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UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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Dr Sergi Castellano

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Jobs

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!

BRC Postdoctoral position: Single cell genomics

This project is designed to investigate pathologies associated with the placental interface of maternal and fetal cells. Dysfunction in the placenta is believed to drive many common obstetric complications (such as pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction) that affect women. The close approximation in the placenta of maternal and fetal cells makes it an invaluable organ to better understand human pregnancy, as well as its complications. Further, with the growing area of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, a key area at of research at the Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, we will explore the use of single cells in the maternal circulation. A better characterisation of the behaviour and genomic constitution of fetal cells will contribute to improved understanding and diagnosis of fetal complications. 

The project involves performing single cell experiments from tissues prospectively collected from the placenta and placental bed, via biopsy at time of delivery when a pregnancy complication (fetal growth restriction, pre-eclampsia and preterm birth) has been recognised, as well as the analysis of fetal cells retrieved from the maternal circulation. We will analyse the tissue and cells obtained through both spatial and single cell transcriptomics and genomics to build an accurate representation of cell populations at the maternal-fetal interface. This will allow us to dissect maternal and fetal cell populations, their individual roles at the maternal-fetal interface (e.g. migration properties), as well as the communication between them.

We are seeking to appoint a creative and highly motivated researcher with prime interest in performing single cell experiments. Candidates should have an experimental PhD in related genomic disciplines. The ideal candidate will have experience in single cell genomics, a strong interest in spatial transcriptomics, and some experience in single cell data analysis. Previous experimental work in translational medicine is a plus. Experience with large-scale genomic datasets, functional genomics and next-generation sequencing data are also an advantage. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to other single cell projects in maternal and fetal medicine and other areas of maternal child health. See details here.

Apply till February 17th!!!

Informal inquires can be sent to Sergi Castellano, s.castellano@ucl.ac.uk, Sara Hillman, sara.hillman@ucl.ac.uk and Lyn Chitty, l.chitty@ucl.ac.uk

BRC Postdoctoral position: Computational Genomics of New Technologies

Genomics has shown great potential in the diagnosis, treatment and general understanding of human rare diseases. This is because novel genomic technologies allow us to identify the genetic basis of disease and its molecular mechanisms. These technologies include short- and long-read sequencing, single-cell in many flavours (genome and exome sequencing, RNA-seq, CITE-seq, Chip-seq, ATAC-seq…), spatial transcriptomics and 3D chromatin interactions (4-C and Hi-C). These technologies help diagnose patients that go otherwise undiagnosed as well as characterising in vitro (iPSC and organoid) and in vivo models of rare disease. We are using many of these techniques to diagnose rare diseases in newborns and children, ranging from developmental to metabolic diseases or cancer, while others need to be further developed, including applications in fetal life, to be put into clinical practice. Ultimately, we aim to translate these advances into the NHS and use the information these tools provide to individualise patient treatment.

The data generated by these technologies, however, is large and complex and often combined with mass spec, imaging, patients’ medical records and other types of data to provide a multiomics and phenotypic view of rare disease. In order to gain diagnostic and treatment insights, quantitative analyses are required. Specifically, new algorithms, including machine learning ones, need to be designed and new software tools to be developed, especially for the technologies that have not yet reached the NHS. We are thus seeking to appoint a creative and highly motivated researcher with prime interest in computational genomics of rare disease. This is a unique opportunity to stand at the intersection of method development and its clinical application.

Candidates should have a quantitative PhD in related genomic disciplines, including bioinformatics, computer science, statistics, molecular biology and applied mathematics. The ideal candidate will have experience in high-throughput genomics, a strong interest in spatial transcriptomics, and some experience in multiomics analyses. Previous work in translational medicine is a plus. Experience with large-scale genomic datasets and databases, next-generation sequencing, functional data, and programming are a plus. 

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to multiple cutting-edge projects in child health and will work cooperatively with other group members and collaborators. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to contribute computational methods to UCL Genomics, the genomics UCL core facility and to the London North Genomic Laboratory Hub at the Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in rare disease diagnosis and applying new technologies to prenatal diagnosis, including non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. See details here.

Apply till February 23rd!!!

Informal inquires can be sent to Sergi Castellano, s.castellano@ucl.ac.uk and Lyn Chitty, l.chitty@ucl.ac.uk