Postdoctoral Fellow (Computational Biology – Synthetic Lethality in Cancer)

University College Dublin
Systems Biology Ireland / School of Computer Science
Ireland Dublin


The Ryan group at Systems Biology Ireland and the UCD School of Computer Science are recruiting postdoctoral fellows to work on computational approaches to understand and predict synthetic lethal interactions in cancer.

Project Description:
Synthetic lethality, where one gene becomes essential in the presence of a mutation in another, has emerged as a promising approach by which we might identify new therapeutic targets for a variety of cancer associated mutations. Advances in genetic screening technologies, most notably CRISPR gene-editing, have enabled largescale efforts to identify new synthetic lethal targets in cancer. However, testing all human gene pairs for synthetic lethality in even a single cell line is well beyond the field’s current capacity. Furthermore, it has become clear that synthetic lethal interactions are highly context-specific: a combination of genetic perturbations that is lethal in one cell type or genetic background may be well tolerated in another. The nature of this context-specificity and the factors that influence it are almost entirely unknown. However, such knowledge is critical both for identifying
new synthetic lethal therapies and for anticipating resistance to such therapies. The overall goal of this project is to understand what factors contribute to the context-specificity of synthetic lethality in cancer and to develop machine learning models capable of predicting context-specific synthetic lethality. Relevant recent papers from. our lab include Lord et al, eLife (2020) and De Kegel et al, Cell Systems (2021).

This is a research focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of research supported by research training and development under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator. The primary purpose of the role is to further develop your research skills and competences, including the processes of publication in peer-reviewed academic publications, the development of funding proposals, the mentorship of graduate students along with the opportunity to develop your skills in research led teaching.


PhD in Computational Biology / Bioinformatics / Genomics / Systems Biology

Start date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

Closing date: 17:00hrs (local Irish time) on 18 October 2021

Applications must be submitted by the closing date and time specified. Any applications which are still in progress at the closing time of 17:00hrs (Local Irish Time) on the specified closing date will be cancelled automatically by the system. UCD are unable to accept late applications.

To Apply, or to view the full job description, go to UCD Jobs website and search for job Ref. 013692

For informal queries please contact Colm Ryan directly.


Colm Ryan