Jobs – Bioinformatics

Posted: 23 March 2012 by Alistair Miles in Jobs
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We’re advertising bioinformatics jobs at both Oxford and Sanger (near Cambridge), see the following links for job descriptions and information on how to apply:

Here’s an excerpt from the job description:

Overview of role

All MalariaGEN projects working on parasite and vector biology depend on next-generation sequencing. Over 2,000 samples of parasite DNA have been sequenced, and at least 10,000 samples will have been sequenced by 2015. Genome sequencing has been carried out on approximately 200 Anopheles samples to date, and the aim is to sequence approximately 2,500 individuals over the next 4 years. Most parasite samples have been extracted directly from infected blood samples, and so present additional complexities such as small quantities of DNA and mixed infection.

Raw next-generation sequence data is the beginning of a complex and intellectual demanding analysis process. The primary goal is to discover robust evidence for genetic variation. However, building from raw sequence data to robust variation data is and will continue to be one of the most significant challenges facing the malaria research community over coming years. Working to iteratively improve the quality of our genetic variation data and reach deeper into the Plasmodium and Anopheles genomes is the main focus of the MalariaGEN Bioinformatician roles.

This is an extremely fast-paced area of current research and development, and new methods and tools are emerging from many leading research groups and projects, many of whom we have close contacts with. However, we have to strike a balance between looking to the future, and delivering data to MalariaGEN partners that might not be perfect or complete but which nevertheless provides a highly valuable research tool for a range of studies, such as genotype-phenotype association studies, and studies of parasite and vector population structure and dynamics.

To achieve this balance between methods development on the one hand, and production of data on the other, our bioinformatics programme is organised around two working groups. The methods development group is focused on the development, exploration and thorough evaluation of new methods, including methods for sequence alignment, variation calling and genotyping, working closely with statisticians. The production group is focused on establishing tightly specified data analysis pipelines and using them to produce high quality variation data in a reproducible way. Both working groups work to a quarterly data release cycle, where the methods development looks ahead to the next release and determines the best available methods, which are then adopted and implemented by production.

While this role may focus more on methods development or production at different times, we encourage participation in both working groups, as there are important insights that can only be gained by working across both.

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