Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Senior Research Officer – Immunogenomics of inflammatory bowel disease (Spinak Fellow)

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Sydney, Australia

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Garvan) is one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes, with over 600 scientists, students and support staff.  Its mission is to make significant contributions to medical research that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. Garvan’s research encompasses immunology, bone biology, neuroscience, diabetes and metabolism, cancer, and genomics and epigenetics. These research activities are organised within four themes: Cancer, Inflammatory Diseases, Healthy Aging, and Genomics, and two Centres: The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics and the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics.


The Opportunity

Garvan has established the Hope Research Program to study human autoimmune disorders, with a focus on bringing next-generation sequencing technologies to illuminate the immunogenomic events that underpin the pathogenesis of these diseases. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common inflammatory bowel diseases, and represent a significant burden of disease on the community. The precise cause of these disorders remains unknown, with both autoimmune and autoinflammatory pathways implicated. Crohn’s disease in particular is incurable with either medical or surgical intervention, resulting in chronic illness and profound impacts on quality of life.

The Spinak Fellowship provides three years funding to lead a collaboration between Garvan and its clinical partners in the Hope Research Program to study human gut and blood samples from patients with IBD using single-cell platforms developed and housed within the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics. The aim is to determine the genomic and cell surface protein landscape of immune clones infiltrating the gut in IBD patients, and their related clones in the blood, as a means developing novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets. The assays employed may simultaneously capture information on genomic DNA, RNA expression and TCR/BCR profiling from single cells.

We are interested in recruiting a talented scientist with a commitment to research in the field of IBD now and into the future. The position comes with the requisite research support package to perform experimental work, with a view to obtaining peer-reviewed grants later to develop this scientist’s standing as a successful independent researcher in IBD.

This is a three-year full time opportunity paying a base of $ 96,324 plus 14% superannuation and salary packaging benefits. We are open to sponsor for overseas applicants if required.


Key Responsibilities


  • Undertaking primary research in IBD using human samples from clinical collaborators. This includes handling of human blood and tissue samples, dissociation of gut biopsies and preparation of single-cell libraries for sequencing experiments
  • Coordination of human samples arriving from clinical collaborators for experimental work.
  • Ensuring scientific work is conducted within the scope of the relevant ethics and governance structures for the project
  • Analysing and preparing data for scientific talks, conferences and publications as first or senior author
  • Preparing research proposals for competitive funding bodies, such as NHMRC, Cancer Council and NIH, as either lead or co-investigator
  • Supervising and day to day management of students and junior staff
  • Contributing to the growth and productivity of the lab by proposing, participating and overseeing the design, development and validation of new assays, and fostering collaborative efforts with other labs, organisations and companies
  • Staying abreast on advances in BCR/TCR repertoire analysis, genomics and next generation sequencing technology in general, maintaining knowledge about human immune testing and personalised medicine.


About You


In order to be successful in this position, you will demonstrate the following key skills and attributes:

  • A PhD in an appropriate area of medical research with a minimum of two year of experience
  • Track record of research experience in IBD or related gastrointestinal or immunological disorders
  • Experience in flow cytometry, cell sorting and molecular biology is essential
  • Experience in molecular analysis techniques with a focus on single-cell transcriptomics, genomics, expression quantitative traits and epigenetics is preferred but not essential
  • Experience in single-cell bioinformatics analysis is preferred but not essential
  • Postdoctoral research experience leading to publication of high quality first author and/or senior author and multi-author papers
  • Experience supervising and training undergraduate/postgraduate students and research assistants
  • Ability to develop, manage and maintain internal and external collaborations and relationships
  • Highly developed written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong project management skills with highly developed skills in facilitation and meeting leadership
  • Australian citizen, permanent resident or current visa that allows up to 3 years of employment


How to Apply


To apply for this position, please submit your application with a CV and a cover letter stating why you are interested in this role along with details of two referees. This position will remain open until filled. As we will be reviewing applications as they are received, we encourage you to submit yours as soon as possible.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.