Bioinformatician – Translational Cancer Therapeutics


Bioinformatician – Translational Cancer Therapeutics

This is a full-time fixed term 2 year position on Crick Terms and Conditions of Employment with secondment to the UCL Cancer Institute, London.

Salary is competitive plus benefits


We are seeking a highly experienced (>5 years of relevant experience), interactive and self-motivated Bioinformatician to work on evolutionary biology in renal cancer. The successful applicant will have a proven track record of publications in high impact journals, be fluent in at least one of the following programming languages: C++, Python or R, and is expected to have strong skills in the field of statistics and mathematics. Knowledge of and experience with Bayesian statistics is particularly desired.

Professor Charles Swanton and Dr Samra Turajlic are leading a Renal TRACERx initiative, a large scale longitudinal genomics study in renal cell carcinoma utilizing deep multi-region tumour sequencing. The focus of the project is the investigation of renal cell cancer, cancer evolution and the development of high throughput bioinformatics techniques to decipher cancer mutational signatures and tumour evolutionary trajectories through the disease course and to predict neoantigens which may prime response to check-point inhibitors. The candidate will be expected to work within the wider TRACERx informatics team which includes Renal and Lung TRACERx and utilise mathematical and statistical methods to deconvolute cancer evolution based in particular upon next generation sequencing data. In addition, the candidate will be expected to have multidisciplinary skills working with clinical and scientific staff and a proven commitment to the delivery of research in the field of evolutionary biology.

The successful applicant for the bioinformatics position in the TRACERx initiative will be employed by the Francis Crick Institute and seconded to be based within the Translational Cancer Therapeutics laboratory of the Research Department of Oncology at the UCL Cancer Institute. The laboratories are extremely well equipped, with an attractive working environment. The research will be conducted in close collaboration with the Royal Marsden, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals and the laboratories at both the Francis Crick Institute and UCL Cancer Institute.

The successful candidate will join a successful multi-disciplinary team of cancer evolutionary biologists and renal cancer translational research clinicians where all stages of novel cancer treatment, from design of therapeutics, to application in the clinic are achievable within the UCL Cancer Institute and the Francis Crick Institute.

Project Summary

TRACERx Renal (TRAcking Renal Cancer Evolution through therapy/Rx):
TRACERx Renal Overview

TRACERx Renal draws on the expertise the TRACERx consortium has developed in the analysis of genomic heterogeneity in a range of tumour types, including RCC and lung cancer. The TRACERx Renal Study currently operates at 4 centres in the UK (The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Western General Hospital (Edinburgh, NHS Lothian)) prospectively enrolling patients with primary RCC stages I-IV from diagnosis through surgical and/or systemic treatment. Longitudinal tissue bio-sampling is performed at various time-points, including at diagnosis, initial surgery and relapse, alongside longitudinal clinical data collection including; demographics, comorbidities and pre-existing renal disease, presenting symptoms, radiological imaging, surgery type, detailed pathological data, staging, currently available prognostic indices, any systemic treatment exposure, including details of response and toxicities, and survivorship data. .Blood and urine for cfDNA is collected alongside tissue bio-sampling and during clinical follow-up.

The principal objectives of TRACERx Renal are to define drivers and ITH in RCC and determine the relationship between ITH and disease stage, clinical outcome and treatment response. Exploratory objectives include the identification of drivers of metastatic progression and drug response, or resistance and establishing the utility of cell-free tumour DNA (cfDNA) in patients’ blood and urine as a predictive biomarker in RCC. Finally it will assess the impact of the genomic landscape upon anti-tumour T cell responses and generate cell lines from paired primary-metastatic regions.


These include but not limited to;

• To work within the informatics team of the TRACERx program.

• To provide expert mathematical and statistical support

• To employ novel informatics techniques based on evolutionary principles to the analysis of tumour subclonal evolution.

• To employ novel informatics techniques based on evolutionary principles to the analysis of tumour neoantigen landscape

• To assist in the delivery and rapid processing of tumour data to inform ongoing translational aims in the TRACERx Renal

• To liaise with scientific staff with expertise in circulating tumour DNA/tumour cell analysis to maximise use and interpretation of orthogonal tumour data to decipher lung cancer evolutionary strategies.

• To record all experiments in an accurate, timely and clearly presented manner, and use this to prepare data summaries and reports as and when required.

• To attend, and report research results at regular group and national meetings.

• To contribute to the dissemination of scientific results by means of writing papers for publication, and presenting orally and in poster form at national and international meetings.


The Francis Crick Institute (the Crick) is a registered charity whose purpose is to conduct biomedical research into all aspects of human health and disease. Dedicated to research excellence, the institute will be a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation.

In 2016, the Crick will move to a single new, purpose built research centre in St. Pancras which will house some 1,500 staff.


The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: Bold, Imaginative, Open, Dynamic and Collegial, in addition to the following:

• Postdoctoral qualification (PhD)
• Previous experience of multi-disciplinary working
• Demonstrated deep understanding of the principles of mathematics and statistics
• Evidence of independence and original contributions to research
• Previous experience in the field of evolutionary biology desired
• Evidence of publications
• Ability to analyse data and write up results in a timely manner
• Good inter-personal skills with an ability to liaise effectively with other members of the group
• Good presentation skills (to internal and external audiences, including international conferences)
• Good computer skills e.g. Word, Excel
• Fluent in R, python or C++
• Experience with Machine Learning desired
• Good understanding of statistics and mathematics
• Experience with Bayesian statistics
• Commitment to high quality research
• Ability to present complex data at meetings
• Ability to represent the PI at consortium and other meetings
For any questions, please contact us on


Source: Nature Jobs

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