The laboratory is happy, international and interactive, consisting of ~10 students and post-docs from all over Europe. Members come from a wide range of educational backgrounds, including biology, chemistry and computer science. Lab members also participate in regular exchanges with our smaller group in Okinawa, Japan.
Finally, our postdocs have an excellent track record of moving onto independent PI positions.Our research
Our research takes a genomic, integrative approach to understand gene regulation and evolution. We combine genome sequence, gene expression, ChIP-seq and iCLIP data to gain insights into:
1) How gene expression is controlled;
2) How this system regulates biologically important behaviours;
3) And how a breakdown in this system leads to diseases.
As part of our recent move to the LRI, we will increasingly focus towards understanding gene regulation and evolution in the context of human diseases and cancer.
Recent research successes include: investigations of evolutionary processes in bacterial genomes (Martincorena et al, Nature 2012); mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in sex determination (Conrad et al, Science In press); and qualitative models of nucleosome-positioning and transcriptional regulation (Zaugg & Luscombe, Genome Res 2012).
Ongoing projects address the following questions.
- How are transcription factor repertoires used to control different cellular states?
- How do histone modifications and the spatial organisation of chromosomes influence transcription at a chromosome-wide scale?
- How does the transcription interface with processes such as mutagenesis and DNA-damage repair?
- How do these regulatory processes alter or break down during diseases such as bacterial infections and cancer progression?
Though our main research focus is genomics and transcriptional regulation, the laboratory is open to people who wish to develop research on other related areas of computational biology. People are given freedom to work on problems that interest them.
A typical postdoc in the laboratory performs an entirely computational project using publically available datasets. In parallel, the fellow will lead a wet/dry project with one of our close experimental collaborators including Asifa Akhtar (epigenomics), Peter Fraser (HiC, nuclear organisation) and Jernej Ule (iCLIP, protein-RNA networks). We are also building new collaborations with colleagues at the LRI.
We welcome applications from candidates with diverse educational backgrounds. The ideal candidate will have recently completed or be completing a PhD degree in Biology (molecular biology, genetics, genomics), Computational Biology (bioinformatics, systems biology) or Statistics. Applicants must have a proven publication record.
A computing background is not strictly necessary, but you must be keen to work in a dry setting. For applicants with computing experience, fluency in Linux, and excellent knowledge in a programming language is expected (Perl, Python, C/C++, R/BioConductor, MatLab etc).
Prior experience with handling genome-scale data is advantageous: examples include genome sequence and high-throughput-sequencing data for a range of research applications such as gene expression, protein-DNA/RNA binding, and chromatin conformation measurements.
Postdocs are expected to develop and lead projects, and help supervise junior members of the laboratory. The ability to work in a team is essential.
About the London Research Institute
The LRI has an international reputation for cutting edge research into basic biology and it is committed to training the next generation of research scientists. The four-year LRI Postdoctoral Programme is part of this commitment, and nearly half of Postdoctoral Fellows leave to set up their own research groups. Postdocs also benefit from living and working in one of the world’s greatest scientific, cultural and cosmopolitan capital cities.
How to Apply
All applications should be made via the Cancer Research UK careers website, where you will need to create a profile before you can submit an application.
Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology (visiting faculty)
1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan