Postdoc position in genomics of febrile seizures Copenhagen, Denmark

18. november, 2020
Link to job ad:

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to lead analyses of large-scale genomics data to enhance our understanding of febrile seizures and to compare the genetic architecture of febrile seizures and epilepsies. The successful candidate will join the genetic epidemiology group at the Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark. The position is available from 1 January 2021 for a period of three years. The position will be funded by a grant from the Lundbeck Foundation.

About us
Linkage of information from Denmark’s comprehensive, nationwide health registers with millions of banked biospecimens provides unique opportunities for groundbreaking biomedical research. We pursue such opportunities with great ambition: recent examples of our top-tier research include studies of pregnancy duration (NEJM 2017, 377:1156-1167; Nat Comms 2019, 10:3927), and various childhood conditions, including urinary tract malformations (Nat Genet 2014, 46:957-63), pyloric stenosis (JAMA 2013, 710:714-21; HMG 2019; 28:332–340), and febrile seizures (Nat Genet 2014, 46:1274-82).

You will join the genetic epidemiology group at the Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut. Our research environment is built on a vision of scientific curiosity, ambition and thoroughness mixed with openness, kindness, and playfulness, and it boasts dedicated researchers with backgrounds in genetics, statistics, epidemiology, medicine, bioinformatics, and biology. Statens Serum Institut is located close to the center of Copenhagen, consistently ranked among the most liveable cities in the world.

The project
Febrile seizures represent the most common type of pathological brain activity in young children, and yet we know little about underlying genetic, developmental and environmental factors. In this project, our aims are:

(1) To perform the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of febrile seizures to date, to understand genetic underpinnings of this condition

(2) To correlate the GWAS results with functionally relevant data, to illuminate molecular mechanisms

(3) To compare the GWAS results with genomics data from patients with epilepsy, to characterize genetic influences on seizures with and without fever

(4) To genetically compare febrile seizure cases with 25 years of follow-up without developing epilepsy with febrile seizure cases who later develop epilepsy, to develop models for predicting risk of later epilepsy

You will be responsible for driving forward scientific studies addressing these aims, will be the main data scientist analyzing the data. In addition to this, you will be authoring and co-authoring manuscripts for high-impact scientific journals, as well as presenting work at conferences and collaborative meetings. The project will be performed in collaboration with research groups in Denmark, Norway, and Australia. Dr. Bjarke Feenstra, leader of the department’s genetic epidemiology group, will supervise you. Alongside the specific project, the postdoctoral fellow will have the opportunity to work with other large data collections and to develop new research ideas.  The position also involves identifying sources of funding and contributing to the process of securing funds.

Your education, experience and personal qualifications
We expect you to be a highly independent, creative, enthusiastic and ambitious scientist with the following qualifications:

  • A PhD or equivalent degree in statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics, computational biology or a related field
  • Strong statistical and data skills
  • Documented experience in analysis of large-scale ‘omics’ data
  • Good communication skills in English, both oral and written
  • Proficiency in one or more core programming languages and familiarity with linux/unix
  • An attention to detail and a drive for rigor
  • An excellent scientific track record, including at least one publication as first author in a high-quality, peer reviewed international journal
  • Relevant research experience in neuroscience is considered a plus

In return, we offer good opportunities to further your scientific career in a strong research group with exceptional data and to build your scientific network through contact with our many international collaborators. We emphasize teamwork and value a positive working environment.

Conditions of employment
The successful applicant will be hired as a postdoctoral fellow for an initial 3-year period. The position is available from 1 January 2021, or after agreement. The possibility exists for extension after the initial three-year period depending on funding and performance.

The employment will be in accordance with the terms of the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Federation of Professional Associations and the Danish Ministry of Finance’s circular concerning the job structure for scientific staff working with research at sector research institutions (Stillingsstruktur for videnskabeligt personale med forskningsopgaver ved sektorforskningsinstitutionerne).

Further information
For further details and enquiries, please contact Senior Research Scientist Bjarke Feenstra at (+45) 3268 3852.

Please submit your application online. Your application must include a cover letter describing your motivation, CV (including education and experience), list of publications in peer-reviewed journals, transcript of university examinations (in English or Danish), names and contact details for two job references.

Your research qualifications will be assessed by a scientific assessment committee in accordance with the current Danish rules for employment of scientific staff working with research at sector research institutions in Denmark.

Statens Serum Institut is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. An expert committee will assess the applicant’s research qualifications.