Postdoctoral Research Scientist - Molecular Biologist
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Research Scientist - Molecular Biologist
Post Number
1004168
Closing Date
31 Jan 2022
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£32,578 - £39,938
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Single molecule detection of DNA replication errors
Expected/Ideal Start Date
04 Apr 2022
Months Duration
36
Interview Date
10 Feb 2022

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

This is a frontier science project to apply nanopore sequencing methods to detect DNA replication errors and discover sources of genome instability. The post-holder will be involved in yeast genetics, advanced molecular biology and single molecule high-throughput sequencing.
Errors during DNA replication are the major source of genetic variation during evolution and disease progression. We have developed novel single-molecule and population-level genomic assays that reveal the dynamics of genome replication. In this project, we will apply single-molecule nanopore sequencing to detect errors during DNA replication. We will apply this approach to determine what DNA sequences can pose an obstacle to the DNA replication machinery; what protein factors assist in getting past such obstacles; and how pausing of the replication machinery is linked to errors during the copying process. This is important because a single DNA replication error on one chromosome in a single cell division can give rise to genomic disorders, including cancer.
We are looking for a molecular biologist, with experience of yeast genetics. The candidate will work independently, with other group members and with national and international collaborators to generate and analyse data.

Key Relationships

Reporting to Conrad Nieduszynski (Group Leader), the post holder will work closely with other members of the group and key collaborators who are engaged in complimentary research.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Undertake yeast genetics, molecular biology, cell cycle analysis and high-throughput sequencing to analyse replication fork kinetics.
60
Undertake bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput sequencing data to test hypotheses.
20
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post such as supervision and training or contributing to the work of Institute committees.
10
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in scientific journals and other relevant media.
5
Disseminate research findings through presentations to audiences at internal, national and international meetings.
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
Degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics or a related discipline
Essential
PhD/DPhil in molecular biology, biochemistry, genomics, genetics or a related discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
A broad understanding of molecular biology techniques
Essential
Development and optimisation of protocols
Essential
Interest in applying nanopore sequencing to discovery science questions, particularly in the field of genome biology
Essential
Interest in chromosome biology
Essential
Knowledge of yeast genetics and/or cell cycle analyses
Desirable
Understanding of bioinformatic analyses
Desirable
Understanding of the principles of nanopore sequencing
Desirable
Knowledge of functional genome analysis
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Experience researching, developing and optimising molecular biology protocols; experience troubleshooting of such protocols
Essential
Experience in oral research presentations
Essential
Good publication track record
Essential
Experience of genome engineering and/or yeast genetics
Desirable
Experience of analysing high-throughput sequence data
Desirable
Experience in studying mechanisms of genome stability
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Enthusiastic and self-motivated
Essential

Who We Are

Earlham Institute

Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.

Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.

Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.

Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.

Department

Organisms and Ecosystems

Group Details

Complete, accurate replication of the genome is crucial for life. Errors during DNA replication give rise to genetic changes that fuel evolution and can cause disease; failures during genome replication directly underlie several human disorders. DNA replication is the direct target of many therapeutic agents.

We use a variety of molecular, genomic, bioinformatic and mathematical modelling approaches to understand how DNA replication is regulated to ensure genome stability. By focusing on the basic biology that underpins cell growth and division, we envisage providing novel insights that will help our understanding of the sources of genetic and phenotypic diversity that contribute to disease.

Living in Norfolk

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Postdoctoral Research Scientist - Molecular Biologist

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the Laboratory of Conrad Nieduszynski at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK.

Background:

Single molecule detection of DNA replication errors

Errors during DNA replication are the major source of genetic variation during evolution and disease progression. We have developed novel single-molecule (Müller et al., 2019) and population-level (Batrakou et al., 2020) genomic technologies that reveal the dynamics of genome replication. In this project, we will use single-molecule nanopore sequencing to detect errors during DNA replication. We will apply this approach to determine what DNA sequences can pose an obstacle to the DNA replication machinery; what protein factors assist in getting past such obstacles; and how pausing of the replication machinery is linked to errors during the copying process. This is important because a single DNA replication error on one chromosome in a single cell division can give rise to genomic disorders, including cancer.

Müller et al. (2019). Capturing the dynamics of genome replication on individual ultra-long nanopore sequence reads. Nat. Methods,16:429.
Batrakou et al. (2020). DNA copy-number measurement of genome replication dynamics by high-throughput sequencing: the sort-seq, sync-seq and MFA-seq family. Nat. Protoc,15:1255.

The role:

This post requires an experienced molecular biologist with an interest in using their expertise to study fundamental biological processes and the causes of genome instability. The post-holder will be involved in yeast genetics, advanced molecular biology and single molecule high-throughput sequencing.

The ideal candidate:

We seek to appoint a well-trained, enthusiastic and self-motivated scientist possessing experience in molecular biology and the ability to research, adapt and improve upon state-of-the-art genomic techniques. The post-holder should hold a PhD/DPhil in molecular biology, biochemistry, genomics, genetics or equivalent. Previous experience researching, developing and optimising molecular biology protocols is essential. Furthermore, good organisational skills and the ability to communicate and work productively within a multidisciplinary team will be crucial. An interest in chromosome biology will be essential, but prior experience or knowledge of DNA replication or genome stability is not a requirement. Candidates with experience of yeast genetics, genome engineering and genomics technologies would be especially welcome. Training will be available in all aspects of the work, although it is expected that applicants will have a strong background in the majority of the molecular and genetic techniques.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £32,258 to £39,928 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a full-time post for a contract of 36 months.

Interview will be held on 10th February 2022.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

The closing date for applications will be 31st January 2022.