Bioinformatician (Ecological Networks)
Post Details
Job Title
Bioinformatician (Ecological Networks)
Post Number
1003757
Closing Date
10 Sep 2019
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,625 - £38,575
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Bioinformatic exploration of inter-Kingdom microbial communities in the human gut during ageing
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Nov 2019
Months Duration
36
Interview Date
19 Sep 2019

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

The purpose of this position is to computationally research the human gut, answering the questions which microbial interactions or adaptations (bacterial, viral and fungal) are key to health and how they change with disease and age. A smaller part will be analysing environmental metagenomic samples (soil mostly) and helping with the analysis of animal derived microbiomes. Further, helping with grant and manuscripts writing, representing the group at conferences, and contributing to supervision of junior group members will be an important part of this post.

The position is funded through the BBSRC institute core funding. As such, the main project is to analyse thousands of metagenomic samples derived from the institutes PEARL and MOTION longitudinal studies of Norfolk participants. The PEARL Study follows mothers and infants, researching pathogen invasion and the processes leading to an establishment of a healthy microbiome. The MOTION Study is focused on elder patients and researches age-related decline in cognitive function and its association with changes in the intestinal microbiome. The successful applicant will research the dependencies between microbes of the gut microbiota at different life stages, taking advantage of longitudinal sampling and strain resolved metagenomics of novel and known taxa. To analyse this metagenomic data, the Hildebrand group has a unique set of lab-internal software pipelines, that the candidate will help in running on data sets, as well as further extending these to research evolutionary and community-interaction centric questions. The aim is to understand microbes central to a healthy microbiome, their role within the microbiome and adaptations necessary for their establishment and use as e.g. probiotics.

Key Relationships

The successful candidate will interact with other groups and the core bioinformatics team at both Quadram and Earlham Institute. Training and co-supervising PhD students and visitors is an integral part of this post, as is coordinating research activities with other groups in the Gut Microbes and Health programme and across the Norwich Research Park. The candidate will have the opportunity to visit external collaborators (UK & EU) on research projects.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Analyse and interpret metagenomic data, including analysing environmental metagenomic samples (soil mostly) and helping with the analysis of animal derived microbiomes
50
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
20
Contribute to supervision of research students and visitors to the group where necessary
10
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
5
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
5
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements
5
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post, for example, contributing to the work of Institute committees.
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (computational or biological)
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Numerical ecology
Desirable
Genome analysis
Desirable
Ecological networks
Desirable
Evolutionary theory
Desirable
Microbiology
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Proven track-record of research output at the appropriate level
Essential
Programming language at advanced level
Essential
Metagenomics
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent communication skills (written) in English language
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, work well as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Desirable

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Curiosity in scientific processes
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential

Who We Are

Quadram Institute Bioscience

The Quadram Institute is at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health, developing solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health.

We are engaged in fundamental and translational food and health research, alongside clinical studies, endoscopy and industry, working together to become a leading international hub for food and health research, combining scientific excellence and clinical expertise, delivering impacts on patient care and accelerating innovation.

The Quadram Institute is a diverse and multicultural scientific community. We thrive on our international and European links, appointing staff from across the world. We expect this to continue post Brexit. However, any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

For more information about working at Quadram Institute Bioscience, please click here.

Department

Gut Microbes and Health

Group Details

The Hildebrand group is researching bacteria and microeukaryotes through metagenomics, having three research themes: microbial diversity, microbial communities, microbial evolution. For this we have developed innovative ways to analyse and interpret biological data, going beyond species-centric interpretations of microbial ecosystems. Our research focuses on the human gut microbiome, and extends to environmental (e.g. soil) microbiomes. The group is newly established at both the Quadram Institute for Bioscience (Gut Microbes & Health) and the Earlham Institute (sequencing technologies & algorithms) in Norwich. For further group information see www.falk.science.

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Bioinformatician (Ecological Networks)

Applications are invited for a Bioinformatician to join the Laboratory of Dr Falk Hildebrand in the Gut Microbes and Health Programme at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.

Background:

The Hildebrand group is developing novel algorithms to interpret metagenomic data from gastrointestinal and environmental microbial communities. The aim of the group is to bridge the gap between experimental results and informatic predictions using big data approaches (machine learning, numerical ecology, evolutionary theory), with the ultimate goal of understanding host ailments and reacting to these. For further group information see www.falk.science

The role:

This 3-year funded position has the aim to computationally analyse thousands of metagenomic samples derived from the PEARL and MOTION longitudinal studies. The PEARL Study follows mothers and infants, researching pathogen invasion and the processes leading to an establishment of a healthy microbiome. The MOTION Study is focused on elder patients and researches age-related decline in cognitive function and its association with changes in the intestinal microbiome.

The successful applicant will research the dependencies between microbes of the gut microbiota at different life stages, taking advantage of longitudinal sampling and strain resolved metagenomics of novel and known taxa. To analyse this metagenomic data, the Hildebrand group has a unique set of lab-internal software pipelines, that the candidate will help in running, as well as further extending these to research evolutionary and community-interaction centric questions. The aim is to understand microbes central to a healthy microbiome, their role within the microbiome and adaptations necessary for their establishment and use as e.g. probiotics.

Further, the applicant will have an active role in building and managing a growing research group, by contributing to both supervising PhD students and grant / manuscript writing. The post offers opportunities for personal development, work flexibility, traveling to international conferences / collaborators and scientific responsibility.

The ideal candidate:

The ideal applicant will hold a PhD in Bioinformatics, Ecology or Microbiology, proficiency in Unix and workflow management systems, and the ability to program in at least one programming language to an advanced level. The computational proficiency can be evidenced by links to the candidate's public repository. We would particularly welcome candidates with expertise in molecular evolution, numerical ecology, mathematical modelling of microbial community dynamics, as well as familiarity with genomic data, associative statistics, and pipeline development. The applicant is expected to work independently and have good interdisciplinary communication skills, as the post will involve working with staff across the Institute.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a period of 3 years with a possibility of further extension. 

Interviews will be held on 19 Sep 2019. Expected start date is late 2019.

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society. The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values. To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

The closing date for applications will be 10 September 2019. 

The Quadram Institute Bioscience is a registered charity (No. 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer