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Postdoc Fellow - Exploring genetic resilience using 500K exomes

Lieu Royston, Angleterre, Royaume-Uni Job ID R-101239 Date de publication 02/25/2021

Postdoc Fellow - Exploring genetic resilience using 500,000 exomes and genomes

Cambridge, UK

Competitive Salary on Offer

Interested in contributing to genomics research? Here's your chance!

AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research (CGR) has an opportunity for a Postdoc Fellow to contribute to its Genomic Initiative. The Genomic Initiative includes the sequencing of participants from our clinical studies as well as analysing the sequence data from large population cohorts including the 500,000 UK Biobank participants. Genomics is fundamental to our laboratory research, our clinical trials and the launch of new precision medicines. Our in-house clinical genomic database is among one of the largest globally, currently housing hundreds of thousands of human exome and genome sequences. These enable AstraZeneca to identify genetic determinants of disease risk, validate new targets for medicines and improve patient stratification opportunities among the core areas of oncology, respiratory, immunology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolic disease.

About the Opportunity:

This Postdoc Fellow will use whole exome and whole genome sequencing data from the world-renowned UK Biobank to explore genetic drivers of disease resilience. Individuals who have strong genetic or environmental risk factors (including pathogenic variants in known disease-associated genes) who remain healthy are disease resilient. This resilience can be conferred by genetic variants, and the genes that harbor those variants can represent promising candidate drug targets. Advanced access to whole genome sequencing data will allow structural variants and non-coding variants to be studied. A further goal of this project will be to investigate whether heterozygous carriers of some recessive pathogenic variants can exhibit a related or sub-clinical phenotype; this is currently poorly understood for many genes.

You’ll work with our CGR Analytics & Informatics team and within a community of Postdoc Fellows using AZ’s advanced access to the UK Biobank, which combines genetic and phenotypic data from over 500,000 individuals in an unprecedented combination of breadth and depth. The phenotypic data will include hospital records, self-reported conditions, blood-based biomarkers, Olink proteomic data, and more.

Your research will be supervised by Dr Keren Carss (Genome Analytics Team Lead) and Dr Slavé Petrovski (VP and Head of Genome Analytics & Informatics), with external academic supervision from Dr Emma Davenport of the Wellcome Sanger Institute. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with world leading experts in large-scale human genomics, both within and outside of AZ. Your research will lead to high quality peer-reviewed publications and the opportunity to present at national and international meetings.

Don't miss out on this vital research project! We'd love to have you join the team.

Education and Experience:


  • A Doctoral degree in human genomics, statistical genetics, bioinformatics, computational biology or other relevant field.
  • Expertise in large-scale human genomics sequencing data analysis
  • Experience in applied statistics and/or machine learning for human genomics analysis
  • Proven communications skills, including writing of manuscripts and oral presentations
  • Coding skills appropriate for large scale human genomics analysis (e.g. R, Perl, Python, UNIX, Bash, Slurm).
  • Understanding or interest in the potential of genomics to impact drug discovery
  • Highly motivated, well organized and resourceful.
  • Proven ability to prioritize, problem-solve and perform difficult tasks while under pressure


  • Experience interacting, curating, analysing and interpreting structured and unstructured electronic health data
  • Experience quantifying and interpreting the clinical relevance of rare variants
  • Experience in case-control sequencing based statistical analyses
  • Track record of first-authored work published in reputable scientific journals.

This is a 3-year programme.  2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1 year extension which will be merit based.  The role will be based in Cambridge, UK, with a competitive salary on offer 

Advert opening date – April 11, 2021

Advert closing date – May 10, 2021

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives - and are made to feel valued, energised and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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