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Postdoctoral Fellow - B-Cell Signatures of High-Affinity Antibodies

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-076537 Date posted 05/26/2020

Postdoctoral Fellow - B-Cell Signatures of High-Affinity Antibodies

Location: Cambridge, UK

Salary: Competitive on offer

We’re currently looking for talented scientists to join our innovative academic-style Postdoc. From our centre in Cambridge, UK, you’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment, contributing to live projects right from the start. You’ll take part in a comprehensive training programme, including a focus on drug discovery and development, given access to our existing Postdoctoral research, and encouraged to pursue your own independent research in cutting edge laboratories. It’s a newly expanding programme spanning a range of therapeutic areas across a wide range of disciplines.

What’s more, you’ll have the support of a leading academic advisor, who’ll provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to develop your career. This is an exciting area that hasn’t been explored to its full potential, making this an opportunity to make a real difference to the future of medical science.

About the Opportunity:

Do you want to play a key role furthering important scientific research at AstraZeneca? Here’s your chance. Utilising cutting-edge technologies, such as single B-cell RNA sequencing combined with in silico molecular modelling of antigen:antibody interactions, this project aims to understand how to drive immune responses to produce better antigen specific antibodies. If this is your passion, don’t miss out on this role.

A detailed understanding of the process of B-cell affinity maturation has been hindered by the inability to track the behaviour of individual B-cells upon interaction with antigens. For this post-doctoral project, we hypothesise that the process of affinity maturation is echoed in the B-cell transcriptomic profile, and, therefore, we aim to investigate this through single B-cell RNA sequence analysis of both the B-cell receptor repertoire and the B-cell transcriptome. This data will be combined with in silico modelling of antigen:antibody interactions in order to generate a better understanding of the B-cell affinity maturation process to enable us to generate higher affinity target specific antibodies.

Essential Education and Experience:

  • Relevant PhD or postdoc, combining:
    • Technical expertise in either bioinformatics, computational biology, biostatistics, mathematical modelling or data science
    • Proficient with programming languages such as Python, R or Perl.
  • Ability to work independently & collaboratively within a team to conduct high-level research.
  • Expertise in single cell RNA transcriptomics data analysis.
  • Enthusiastic to explore non-traditional approaches to bring big data together in biologically meaningful ways.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, able to effectively present data and demonstrate critical analyses of data sets, including to non-experts.
  • Excellent publication record

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Understanding basic immunology, familiarity with antibody VDJ sequence analysis and utilisation of relevant bioinformatic tools to achieve this.
  • Experience of software packages for in silico modelling of protein:protein interactions (e.g. Rosetta suite etc.)
  • Well networked within external bioinformatics communities.
  • Effective contributor to collaborative projects involving cross-disciplinary/ global teams.
  • Awareness of graph modelling, machine learning, artificial-intelligence

Skills and Capabilities required:

  • Lead single cell analysis and interpret gene expression and other single cell-omics data
  • Design and apply innovative computational/statistical algorithms and visualizations to:
    • Generate biological insight from omics data.
    • Link multi-omics data sets from in vitro/vivo models.
    • Integrate and interpret proprietary and public data spanning multiple platforms.
    • Develop tools to analyse spatial gene expression data
  • Collaborate with other single cell Omics groups in AstraZeneca, within industry and academia, and utilise external resources to find the most effective solutions.
  • Utilise this opportunity to make important contributions to wider research at AstraZeneca. Publish your work in high impact journals and presentations in conferences

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 – May 26, 2020

Advert closing date – July 11, 2020

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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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.