Postdoc - Soranzo Group - NeuroCOV Project

HT - Human Technopole

Postdoc - Soranzo Group - NeuroCOV Project

HT - Human Technopole

Milan, Italy

Job description


Human Technopole (HT) is an interdisciplinary life science research institute, created and supported by the Italian Government, with the aim of developing innovative strategies to improve human health. HT is composed of five Centers: Neurogenomics, Computational Biology, Structural Biology, Genomics, and Health Data Science. The Centers work together to enable interdisciplinary research and to create an open, collaborative environment that will help promote life science research both nationally and internationally.

Human Technopole is looking for a Postdoc in the research group of Prof. Nicole Soranzo, the head of the Genomics Research Centre. The laboratory is focused on developing and deploying large-scale genomics technologies to understand various facets of genetic predisposition to common complex diseases and disease biology in human populations. We focus on blood and immunity and a broad set of human genetics questions.

For this post, we are seeking a highly motivated scientist with a strong interest in statistical genomics applied at the interface of neurobiology.

The successful candidate will employ cutting-edge statistical genetics approaches applied to multi-modal molecular data from patients and brain organoids to Detect SARS-CoV-2 neuropathology and genetic risk variants in NeuroCOVID patients’ brains and subsequently inform stratification of NeuroCOVID patients collected for further aims. This role involves processing functional genomics and genetic datasets, testing for associations and developing novel polygenic predictors of disease.

Additionally, the candidate will work on the development and benchmarking of new approaches such as statistical and functional fine-mapping methods and the development of predictive algorithms.

This position is partially funded within the pan-European NeuroCov project (The pandemic within: tackling brain vulnerability in COVID19 at high resolution: NEUROCOV - GA 101057775), which addresses Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Complications due to Covid-19. Specifically, the candidate will work within the work package 3 (Data integration and predictive modelling of CNS vulnerability).

She/He will work closely with a dynamic team of people at the Population and Medical Genomics Centre. The suitable candidate will also have regular and sustained collaboration with an international team of researchers, and particularly with other members of WP3, including from FIMM (Prof. Andrea Ganna). Applicants from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Key tasks and responsibilities

  • Develop and implement research projects based on statistical and applied genomics;
  • Manage experimental and analytical workflows within their project, including but not limited to scRNA-seq and cell type abundance (e.g. Seurat or Scverse), cell type annotation and label transfer (e.g. CellTypist or Azimuth), disease-state cell type characterization (e.g. MYLO);
  • Implement, benchmark and run molecular QTL mapping workflows and pipelines based on single-cell RNA analysis;
  • Generate reliable data for publication in their project and recording all data and results in specified forms (paper and electronic);
  • Publish reproducible research;
  • Supervise master’s and PhD students;
  • Present, share and discuss research results within their group, collaborators and scientific conferences;
  • Proactive interaction with the research team, the Genome Analysis Unit, the Biostatistics Unit and the Genomics Facility.

Job requirements

Mandatory requirements:

  • PhD in Genomics, Statistical genetics, Computational biology, Genetics or related fields;
  • Experience in analysing single-cell gene expression and other molecular QTL technologies (e.g. multi-ome) and their outputs;
  • Strong experience working with genomic data in a HPC environment;
  • Proven scientific track record, such as publications in journals or conferences;
  • Advanced programming skills in scripting (e.g R/Python);
  • Fluency in English - HT is an international research institute.

Preferred requirements:

  • Experience in the core areas of responsibility, with a strong focus on one or more of the following: large-scale population genomic studies or human genomics;
  • Familiarity with standard tools for genomic and molecular data processing and analysis;
  • Knowledge of compiled (e.g. Go/Rust/C) languages;
  • Experience in robust computational genomics workflows and pipelines based on workflow languages (e.g. Nextflow, Snakemake) and software containers (e.g. Docker, Singularity);
  • Experience or interest in git and other good software development practices;
  • Familiarity with human genetics, GWAS or computational biology workflows and tooling more broadly.

Organizational and social skills:

  • Ability to interact effectively with other colleagues and work synergistically to drive projects forward;
  • Collaborative and kind personality;
  • A willingness to help more junior members of the team grow;
  • Ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced environment and to work independently;
  • Ability to build trust through operating with transparency and creating an open and positive environment;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced environment and to work independently;
  • Strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to lead and gain the assistance and cooperation of others in a team endeavour.

Application Instructions

To apply, please send the following:

  • a CV;
  • a motivation letter in English relating your track record to the specifics of the call;
  • names and contacts of at least 2 referees.

Questions concerning the role and any queries regarding the terms and conditions should be sent to (terms and conditions) (these email address should not be used to send applications).

Why Human Technopole

  • HT seeks scientific excellence. We recruit the best scientific talents through international open calls;
  • Our working environment is international, friendly and inclusive. Our scientists work together across disciplines on research topics of biomedical relevance, leveraging synergies between their diverse skill sets and methodological approaches;
  • We believe that highly diverse teams yield the best and most innovative results;
  • We engage in outward-facing scientific activities for the national and international research community. Training is also at the heart of our activity, with initiatives and opportunities for our staff, including scientific courses, conferences and workshops.

Main benefits

  • Welfare plans;
  • Canteen service;
  • Work-life balance provisions;
  • Italian language training for foreigners;
  • Maternity leave up to 1 year and other support for new parents;
  • Counseling;
  • Flexible working hours;
  • Remote working policy;
  • Support for relocation.

Special consideration will be given to candidates who are part of the protected categories list, according to L. 68/99.

Number of positions offered: 1
Contract offered: CCNL Chimico Farmaceutico, Fixed-term - 3 years - employee level.
Salary indication: up to 40k
Tax benefits where applicable.

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Don't forget to mention EuroScienceJobs when applying.

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