Postdoctoral fellow Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Postdoctoral Fellow
Contract Duration: 36 months
Grading: Year 1 Stipend monthly £2,869.24
Closing Date: 22 February 2022
Reference Number: EBI01965
We are seeking a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to join the
Marioni laboratory and use single-cell genomics data to construct and compare
senescence trajectories for cells.
This project is part of the new NIH-funded Cellular Senescence Network
Consortium (SenNet). You will be based at the EMBL-EBI in Hinxton working as
part of a larger collaboration with investigators predominantly based in the
The Marioni group is a world leader in computational biology, with a
particular interest in developing methods that exploit high-throughput single
cell genomics data to understand the molecular mechanisms that underpin
decision making in cells in the context of normal development and cancer. The
lab has contributed some of the most influential papers in the field of single
cell genomics, including key methodological advances that have underpinned
numerous scientific insights. John Marioni is also a key member of the teams
leading development of the NIH funded Human BioMolecular Atlas Program
Consortium (HuBMAP) and the international Human Cell Atlas project (HCA).
This project will build on the success of these ongoing collaborations and,
importantly, will enable the specific identification and prioritisation of
senescent cells that may be poorly represented in standard healthy reference
The successful candidate will have a strong background in computational
biology, with a PhD in a relevant discipline. They will also have excellent
communication skills and a genuine interest in applying computational methods
to biological questions.
The aim of this project is to develop and utilise computational methods for
constructing and comparing trajectories of senescence using single-cell
genomics data. A key challenge will be to compare these trajectories between
cell types, using Dynamical Time Warping and Gaussian Process-based methods,
to determine whether the rate of senescence varies between cell types. This
will allow identification of cell types that senesce at different rates and
whether these rates vary across different molecular features (e.g., chromatin
accessibility and gene expression).
Another possible project is to develop methods for understanding what
extrinsic features might drive these differences (e.g., does an organ have a
metabolic function?) and to predict early senescing cells. To do this we will
use linear modelling based strategies, enabling proper accounting for
It will be important to link with the other consortium partners to ensure that
any findings are tested experimentally, thereby complementing the analysis and
experimental parts of SenNeT.
Methodologies and data will be transferred between SenNeT partners as and when
needed. Some travel to the US (pandemic allowing) will be required.
Develop and apply computational methods that enable the construction and
comparison of senescence trajectories for cells using single-cell omics
Drive your own research within the laboratory, working closely with the
group leader and the wider consortium, while also demonstrating creativity
and initiative to develop novel approaches and research questions;
Write up research work for presentation and publication;
Communicate material of a specialist or highly technical nature clearly
and appropriately to the group, institute and at scientific conferences;
Contribute to the smooth running of the research group and assist in
supervision of junior lab members.
A PhD in computational biology or a relevant discipline;
Experience in single cell genomics;
Presented research findings both internally and at international meetings;
Demonstrated ability to publish research in international peer reviewed
Proven ability to develop computational methods with applications in
Expertise in statistical methods and modelling;
Strong analytical and programming skills (preferably in R and/or
Excellent communication skills, verbal and written;
Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively with
other group members and external collaborators;
Ability to manage own workload and meet deadlines.
Why join us
Do something meaningful
At EMBL-EBI you can apply your talent and passion to accelerate science and
tackle some of humankind's greatest challenges. EMBL-EBI, part of the European
Molecular Biology Laboratory, is a worldwide leader in the storage, analysis
and dissemination of large biological datasets. We provide the global research
community with access to publicly available databases and tools which are
crucial for the advancement of healthcare, food security, and biodiversity.
Join a culture of innovation
We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, alongside other prominent
research and biotech organisations, and surrounded by beautiful Cambridgeshire
countryside. This is a highly collaborative and inclusive community where our
employees enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. We are committed to ensuring our
employees feel valued, supported and empowered to reach their professional
Financial incentives: Monthly family and child allowances, generous
stipend reviewed yearly, pension scheme including 17% employer
contribution, death benefit, long-term care, accident-at-work and
Flexible working arrangements
Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family
(including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
Generous time off: 30 days annual leave per year, in addition to eight
Campus life: Free shuttle bus to and from work, on-site library,
subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria, casual dress code, extensive sports
and social club activities (on campus and remotely)
Family benefits : On-site nursery, 10 days of child sick leave,
generous parental leave, holiday clubs on campus and monthly family and
Benefits for non-UK residents: Visa exemption.
For more details please see our employee benefits page.
What else you need to know
Contract duration: This position is a 3 year fellowship contract with
the possibility of an extension up to 5 years
International applicants: We recruit internationally and successful
candidates are offered visa exemptions. Read more on our page for
Diversity and inclusion : At EMBL-EBI, we strongly believe that
inclusive and diverse teams benefit from higher levels of innovation and
creative thought. We encourage applications from women, LGBTQ+ and
individuals from all nationalities.
Job location: This role is based in Hinxton, UK and you will be
required to relocate once it is safe to do so, if you are currently based
abroad. Read more about how we are recruiting during the pandemic.
DORA - EMBL is a signatory of DORA and is committed to hiring and
training outstanding research, service, and administrative personnel.