UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Dr Sergi Castellano

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We are always looking for motivated students and researchers at all levels. Contact me (s.castellano@ucl.ac.uk) if you are considering applying to a fellowship to join our group. Check also current open positions below.

Come work to London!

Postdoctoral position: Computational genomics of cellular variation

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work in a collaborative project between the research groups of Dr. Castellano and Dr. Kilpinen. The aim of the project is to understand how genetic variation, common and rare, affects molecular phenotypes in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and neuronal cell types derived from them, and how this affects the use of iPSCs as models for rare genetic diseases. The project builds on resources and results from the Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative (www.hipsci.org). The successful candidate will analyse genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic data from these cells to investigate molecular differences in disease phenotypes arising from their genetic background. The ultimate goal of the project is to improve the accuracy of iPSC-based disease models and enable clinically relevant findings.

We are seeking a creative and highly motivated individual with prime interest in genomics. Candidates should have a PhD in bioinformatics, computational or evolutionary biology, statistics or related genomic disciplines. The ideal candidate will have experience in at least one of the areas above, and a strong interest in the others. Previous work in translational bioinformatics (theoretical or analytical) is a plus. Experience with large-scale genomic datasets and databases, next-generation sequencing data, and strong programming and quantitative skills are required.

University College London (UCL) is London’s leading multidisciplinary university. The Genetics and Genomics Medicine Programme, within the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health at UCL, is a lively, stimulating, and highly collaborative place in the forefront of rare disease research. The programme is very international and its genomics section is moving in 2018 to the new and adjacent Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to contribute bioinformatics approaches to UCL Genomics. The position will be part-funded by the GOSH-BRC.

Please, see the Naturejobs ad. Informal inquires can be sent to Sergi Castellano at s.castellano@ucl.ac.uk and Helena Kilpinen at helena.kilpinen@ucl.ac.uk.

PhD position: Genetic basis of micronutrient deficiency disorders

We are seeking a PhD student to work in a genomic medicine project in Dr. Castellano’s group using population approaches. The aim of the project is to understand the genetic architecture of micronutrient deficiencies. That is, to characterize the number, age and type of genetic variants, their population frequencies and the magnitude of their contribution to the risk of micronutrient deficiency or toxicity in humans today. Such deficiencies have been pervasive in human history and may have resulted in old and common genetic variants contributing to disease risk. We will collaborate on this project with Dr. Aida Andres.

Please, see the ad for details. Informal inquires can be sent to Sergi Castellano at s.castellano@ucl.ac.uk.

PhD position: Epithelial sheet gene therapy for genetic skin diseases

We have performed a gene therapy trial for a debilitating genetic skin disease, in which gene corrected patient skin derived keratinocytes, including keratinocyte stem cells, were cultured as skin-like sheets and grafted back onto the patients. The outcomes of this gene therapy are encouraging but the prolonged stem cell culture required impedes its wide therapeutic application. In this PhD project, we propose to treat keratinocytes with a drug to speed up the growth of keratinocyte stem cells, assess their characteristics using single-cell sequencing and bioinformatics approaches, and demonstrate the safety of rapid epithelial sheet gene therapy.

Please, see the ad for details. Informal inquires can be sent to Wei-li Di at w.di@ucl.ac.uk and Sergi Castellano at s.castellano@ucl.ac.uk.