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Research Fellow - Analysis of Stochastic Single Molecule data

Cancer Sciences

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Salary:   £30,395 to £37,345
Full Time, Fixed Term (24 months)
Closing Date:  Thursday 27 June 2019
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1134719CM-R

Cancer Research UKWellcome Trust

Analysis of Stochastic Single Molecule data

Laboratory of Raimund Ober and E. Sally Ward, Centre for Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton (UK) and Signal Processing and Communication Laboratory, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge.

Applications are invited for the research fellow role to carry out research on a joint project between Dr. Sumeetpal Singh at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge and Prof. Raimund J. Ober at the Centre for Cancer Immunology at the University of Southampton.

Single molecule microscopy is an important new methodology that promises to provide major new insights into biomedical processes. The data is, however, very challenging to analyze due to the low signal to noise characteristics and the low photon count imaging characteristics and the necessarily complex probabilistic description of the acquired data. As a result advanced statistical and computational methods need to be developed for the analysis of such data.  

This project aims to employ recent computational innovations from Statistics and Engineering, such as Sequential Monte Carlo and Particle Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods, for calibrating Hidden Markov Models pertinent to Single Molecule studies.  This will cover both continuous and discrete-time formulations. Both Likelihood and Bayesian techniques for model calibration will be investigated covering issues concerning model identifiability, model appropriateness, efficiency of estimators, optimal experimental design. Project outcomes will be packaged as a suite of efficient Monte Carlo computational methods for Single Molecule studies.

The candidate will have a very strong background in statistical and mathematical techniques with a Ph.D. in a relevant subject. A background in single molecule microscopy is not required, but an interest in the subject matter will be important. 

At the University of Southampton site the research fellow will be part of a highly interdisciplinary research group in the laboratory of Professors Ober and Ward who are currently relocating their research group from the USA. The group will consist of basic scientists, image analysts, microscopists and mathematicians/statisticians, engineers and computer scientists.  The research program is devoted to the development of novel antibody-based therapeutics that, to date, have led to several new therapeutics that are currently in advanced clinical trials. This focus is supported by the development of advanced microscopy approaches, in particular for single molecule and subcellular trafficking studies. The research program is supported by major grants from the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Faculty of Medicine and collaborating biopharma companies.

At Cambridge University, Dr. Singh is a Reader at the Engineering Department and is also a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. Dr Singh’s research group is part of the Signal Processing and Communication Laboratory at the Engineering department and the focus of his group is on statistical modelling and inference for data-centric engineering. The Signal Processing and Communications Laboratory is home to 5 faculty members and some 35 research staff and research students. The laboratory has a strong track record in innovation in Bayesian computational methodology, e.g. Particle filters, Markov Chain Monte Carlo; other areas of research include geometric algebra, multi-resolution (wavelet) methods, Information theory, coding, and data compression. 

The post will be with the Centre for Cancer Immunology at the Southampton General Hospital, a newly constructed research building that is the result of a significant fund-raising campaign. The Centre builds on a 40 year history of pioneering immunology and cancer research at Southampton. It is the first dedicated cancer immunology centre in the UK that brings the complete research pipeline under one roof: from pioneering discovery science to applied research and preclinical modelling and crucially onto first-in-human clinical trials and beyond.  It is home to world-class research facilities, state-of-the-art scientific laboratories and a Clinical Trials Unit. 

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given. 

The position is currently planned to be for a length of two years.

Candidates from the EU and outside the UK/EU are also encouraged to apply. 

In addition to the salaries listed above, benefits such as membership in a pension scheme are also provided.  

If you are interested in this role and would like to discuss it further please contact Prof. Raimund J. Ober at and Dr. Sumeetpal Singh at .

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Ita Holmes (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 9002. Please quote reference 1134719CM - R on all correspondence.

The Faculty of Medicine holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award demonstrating commitment to equal opportunities and gender balance in the workplace. The Faculty recognises that applicants may seek flexible working patterns which will be considered as part of the recruitment process. For further information including key benefits designed to help maintain and support employees' well-being and work-life balance, please see our working with us website pages.

Athena SWAN Silver Award holder: Medicine

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We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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