Research Associate in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology

University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £38,017
Apr 29, 2021
May 08, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The role

We have an exciting opportunity for a talented postdoctoral researcher with a background in molecular and genetic epidemiology to join the Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP) at the University of Bristol to interrogate the causal role played by the gut microbiome in cancer aetiology. This Research Associate (Grade I) position is funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) as part of a Population Research Postdoctoral Fellowship entitled Applying human genetics to interrogate the role of the human gut microbiome in cancer aetiology awarded to Dr Kaitlin Wade. This post will build on the current work of Kaitlin and her growing team investigating the value added by human genetics in improving our understanding of the causal implications of the human gut microbiome in cancer aetiology.

What will you be doing?

As the post holder you will work closely with Kaitlin (holder of the fellowship and line manager) and her team to evaluate the appropriate integration of human genetic information in microbiome research and triangulate evidence from epidemiological studies and basic science to appraise causality in site-specific cancer aetiology. As the post holder you will lead projects within this programme of research, including gathering and appraising host genetic contributions to the gut microbiome using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and expertise from collaborators, applying contemporary causal inference methodologies to challenge the role of the gut microbiome in cancer aetiology, examining the likely effects of reverse causation in these relationships and assessing the association between genome-wide predictors of the gut microbiome and cancer risk outside a causal framework. Specifically, this research will involve the use of traditional epidemiological techniques and causal inference methodologies alongside Mendelian randomization, colocalization and other genetic epidemiological methods to interrogate the causal role of the gut microbiome in the aetiology of several cancers including that of the colorectum, breast, prostate and lung among many others.

Through this role, you will have access to several large datasets comprising a mixture of individual-level genetic, microbiome and/or epidemiological data (e.g., the Flemish Gut Flora Project (FGFP), the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the UK Biobank) and large-scale GWAS consortia of the gut microbiome (e.g., the MiBioGen consortium) and cancer risk (e.g., the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) for colorectal cancer) to undertake the research objectives. A the post holder you will work closely with a large range of researchers within ICEP and the MRC-IEU, and international collaborators including those at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the institution of which the post holder will have the opportunity to spend time on extended visits and training over the duration of the post.

You should apply if

You have a strong background in molecular and genetic epidemiology, medical statistics and epidemiology, with experience using statistical programming languages (such as Stata and R) and working with large-scale genetic and other 'omic datasets. Ideally, you will also have experience of applied statistical analyses, genome-wide association study methodology and Mendelian randomization analyses.

For informal enquiries please contact: Kaitlin Wade ( ) and Nicholas Timpson ( )

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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