Human Resources

Postdoctoral Research Assistant - QMUL12485

Department: Centre for Tumour Biology, Barts Cancer Institute
Salary: £32,956 - £43,152 (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL12485
Date posted: 01-Sep-2017
Closing date: 30-Sep-2017

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Barts Cancer Institute

Centre for Tumour Biology

Postdoctoral Research Assistant to study the evolution of Barrett’s Oesophagus to Cancer

Applications are sought for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to undertake genetic and phenotypic investigations into the evolution of Barrett’s oesophagus to cancer using a bioinformatic and modelling strategy. They will work under the supervision of Dr Stuart McDonald, the Principal Investigator (PI) ( of the Clonal Dynamics in Epithelia laboratory , in order to realise the objectives of a Cancer Research UK funded programme grant predicting risk of cancer development in patients with Barrett’s oesophagus. This is a multidisciplinary group that includes wet lab scientists, bioinformaticians and clinicians.

Barrett’s oesophagus is the major precursor lesion of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) in the UK. OAC has a poor survival rate and Barrett’s is common but conversion to cancer is rare. However ALL Barrett’s patients undergo regular endoscopic surveillance for signs of cancer which is expensive and yet there are no prognostic biomarkers to predict cancer risk, therefore surveillance is life-long. We believe that this is because we do not understand the evolution of Barrett’s to cancer. We are seeking an experienced post doctoral scientist to investigate how Barrett’s glands evolve, investigating the clonal relationships between glands with the intent of developing a predictive model of cancer risk using genetic and phenotypic data. Experience in bioinformatics and/or modelling biological processes is essential in order to perform novel analysis of genomic data acquired from a cohort of Barrett’s patients followed over time that either have or have not progressed to cancer, in order to determine evolutionary patterns that can predict cancer risk. The successful candidate will be expected to help drive the direction of the project and develop novel methodology that will allow clinicians to stratify patient surveillance based on cancer risk and their response to therapy, currently a major unmet need.

The research will be based in the Centre for Tumour Biology, Barts Cancer Institute, within the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

Essential requirements for this post include a PhD in a relevant bioinformatics or mathematics or biological subject (with a significant component of analyzing and modelling big data) and an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. Research experience in bioinformatics or mathematics or genetic analysis or modelling biological processes is essential. Research experience in cancer would also be desirable. Furthermore, an appropriate publication record is essential. A demonstrated ability to communicate well, work within a team and maintain good laboratory records are also essential.

The post is full time, fixed term position for 3 years (with a further 3 years upon successful programme renewal). Starting salary will be in the range £32405-£42431 per annum inclusive of London Allowance. Benefits include 30 days annual leave, a defined benefit pension scheme and an interest free season ticket loan.

The Barts Cancer Institute requires applicants to provide all certificates at interview to confirm their qualifications (specified in the job description). Please be aware there are specific job descriptions for each post.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Informal enquiries about this post, including arrangements to visit the Institute/Centre are encouraged and can be made to Dr Stuart McDonald Tel: 0207 882 3800 or email Website:

Details about Barts Cancer Institute can be found at

To apply, please click the 'Apply Online' button below.

The closing date is 30th September 2016 and the interviews are likely to be held in the week commencing 10th October 2016. It is expected the positions will commence 3rd January 2018 although there is some flexibility.

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