Postdoctoral Fellow
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Postdoctoral Fellow
Contract Duration:3 years
Grading:Year 1 stipend (£2,630 monthly)
Closing Date:4th March 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01140

Job Description

Applicants are invited to apply for a postdoctoral Research fellowship based jointly at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton and the Department of Medical Genetics in Cambridge. We are looking for an enthusiastic and talented scientist to study the impact of human variants on biological function and disease, based on analysis of protein structural data. This close collaboration between the laboratories of Professor Lucy Raymond in Cambridge University and Professor Janet Thornton at EMBL-EBI brings together technical structural bioinformatics and clinical research to discover the origins of inherited rare diseases.

You will undertake functional analysis of rare genetic variants to understand and define the role of individual genetic variation in determining pathogenicity. The researcher will focus on neurological conditions including intellectual disability, HSP, retinal dystrophy and pain using bioinformatics analysis and assessment of tools for protein predictions. The main aim of this project is to improve classification of genetic variants and to improve clinical interpretation of variant of unknown significance. We will focus on the genetic and clinical data gathered by the Biological Resource Centre in Cambridge. You will explore what additional information can be extracted from protein structural data, combined with other relevant data, to reveal the impact of such mutations. This position will be closely linked to the clinical application of such methods and developing tools to allow the clinicians to make most effective use of such information.

The successful candidate will be employed by EMBL-EBI and will be based within the Thornton group on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK but will work seamlessly between the Department of Medical Genetics in the University of Cambridge, the NHS Genomics Medicine Centre in Cambridge and the EMBL-EBI.

Qualifications and Experience

You will have completed, or be close to finishing a PhD in Bioinformatics, computer science, chemistry, physics or medicine. You should have good knowledge of protein structures and one or more programming languages such as Perl/Python/Java/C/C++. Experience with clinical data and systems biology approaches would also be an advantage.

The ability to work effectively in a small team of bioinformaticians within the Thornton Group and collaborate effectively with researchers at UCL is important. Strong scientific communication skills are a prerequisite as are excellent English and interpersonal skills.


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive stipend, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, and family related benefits where applicable.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

It is envisaged that interviews will take place on 12th April 2018.