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Postdoc in computational biology on tumor heterogeneity

Deadline: 14.07.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7 500 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM) was established in 2008 and is the Norwegian node in the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. NCMM is a joint venture between the University of Oslo, Health Region South-East and the Research Council of Norway. From 2017 NCMM is merged with the Biotechnology Centre of Oslo and now has altogether 11 research groups. The overall objective of NCMM is to conduct cutting edge research in molecular medicine and biotechnology as well as facilitate translation of discoveries in basic medical research into clinical practice.


A 2-year postdoctoral position in computational cancer biology is available at the University of Oslo (UiO) and Oslo University Hospital (OUS). The position is part of the recently funded project "Gene regulatory networks of tumor heterogeneity and metastatic progression of colorectal cancer." The project is a collaboration between the Computational Oncology group led by Anita Sveen at the Institute for Cancer Research, OUS (see https://www.ous-research.no/sveen for more information) and the Computational Biology and Systems Medicine group led by Marieke Kuijjer at the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM), UiO, Nordic EMBL partner (see here for more information). The successful candidate will be embedded in both groups. The start date is to be discussed.

The Sveen group is part of an interdisciplinary translational research program for colorectal cancer at OUS. An overarching theme of our research is to model tumor heterogeneity and its clinical impact based on DNA/RNA sequencing of multiple tissue samples from primary and metastatic tumors. We also have a platform for drug screening of pre-clinical models, and we integrate molecular and pharmacological data to develop new precision cancer medicine strategies.

The Kuijjer group was established in 2018 and focuses on developing computational and data science approaches to expand our understanding of gene regulation and how rewiring of gene regulatory networks can influence cancer development, progression, and disease heterogeneity. Amongst others, the group's current projects leverage approaches from network science and machine learning in tool development for (1) modeling of regulatory interactions at bulk and single-cell resolution, (2) integration of regulatory networks with multi-omics data, (3) fine-tuned analysis of genome-wide regulatory networks. The group applies these tools to study solid tumors, including colorectal cancer in this project.

The joint project aims to identify the regulatory mechanisms of spatiotemporal tumor heterogeneity in colorectal cancer. The selected candidate will apply and combine computational tools to model gene regulatory networks in transcriptomics data. Tumor heterogeneity will be evaluated in multiregional samples of primary tumors and in multiple metastases from each patient. Drug target potential will be analyzed in a living biobank of tumor organoids screened for sensitivity to anticancer drugs. The proposed postdoc candidate will be trained in computational analyses and collaborate in an interdisciplinary translational research environment with bioinformaticians, molecular biologists, cell biologists, and clinical researchers. All needed infrastructure is established, and computational tools and molecular data are available.

The candidate

We seek a highly motivated candidate with a track record in computational analysis of high-throughput genomics data. The candidate should be excited about applying computational tools to answer questions in systems cancer medicine. The ideal candidate is collaborative and creative, and has strong programming skills dedicated to the analysis of large-scale genomics data. Experience with analysis of large-scale genomic data sets, as well as knowledge in cancer research, are requirements for this position.

Experience with genomic data integration, biological network analysis, and/or gene regulation is desirable, but not required for this position. A background in translational cancer research is an advantage. The position is open to applicants with a PhD in cancer genomics, computational biology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, or related fields.

The appointment is a fulltime position for two years, with the possibility for extension depending on future funding.

Qualification requirements

  • PhD degree in cancer genomics, computational biology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, or a related field. Applicants with a PhD background in biology or (bio)medicine are welcome to apply but should have documented programming skills. Applicants with a pure computational background should have documented applications in cancer research.
  • Strong publication record (including 1st authorship)
  • Proficiency in programming (such as R, Python, MATLAB, Bash)
  • Experience with analysis of high-throughput genomics data
  • Knowledge in colorectal cancer, gene regulation, and/or network biology is considered an advantage
  • Experience with high performance computing is desirable
  • Professional proficiency in English
  • Enjoy working in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Willingness to work in a team, share skills and ideas, and collaborate on projects

We offer

  • A salary of NOK 575 400 - 646 000 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • Ambitious and interdisciplinary research work place
  • A professional, stimulating working environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application, including attachments, must be delivered through the electronic recruiting system.

The application must include:

  • A cover letter, stating your motivation, scientific background, and research interests
  • A detailed CV with a list of publications
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • 2-3 references

These should be uploaded in .pdf format. Please submit your application through the web-based recruitment system linked in the announcement. While the recruitment system includes a basic CV, we ask candidates to also include a separate, detailed CV in .pdf format with their application. Applications without a cover letter and/or detailed CV will be rejected.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

Inquiries about the position can be directed to Marieke Kuijjer and Anita Sveen.

For questions relating to the administrative aspects of the application, please contact Nina Modahl

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