Postdoctoral Fellow - ChEMBL
Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Postdoctoral Fellow
Contract Duration: Until 14/02/2023 (estimated for 2 years initially)
Grading: Year 1 Stipend (£2,829 per month after tax)
Closing Date: 31 December 2020
Reference Number: EBI01734
An exciting opportunity has been created for a talented scientist to work on the development of novel computational and informatics methods to improve target selection decision-making in drug discovery. The position is jointly funded by Open Targets and the Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) projects. Open Targets is a public-private initiative between EMBL-EBI, GlaxoSmithKline, BMS, Takeda, Sanofi and the Sanger Institute to generate and integrate evidence on the validity of biological targets for drug development. The IDG is a large-scale NIH-funded initiative to develop informatics and experimental platforms with the ultimate goal of encouraging the wider community to investigate “understudied” proteins.

Your role

Based in the ChEMBL Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) but working closely with both Open Targets and IDG partners, the appointee will develop computational and informatics methods that exploit the data integrated in the Open Targets Informatics Platform and IDG’s Pharos platform together with other public resources as applicable. These two resources incorporate an ever-expanding wealth of data and information pertaining to the link between target and disease phenotype, target tractability, potential safety risks and other relevant factors. The overall goal of this project is to develop methods and insights that exploit these platforms to help drive decisions on target identification and prioritisation in the wider drug discovery and bioscience community.

The topics and research questions we wish to explore in this project include integration of machine learning models to enhance target selection decisions, exploring the changing influence of different evidence over time and developing target novelty metrics. We also welcome research ideas/proposals from candidates aligned to the overall project goals and intent as part of the application process. Anyone wishing to find out more about the role is welcome to contact Dr Andrew Leach directly via email. Please include the job requisition number in the email subject. 

You will have a strong scientific background, excellent attention to detail, good communication skills and be able to interact not only with experts from your immediate area of expertise but also with scientists from other areas (including, for example, colleagues who are primarily experimentalists). We anticipate that the outputs from this project will be incorporated into both the Open Targets and IDG informatics platforms, and so be available to the large number of both academic and industrial users of these systems.

You have

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in a biological, chemical biology or biomedical science.
  • Sound knowledge of disease biology and the mechanisms of drug action.
  • Demonstrable hands-on expertise in at least one programming/scripting language (e.g. Python).
  • Practical knowledge of modern machine learning techniques
  • Experience in data handling, file manipulation
  • Good understanding of statistical methods and their application to data analysis   
  • Ability to work accurately and quickly to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Good communication skills (both verbal and presentational)

You might also have

  • Practical experience working in a drug discovery and development environment.

Why join us

EMBL-EBI is a worldwide leader in bioinformatics. 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 encourage personal and professional development and are committed to ensuring our employees feel valued, supported and empowered to reach their potential at work. 

Surrounded by picturesque South Cambridgeshire countryside, our Campus provides employees with a relaxed atmosphere where the pursuit of scientific discovery and meaningful work, underpin every role. In addition, our employees have access to a wide range of benefits including:
  • 30 days annual leave per year plus 8 bank holidays
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Unique pension scheme including 17% employer contribution
  • Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family (including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
  • Death benefit, long-term care, accident at work and unemployment insurances
  • On-site library and subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria
  • Casual dress code
  • Free shuttle bus to and from Campus
  • Extensive sports and social club activities (run on campus and remotely)
  • Family benefits: Onsite nursery, child sick leave, generous parental leave, holiday clubs on campus and monthly family and child allowances as applicable 

What else you need to know

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system. A copy of the job description can be found here

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. See our website for more information. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

This role is based in Hinxton, UK and you will be expected to relocate if not based locally. There will be a relocation package (if required). More info on how we are currently recruiting is available on our page: Recruitment and Onboarding during Covid19

This position is limited to the project duration until 14/02/2023 in the first instance. 

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above. We will get back to you in the New Year regarding interviews should you be shortlisted.

Appointment will be based on merit alone.