Post Doc Fellow - Prostate cancer genomics

Job Location
136 Hills Road
United Kingdom
Job Description

Postdoctoral Long Title: Germline genetics of prostate cancer: contribution to susceptibility, aggressiveness and patient prognosis.

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.        

AstraZeneca (AZ) 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 AZ, 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.

This role offers you an exciting opportunity to use whole exome data from large, well annotated clinical cohorts acquired through academic collaborations, AZ clinical trials and the UK Biobank to investigate prostate cancer genomics and their role in disease susceptibility, natural history and prognosis. Your work will lead to improved understanding of the genetic drivers of prostate cancer risk, aggressiveness and progression, with important translational impacts on the detection, diagnosis and treatment of this common cancer.

You'll work in close collaboration with your AZ supervisor and with your external supervisors from the University of Cambridge: Mr. Vincent Gnanapragasam (University Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Urologist) and Dr. Charlie Massie (Group Leader, Early Detection Programme, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre), leading experts in prostate cancer research.

You'll join AZ’s Genomics Initiative, which aims to analyse data from up to two million genomes. This genome sequence data is linked to rich phenotypic records, including data on disease, drug response and patient outcomes. Focusing on our core key therapeutic areas (oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic disease), this initiative is expected to provide novel insights into the biology of disease, identify and validate new targets for medicines, improve selection of patients for clinical trials and match marketed treatments to patients most likely to benefit. Using the power of genomics to better define disease supports our ambition to develop the most innovative and impactful treatments for patients. Genomics will be foundational to our research and development and help us in the discovery of the next wave of targeted innovative medicines. Join us and you could play a role in enabling this 

Accountabilities and Responsibilities:

You'll have access to genetic (whole exome sequencing) and phenotype data from large academic and AZ prostate cancer cohorts as well as the 500,000 participants of the UK Biobank.  You will be accountable for defining, developing, analyzing and interpreting whole exome sequencing germline data and correlating results with clinical and molecular variables of interest. Your accountabilities will also include driving and writing manuscripts for publications and oral presentations of the results.

Education and Experience Required:


  • A PhD or equivalent qualification in a quantitative field such as Genetics, Statistics/Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, Computer Science or other relevant discipline.
  • A demonstrated interest in using genetics to understand the biology and drivers of complex disease.
  • Proven communications skills, including writing of manuscripts and oral presentations


  • Capability to work in high performing teams
  •  Oncology area knowledge
  • Experience in handling and analysing cancer genome datasets

Skills and Capabilities:

  • A strong quantitative research background, statistical and programming proficiency, strong genetic knowledge
  • Extensive experience in scientific programming languages, such as Python and R

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 at Cambridge, UK with a competitive salary on offer 

To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

Advert opening date – 4th January 2019 / Advert closing date – 5th February 2019

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, gender or gender orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

Researchers find that younger investigators fare better when seeking support through crowdfunding sites, Nature News reports.

Nature News reports that doing a postdoc might not help researchers find employment.

Pennsylvania State University's Kathleen Grogan says researchers need to approach data on gender and racial diversity in the sciences like they would any other dataset.

The National Science Foundation is adding questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to its Survey of Earned Doctorates, according to Science Careers.