Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years
Grading: 5 or 6 (monthly salary starting at £2,738 - £3,063 per month after tax)
Closing Date: 28 July 2020
Reference Number: EBI01649
The Open Targets (OT) project aims to systematically identify and prioritise drug targets by combining genetic, clinical and functional genomics data. It is a shared initiative between the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), a global leader in the management, integration and analysis of public domain life science data; world-leading pharmaceutical companies GSK, Takeda, Sanofi and Bristol Myers Squibb; and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, a world-leading genomics institution with expertise in human genetics, cancer and infectious disease.

Within the consortium, the OT Platform integrates the growing body of evidence and provides the necessary context in order to inform the drug discovery process in the public domain.  

Your role

We are seeking an enthusiastic Bioinformatician to join our Core Team and contribute to this endeavour.

The OT Core team is a cross-disciplinary group including bioinformaticians, postdoctoral researchers, software developers, outreach and training specialists. As a member of the Data team within the Core team, your role will involve the integration and analysis of the most relevant data sources, as well as building the appropriate models for integrating and scoring targets-disease associations. A good understanding of the biological questions that surround the drug discovery hypothesis is highly recommended.

The role also involves collaborating closely with data providers across the Open Targets consortia, and demonstrating initiative in the development and refinement of suitable data feeds. Supported by a team of  software developers, the candidate is expected to leverage the more than 50 data sources we integrate in the OT Platform, in order to better identify and prioritise targets.  Manipulating files representing nested biological data will be a routine part of the role.

The postholder will also have the opportunity to help to interpret large-scale biological data in the context of drug discovery, including data from some of the most recent technologies (i.e. CRISPR screenings, single- cell transcriptomics, etc.). Further computational work using network analysis or pathway enrichment might occasionally be required. Similarly, the role might require familiarising with recent advances in machine learning and natural language processing (BioBert or SpaCy), as well as with the most up-to-date technologies on Big Data manipulation (Apache Spark and others) and cloud computing (Google Cloud). You may also contribute to the development of summary statistics and QC measures for the OT Platform Build and development of documentation of processes and external facing pages such as API tutorials.  

You have

  • Applicants should possess a masters or PhD degree in computational biology, bioinformatics or other computational sciences.
  • Previous experience in bioinformatics, database technologies and genome-wide biological data analysis.
  • Experience in data integration/analysis with Python/R.
  • Familiarity with the command line and version control systems.
  • The ability to work constructively and collaboratively within a team, and with other groups.

You might also have

  • Familiarity with drug discovery data or chemoinformatics databases.
  • Experience with biomedical ontologies and associated tools.
  • Experience in any ML framework: scikit-learn, tensorflow, etc.
  • Exposure to Docker, Elasticsearch and API development
  • A proven track record of working on large-scale data analysis projects and an understanding of the challenges posed by collaborative projects including flexibility, tight deadlines, and use of state-of-the- art approaches.
  • Experience working in a fast moving, continuous deployment environment with source control and managed releases.
  • Experience working with Open Targets Platform data.

Why join us

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by over 27 member states and two associate member states. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 850 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation. For more information about pay and benefits click here

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.

Join our diverse and international team to contribute to an innovative, large-scale, multi-year, public-private partnership that uses human genetics and genomics data as well as the most innovative informatics technologies for systematic drug target identification and prioritisation, and ultimately to help the development of more efficacious and safer treatments for patients.

You will have the opportunity to work on different data sets, the challenge of thinking of new innovative ways to incorporate this data, and working collaboratively to drive the Platform forward

What else you need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please click here

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system. Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. 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.

This position is limited to the project duration specified.

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