal and multimedia presentations at regular lab meetings, consortium meetings and national and international conferences. 


- Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer review journals.  


- Assist, supervise and train other members of the group, including students and other research staff in their application in related lab projects. 


- Build and create networks both internally and externally to the University, to inform research strategy, explore future research requirements and share research ideas. 


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post. 

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1. PhD awarded in genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, bioinformatics or related discipline (Grade 6&7) 

2. Postdoctoral research experience in genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, bioinformatics or related discipline (Grade 7) 

3. Strong computational skills, with expertise in scripting in BASH and either R or Python (Grade 6&7) 

4. Experience with analysing complex datasets on high-performance compute clusters (Grade 6&7) 

5.  A track record of generating creative and innovative solutions to scientific problems (Grade 6&7) 

6. Organised and systematic approach to research (Grade 6&7) 

7. Demonstrated ability to perform and publish high-impact research (Grade 6&7) 

8. Ability work successfully as part of a team, to supervise the work of others and to focus team efforts and motivate individuals (Grade 6&7) 

9. Exceptional presentation skills and data visualisation skills (Grade 6&7) 

10. Evidence of self-directed productivity (Grade 6&7) 

11. Ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines (Grade 6&7) 


Desirable criteria

1.    Experience of processing and analysis of human genetic and phenotype data, including EHR data (Grade 6&7) 

2.    Experience in population genetics (Grade 6&7) 

3.    Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding and ability to develop applications to funding bodies (Grade 7)


Further information

For informal enquiries please contact Michael Simpson -

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