Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Genome Biology)
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Genome Biology)
Post Number
1004596
Closing Date
7 Mar 2024
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£35,300 - £43,750
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Single molecule analysis of Human DNA replication
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 May 2024
Months Duration
36
Interview Date
21 Mar 2024

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

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

This is a frontier science research project to apply nanopore sequencing methods to characterise the dynamics of human genome replication on single molecules. Complete, accurate genome replication is essential for life. Complete genome replication is achieved by initiating DNA replication at thousands of discrete sites. Both the characteristics of replication initiation sites and subsequent interruptions to replication have been implicated in human genetic and phenotypic variation. The location and distribution of replication initiation sites across the human genome have been proposed to underlie genome instability and the biogenesis of tumorigenic translocations.

This is a collaborative project with the Kanemaki group (National Institute of Genetics, Japan) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies. The post holder will be involved in cell culture, single molecule high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis to identify sites of DNA replication initiation and sequences that impede the replication fork. Precise identification of sites of replication initiation and replication impediment is crucial since such sites have been implicated in the biogenesis of tumorigenic translocations. We are looking for a cell biologist / genome biologist with experience of high throughput sequencing. The appointed 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, including Prof. Kanemaki (National Institute of Genetics, Japan) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies, who are engaged in complimentary research.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Undertake mammalian cell culture, advanced molecular biology, cell cycle analysis and high-throughput sequencing to analyse DNA replication dynamics.
40
Undertake bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput sequencing data to test hypotheses.
40
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
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genomics, Genetics, Bioinformatics or a related discipline
Essential
Science Degree (e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics or a related discipline)
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

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

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Experience in oral research presentations
Essential
Good publication track record
Essential
Experience with python, R or equivalent programming language
Desirable
Experience in studying mechanisms of genome stability
Desirable
Experience of analysing high-throughput sequence data
Desirable
Experience researching, developing and optimising molecular biology protocols; experience troubleshooting of such protocols
Desirable
Experience of culturing mammalian cells
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential
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

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
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

Who We Are

Earlham Institute

About the Earlham Institute
The Earlham Institute is a hub of life science research, training, and innovation focused on understanding the natural world through the lens of genomics.

We are building a future where the biology of any organism can be understood by analysing its genome. Our mission is to decode the scale and complexity of living systems so we can understand, benefit from, and protect life on Earth.

The Earlham Institute is based on the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from the UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC).

Our Science
Earlham Institute scientists specialise in developing and testing the latest tools and approaches needed to decode living systems and make predictions about biology.

We are home to state-of-the-art facilities and technology, creating a unique combination of expertise and infrastructure. We have dedicated laboratories for genome sequencing, single-cell analysis, engineering biology, and large-scale automation; as well as one of the largest supercomputing facilities for life science research in Europe. Our Advanced Training team also provides access to specialised scientific training to upskill the next generation of research and technical staff.

Our Culture
The Earlham Institute champions 'team science'. Our collegiate and innovative research environment comes with significant support, including a commitment to your professional development, research and administrative assistance, and opportunities to build collaborations with scientists and industry on the Norwich Research Park, across the UK, and internationally.

The Institute is also home to talented technical and operational staff, whose invaluable contributions enable our science to have the maximum impact. We aim to recognise, reward, and develop all staff and students so that every individual feels able to achieve their best with us.

We work hard to nurture an engaged and positive workplace, centred on core values that include openness, technical excellence, and collaboration. We attract staff from around the world who contribute to - and benefit from - an environment that enables them to deliver world-class science alongside a supportive and social community.

For more information about working at the Earlham Institute, please click here.

Further Information:

  • Our Vision and Mission
  • Our Strategy
  • Our Culture
  • Life at Earlham Institute
  • Department

    Research Faculty

    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. More details are available here and here.

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    Postdoctoral Research Scientist - Genome Biologist 

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

    Background:

    Single molecule analysis of Human DNA replication

    Complete, accurate genome replication is essential for life. Complete genome replication is achieved by initiating DNA replication at thousands of discrete sites. Both the characteristics of replication initiation sites and subsequent interruptions to replication have been implicated in human genetic and phenotypic variation (Saxena & Zou, 2022). The location and distribution of replication initiation sites across the human genome have been proposed to underlie genome instability and the biogenesis of tumorigenic translocations. This project will apply nanopore sequencing to identifies replication initiation sites across the human genome.

    In collaboration with the Kanemaki group (National Institute of Genetics, Japan) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies we will apply nanopore sequencing to characterise the dynamics of human genome replication on single molecules (Mülleret al., 2019). This will identify sites of DNA replication initiation and sequences that impede the replication fork. Induced protein degradation will be used to test factors involved in replication initiation and stable replication fork progression. Precise identification of sites of replication initiation and replication impediment is crucial since such sites have been implicated in the biogenesis of tumorigenic translocations. 

    Saxena & Zou (2022). Hallmarks of DNA replication stressMol Cell 82, 2298–2314.
    Müller et al. (2019). Capturing the dynamics of genome replication on individual ultra-long nanopore sequence reads. Nat. Methods,16:429.

    The role:

    This post requires a Cell Biologist / Genome Biologist with experience of high throughput sequencing 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 mammalian cell culture, single molecule high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analysis.

    The ideal candidate:

    We seek to appoint a well-trained, enthusiastic and self-motivated scientist with experience in applying high-throughput sequencing in scientific research. The post-holder should hold a PhD/DPhil in molecular biology, bioinformatics, genomics, genetics or equivalent. 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 a combination of mammalian cell culture and bioinformatics experience 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 either the cellular or bioinformatic techniques.

    Additional information:

    Salary on appointment will be within the range £35,300 to £43,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 36 months.

    Interviews will be held on 21 March 2024.

    To apply, please submit a CV and cover letter that details your interest and how you meet the job requirements.

    This role meets the criteria for a visa application, and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply.  Please contact the Human Resources Team if you have any questions regarding your application or visa options.

    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 7 March 2024