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Postdoctoral Research Assistant



A Wellcome Trust funded Postdoctoral Research Assistant position is available at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in Dr Robert Keers’s group, investigating a novel polygenic approach to gene-environment interaction in depression and anxiety.

Queen Mary is one of the top research-led universities in the UK and was ranked 9th among the UK multi-faculty universities in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). All postdoctoral researchers are part of the QMUL Doctoral College, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

The project will investigate a novel approach to gene environment interaction using genome-wide genetic data in identical (monozygotic, MZ) twins. As they are genetically identical, differences within MZ twin-pairs on a measured outcome such as depression or anxiety are considered to be the result of the environment. However, if genetic variants increase response to these environmental effects, within-pair differences may vary as a function of genotype. We recently successfully piloted this approach and aim build on this work by establishing the Genetics of Sensitivity to the Environment Consortium bringing together the world’s twins with genetic data. This will allow us to 1) Replicate and refine our findings from the pilot study 2) Investigate environmental sensitivity genes across disorders and ages 3) Estimate the heritability of sensitivity to environmental influences

The ideal candidate for the position will have a PhD in quantitative or statistical genetics with significant experience in the analysis and meta-analysis of genome-wide data. A track record of peer-reviewed publications is essential. The post holder will work closely with collaborators at several different sites including the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, University of Southern Denmark, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Australia. The role involves extended research visits to each of the sites

The post is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is a full-time position. The start date is 1st April 2019 and the post is available for a period 14 months. The salary is dependent on qualifications, skills and experience and is in the range of £33,615 - £37,411 per annum, inclusive of London allowance. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a pension scheme.
Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.
Informal enquiries are welcomed and encouraged, and may be made to Dr Robert Keers via e-mail at
For information about the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences please visit http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk

To apply, please click on the link below.
https://webapps2.is.qmul.ac.uk/jobs/index.action

Application enquiries should be directed to

The closing date for applications is 8 March 2019. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.


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Recipient: Dr Robert Keers
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