Division of Molecular Biology and Huma​​n Gene​​tics​​ ​  

VACANCIES​

​​​POSTDOCTORAL OPPORTUNITIES​

Postdoctoral position available: Rare Disease Genomics​

Host/Location: Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Rare Disease Genomics Group, Tygerberg Campus 

Value of Award: Competitive tax-free fellowship Duration: 2 years, renewable upon sufficient funding 

Summary: A rare disease (RD) is defined as one that affects fewer than 1 in 2000 people. Although individually “rare”, collectively there are over 7000 different RDs, which affect a significant proportion of the population and impact the lives of millions of South Africans. Over 80% of RDs are genetic in origin and most have their onset in childhood. However, to date, people with RDs have been disproportionately underrepresented in terms of research, diagnosis and treatment, especially in Africa. Using conventional testing, patients remain on their “diagnostic odysseys” indefinitely. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has revolutionized diagnosis in RDs. The Rare Disease Genomics group has recently established an undiagnosed disease programme (UDP) at SU, to use state-of-the-art NGS technologies to end the diagnostic odyssey for South African patients with RDs.​

We are seeking an enthusiastic postdoctoral fellow to join our multidisciplinary team, to oversee and develop the bioinformatics arm of the UDP. The successful candidate will benefit from working in a young, dynamic and diverse research group with national and international collaborations and numerous opportunities for further training. 

Duties: 

Research 

  • Analysis of NGS datasets (whole exome and genome) 
  • Analytical method development specifically suited to NGS technologies 
  • Data mining, analysis and interpretation 
  • Construction and curation of databases and specific computational tools 
  • Hypothesis generation for new scientific questions and research studies 
  • Manuscript and grant writing 

Management 

  • Oversee the bioinformatics arm of the Rare Disease Genomics in South Africa: UDP project 
  • Contribute to study design and implementation – including student projects 
  • Development of key documents such as protocols, SOPs, etc 

Teaching 

  • Training of students and other scientists 
  • Oversee reporting and interpretation of data 

 Job requirements: 

  • PhD in Human Genetics, Bioinformatics or a related field 
  • Experience with analysis of NGS datasets (exome and genome sequencing) 
  • Experience in working in Linux environments 
  • Proficiency in common scripting languages (Python, R, other) 
  • Sequencing analysis and pipeline design 
  • Experience in computational and statistical analysis of high-dimensional and multivariate data 
  • Comprehensive use of computational clusters and cloud-based computing 
  • Excellent organisational, planning and interpersonal skills 
  • High level of accountability, integrity and a good understanding of confidentiality 

Duration: The fellowship is tenable for 2 years with the possibility of a further extension, depending on available funding. Please note that postdoctoral fellows are not appointed as employees at SU and are therefore not eligible for employee benefits. Postdoctoral fellowships are also awarded tax-free. 

Commencement of duties: January 2021 - negotiable 

Application Details: To apply, please send the following to Professor Shahida Moosa at shahidamoosa@sun.ac.za 

  • Motivation for applying for this position 
  • Updated CV including publication list 
  • Proof of PhD qualification and copy of academic transcript ​
  • Names and email addresses of two refere​es, who can be contacted immediately upon shortlisting 

Closing date: 04 December 2020. Early applications are encouraged. We will stop looking when we find a suitable candidate.​

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Postdoctoral position available: TB Host Genetics Research Group

Host/Location: Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, TB Host Genetics group, Tygerberg Campus 

Value of Award: Competitive tax-free fellowship 

Duration: 1 year, renewable upon sufficient funding and satisfactory progress

Summary: Tuberculosis (TB), caused by M. tuberculosis, is estimated to affect a third of the world's population and is the leading cause of death by a single infectious agent worldwide. Approximately 10% of infected individuals develop active TB disease which strongly suggests that the host's genetic makeup, along with pathogen and environmental factors, play a crucial role in the development of TB. Tuberculosis presents with a strong male sex-bias and globally the incidence rate is nearly twice as high in males compared to females. While the bias is in part explained by behavioural, socioeconomic, cultural factors and the influence of sex hormones on the immune system, they do not fully account for this bias. Previous research done by our group has identified sex-specific genetic effects for both autosomal and X-linked variants in a large TB-GWAS meta-analysis, indicating that host genetics can further contribute to the observed male bias. 

We are seeking an enthusiastic postdoctoral fellow to join our multidisciplinary team, to develop a bioinformatics pipeline to determine if sex-specific genetic effects translate to sex-specific gene expression, based on RNA sequencing analysis. The successful candidate will benefit from working in a young, dynamic and diverse research group with national and international collaborations and numerous opportunities for further training. ​

Duties: 

Research 

  • ​Collection and curation of publicly available RNA sequencing data (TB case/control)
  • Analysis of RNA sequencing data 
  • Analytical method development specifically suited to detect sex-specific or X-chromosome linked differential gene expression. 
  • Interpretation of results, with a specific focus on the impact on sex-bias
  • Hypothesis generation for new scientific questions and research studies 
  • Manuscript and grant writing 

Management 

  • Oversee and mentor students in the TB Host Genetics group 
  • Contribute to study design and implementation – including student projects 
  • Development of key documents such as protocols, SOPs, etc 

Teaching 

  • Training of students and other scientists 
  • Lecturing Honours students (Advanced genetics module)
  • Oversee reporting and interpretation of data 

 Job requirements: 

  • ​PhD in Human Genetics, Bioinformatics or a related field 
  • Experience with analysis of RNA sequencing data
  • Experience in working in Linux environments 
  • Proficiency in common scripting languages (Python, R, other) 
  • Sequencing analysis and pipeline design 
  • Experience in computational and statistical analysis of high-dimensional and multivariate data 
  • Experience in sex-stratified and X-chromosome analysis to detect sex-specific effects
  • Comprehensive use of computational clusters and cloud-based computing 
  • Excellent organisational, planning and interpersonal skills 
  • High level of accountability, integrity and responsibility

Duration: The fellowship is tenable for 1 year with the possibility of a further extension, depending on available funding and satisfactory progress. Please note that postdoctoral fellows are not appointed as employees at SU and are therefore not eligible for employee benefits. Postdoctoral fellowships are also awarded tax-free. 

Commencement of duties: January 2021 - negotiable 

Application Details: To apply, please send the following to Professor Marlo Möller at marlom@sun.ac.za 

  • Motivation for applying for this position 
  • Updated CV including publication list 
  • Proof of PhD qualification and copy of academic transcript 
  • Names and email addresses of two referees, who can be contacted immediately upon shortlisting ​

Closing date: 04 December 2020. Early applications are encouraged. We will stop looking when we find a suitable candidate.​


​DOCTORAL OPPORTUNITIES

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