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Research Fellow - Statistical Analysis of Single Molecule data

Cancer Sciences

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Salary:   £30,942 to £38,017 Per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 2 years
Closing Date:  Saturday 04 January 2020
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1217219CM

Cancer Research UK Wellcome Trust

Statistical Analysis of Single Molecule data

Laboratory of Raimund Ober and E. Sally Ward

Centre for Cancer Immunology 

University of Southampton, UK

Signal Processing and Communication Laboratory

Department of Engineering

University of Cambridge

Research Fellowship: £30,942 – 38,017 p.a.*

*Additional supplements are available for exceptionally qualified applicants

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral fellowship 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 however, is very challenging to analyse due to the low signal-to-noise characteristics and the low photon count imaging characteristics and the necessarily complex probabilistic description underlying 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 innovations from Machine Learning, Statistics and Signal Processing to analyse single molecule data, e.g. methods based on multi-object tracking, Particle Markov Chain Monte Carlo, Stochastic Gradient methods etc. The project scope is flexible and covers issues concerning the tracking of molecules, model calibration, model identifiability, efficiency of estimators, and optimal experimental design. Project outcomes will be packaged as a suite of efficient computational methods for Single Molecule studies. 

This is a unique opportunity to engage in an impactful application using modern stochastic and algorithmic methods. As such 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 would be beneficial. 

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.

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 the University of Cambridge, 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 Data Science, Bayesian computational methodology, e.g. Particle filters, Markov Chain Monte Carlo; other areas of research include modern applications of Information theory and image processing. 

The post will be based at the Centre for Cancer Immunology at 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. 

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.  

Please send expressions of interest to Prof. Raimund J. Ober at r.ober@soton.ac.uk and Dr. Sumeetpal Singh at sss40@cam.ac.uk .

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at https://jobs.soton.ac.uk. 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 1217219CM on all correspondence.

Athena SWAN Silver Award holder: Medicine

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.

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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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