Postdoctoral researcher in cancer germline genetics (R2)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 May 2021

Context And Mission

The Computational Biology group is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work in the context of a recently-granted Plan Nacional that aims to explore the interaction between biological sex and cancer germline variants. Over the last decade we have made significant progress in understanding the role of genetics in cancer predisposition, evolution and treatment. We now have thousands of germline variants associated with different types of cancer and we have also identified a few hundred genes that, when somatically mutated, drive the growth of cancer cells.

However, there are also many open questions to which we do not have, yet, a conclusive answer, and some of the most pressing ones have to do with the role of biological sex in cancer. For example, we know that the incidence of multiple cancer types (thyroid, pancreas, brain or bladder, among many others) is significantly different in males and females, sometimes by orders of magnitude. Similarly, cancer genes have different somatic mutation rates depending on the sex of the patient. Last, but not least, many cancer drugs work differently in men than in women.

The candidate will study the role of biological sex in cancer genetics. To that end, s/he will use large cancer genetics databases to identify germline variants that predispose to cancer in different ways in men and in women.

The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Eduard Porta Pardo, la Caixa Junior Leader, in the Computational Biology Group of the Life Sciences Department. The Computational Biology group ( ) is involved in multiple projects covering a wide range of topics including cancer genomics, tumor immunology, multilayer network modeling, epigenomics and computations systems biology. The candidate will collaborate with other members of the group, as well as from other departments at the BSC, especially Computational Genomics Group led by David Torrents, ICREA Professor.

The Researcher will work in a highly sophisticated HPC environment, will have access to state-of-the-art systems and computational infrastructures, and will establish collaborations with experts in different areas both at international and local levels.

Recent publications from our group

Bailey, Matthew H.*, Collin Tokheim*, Eduard Porta-Pardo*, Sohini Sengupta, Denis Bertrand, Amila Weerasinghe, Antonio Colaprico, et al. 2018. “Comprehensive Characterization of Cancer Driver Genes and Mutations.” Cell 174 (4): 1034–35.

Ding, Li*, Matthew H. Bailey*, Eduard Porta-Pardo*, Vesteinn Thorsson, Antonio Colaprico, Denis Bertrand, David L. Gibbs, et al. 2018. “Perspective on Oncogenic Processes at the End of the Beginning of Cancer Genomics.” Cell 173 (2): 305–20.e10.

Porta-Pardo, Eduard, Alfonso Valencia, and Adam Godzik. 2020. “Understanding Oncogenicity of Cancer Driver Genes and Mutations in the Cancer Genomics Era.” FEBS Letters, April. .

Sayaman, Rosalyn W., Mohamad Saad, Vésteinn Thorsson, Wouter Hendrickx, Jessica Roelands, Younes Mokrab, Farshad Farshidfar, et al. (incl. Porta-Pardo) Immunity. “Germline Genetic Contribution to the Immune Landscape of Cancer.” .

Key Duties

  • Curation and quality control of raw germline genotype data
  • Reanalysis of publicly available data from Genome Wide Association Studies.
  • Development of polygenic risk scores.
  • Integration of heterogeneous data sources using advanced data mining techniques.
  • Preparation and presentation of scientific articles.
  • Collaborate in the preparation and presentation of scientific projects.
  • Establish and maintain collaborations with international researchers.

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