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Postdoc - Computational Regulatory Genomics and Diabetes

Postdoc - Computational Regulatory Genomics and Diabetes

The Institute

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is an international biomedical research institute of excellence, based in Barcelona, Spain, with more than 400 scientists from 44 countries. The CRG is composed by an interdisciplinary, motivated and creative scientific team which is supported both by a flexible and efficient administration and by high-end and innovative technologies.

In April 2021, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) received the renewal of the 'HR Excellence in Research' Award from the European Commission. This is a recognition of the Institute's commitment to developing an HR Strategy for Researchers, designed to bring the practices and procedures in line with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code).

Please, check out our Recruitment Policy

The role

We invite applications for a postdoctoral scientist to join a multidisciplinary team working at the interface of genetics, regulatory genomics, cellular differentiation, and human diabetes. The successful candidate will develop statistical and computational methods to tackle questions in two possible main areas. One area is to use single cell genomics to understand how the genome is programmed to create functional pancreatic beta cells, and how altered regulation causes diabetes. The other area is to analyze noncoding genomic sequences from patients to discover new forms of human diabetes. Applicants can apply to either area, but should have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in bioinformatics, computer science, or statistics, and have experience in genome data analysis.

About the team

The overarching goal of the Regulatory Genomics and Diabetes lab is to understand the basis of gene regulation in pancreatic beta cells, and to deploy this knowledge to discover genetic causes and treatments for human diabetes. The lab combines computational analysis of in-house genomic datasets (e.g. RNA-seq, ChIP, HiChIP, pcHiC, sc genomics,CRISPR screens, genome variant sequencing) as well as external datasets, along with human stem cell-based and animal model systems. It is a multidisciplinary team that currently includes four computational scientists with varied interests (human genetics, genetics of gene regulation, regulatory genomics) and 6 experimental scientists, most of whom carry their own genome data analysis.

Successful candidates who choose to work on a single cell project will form part of ESPACE, an EU-funded Human Cell Atlas project to define single cell genomic profiles of pancreatic cells, and will work closely with other computational biologists in the consortium, in addition to leading a regulatory genomics project within the lab.

Successful candidates who work on a genome variation project will form part of a team of geneticists within the lab, funded by an ERC advanced grant. The candidate will lead a specific project within this area, and work collaboratively with other team members. 

Relevant published work from the team can be found in https://www.crg.eu/es/programmes-groups/ferrer-lab#block-block-2. The lab has led studies that used regulatory maps in pancreatic islets to show how genetic regulatory DNA variants influence type 2 diabetes (Gaulton et al, Nature Genetics 2010, Pasquali et al, Nature Genetics 2014, Miguel Escalada et al, Nature Genetics 2019), built maps of the developing pancreas that helped uncover disease mutations and mechanisms of development (Cebola Nat Cell Biol 2015, Weedon et al Nature Genetics 2014), and characterized noncoding RNAs and their possible role in diabetes (Moran et al, Cell Metab 2012, Akerman et al Cell Metab 2017, Beucher et al, Biorxiv, 2021).

The team is funded by, and forms part of, international consortia such as ESPACE, an EU-funded Human Cell Atlas project to define single cell genomic profiles of pancreatic cells, or ENPATHY, a training network focused on studying the role of transcriptional enhancers in human disease. It is funded by an Advanced ERC grant and the Spanish Ministry of Science. It is part of other large international consortia such as TOPMED or TIGER.

Whom would we like to hire?

Professional experience

Must Have

• You have proven experience in applying statistical methods to large datasets
• You have experience in NGS data analysis

Desirable but not required/ Nice to have

• You have familiarity with methods in machine learning and/or statistical inference
• You have experience in genome sequence variant data and/or statistical genetics is highly advantageous to engage in a human variant analysis project
• You have a first-author publication track-record

Education and training

• You hold a PhD (or equivalent experience) in statistical genetics, genome data analysis, computer science, statistics, engineering, quantitative biology, or related fields


• You are fluent in English

Technical skills

• You have proven programming competence in Python, R, or C++, or related languages
• You have expertise in Linux and high performance computing environments


• You have the ability to work both in a team and independently
• You have highly developed organization skills
• You are excellence driven

The Offer – Working Conditions

Contract duration: 2 years with possibility of extension.
Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales.
Target start date: As soon as possible.

We provide a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructures, and unique professional career development opportunities. To check out our training and development portfolio, please visit our website in the training section.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The CRG is committed to reconcile a work and family life of its employees and are offering extended vacation period and the possibility to benefit from flexible working hours.

Application Procedure

All applications must include:

1. A motivation letter addressed to Dr. Jorge Ferrer.
2. A complete CV including contact details.
3. Contact details of two referees.

All applications must be addressed to Dr. Jorge Ferrer and be submitted online through the "Apply" button below. 

Selection Process

Pre-selection: The pre-selection process will be based on qualifications and expertise reflected on the candidates CVS. It will be merit-based.

Interview: Preselected candidates will be interviewed by the Hiring Manager of the position and a selection panel if required.

Offer Letter: Once the successful candidate is identified the Human Resources department will send a Job Offer, specifying the start day, salary, working conditions, among other important details.

Deadline: Please submit your application by September 30th, 2021.

Suggestions: The CRG believes in ongoing improvement and promotes a culture of feedback. This is one of the reasons we have in place, at your disposal as a candidate, a mechanism to gather your suggestions/complaints concerning your candidate experience in our recruitment processes. Your feedback really matters to us in our aim at creating a positive candidate journey. You can make a difference and help us improve by letting us know your suggestions through the following form.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (DecodeDiabetes-789055).

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