UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Research Fellow – Statistical Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology, Bioinformatics

21 September 2021

The postholder will be based at the IoO and Moorfields Eye Hospital, as well as the UCL Institute of Health Informatics.

Jonathan Brett Artwork


We are seeking to expand our team of scientists working at the interface of multi-omic discovery and clinical prediction science for common blinding eye diseases, with the aim of enabling precision care. Our team have led landmark studies discovering the genetic causes of glaucoma and myopia with numerous recent publications in high impact journals including Nature Genetics, Nature Communications and the American Journal of Human Genetics. We also lead a programme of research aiming to identify novel modifiable risk factors for eye disease which has received substantial media interest (including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The New York Times). We collaborate widely, playing a prominent role in international consortia and engaging with world-leading industry partners like Google Health. Moorfields Eye Hospital is the largest eyecare provider in Europe and North America and our Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields and UCL is ranked number one globally for ophthalmology research.  Our team at the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Institute of Health Informatics is at the leading edge of combining phenomic information from electronic health record data with multi-omic data to understand disease aetiology and to prioritise and validate therapeutic targets. The groups play leading roles in the UCL NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), and manage large population cohort consortia and case collections such as CORUM, aiming to embed genomic information in clinical care." 

Scientific problem

People fear losing their vision as much as developing dementia or cancer. Glaucoma is the leading cause of incurable blindness globally, affecting over 80 million people. The overarching aim of this project is to discover the fundamental causes of glaucoma and use this knowledge to identify novel treatment targets and develop tools to identify people at highest risk of blindness from glaucoma. We aim to use these tools to enable targeted screening of people at highest risk in the community, and stratified care of diagnosed patients. Additionally, the models we develop may predict an individual's response to different treatments. If successful, these prediction models will enable precision glaucoma management, reducing the risk of blindness in high-risk patients while reducing treatment-associated morbidity and costs in low-risk patients. This project has been funded through an award to Dr Anthony Khawaja from UK Research and Innovation, as part of a Future Leaders Fellowship.

Job details

The research fellow will conduct large-scale genome-wide association analyses and other multi-omics analyses of glaucoma-related phenotypes in several large cohorts. Translating the findings of these analyses into clinical prediction models, the fellow will apply modern polygenic prediction techniques.

The post is funded until 31 October 2024 in the first instance.

Key requirements

The research fellow should have a PhD in statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology or bioinformatics (or a similar level of experience) and a relevant publication track record.

Experience in the analysis of large-scale genetic data including genome-wide association studies is highly desirable and experience in analysis of exome sequencing data and other forms of omics data (e.g., metabolomics and methylation data) would be an advantage. There will be considerable support for development in these areas during the post.

Further details

If you have any queries regarding the vacancy please contact Dr Anthony Khawaja.

If you have any queries regarding the application process please email hr.ioo@ucl.ac.uk.

Closing date

30 October 2021.

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