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Bioinformatician (Diagnostics)

Abercorn Sinclair is proud to work in partnership with Biotangents Ltd as they seek to appoint a new bioinformatician to their R&D team based at the Pentland Science Park, Edinburgh.

The company:

Biotangents is a young biotechnology business developing a range of diagnostic tests to detect infectious diseases in livestock. Based on a novel diagnostic platform, they are creating point-of-care devices to replace time-consuming centralised PCR-based testing.


They have a flexible working framework so this role can be predominately home based/remote if scheduled meetings and infrequent/ad hoc site days are viable. 

The role:

Reporting to the Head of Assay Development, your role will be to develop, improve and implement bioinformatic approaches to design nucleic acid probes, with maximum sensitivity and specificity, for infectious disease diagnostic tests. This will include using statistical modelling to interpret data produced by a wet lab team and optimise the assay and probe design as well as applying and further developing inhouse tools and pipelines for assay optimisation. Within the role, there will be extensive opportunity to develop and expand upon your own skill set and abilities.

Principal responsibilities:

  • Developing, improving and applying automated pipelines for use in infectious disease diagnostic test development
  • Building predictive models for assay performance for use in assay optimisation
  • Identifying suitable nucleic acid sequences to use as genetic targets for diagnostic tests
  • Design oligonucleotide probes to selectively recognise these genetic targets using Biotangents’ platform technology
  • Use cloud-based high-performance computing systems
  • Analysing and interpreting data generated in-house and obtained from published literature
  • Managing projects at pace to deliver results within specified time frames
  • Be proactive and inventive in devising solutions to technical challenges
  • Presenting data and findings in the form of written reports and at internal and, where relevant, external meetings
  • Working to rigorous standards of documentation, with a continuous improvement mindset

Core skills/experience:

  • Experience working in Python 3
  • Experience working with and development of bioinformatics pipelines
  • Experience working with optimisation problems

The following experience would be of significant interest:

  • Predictive models
  • Statistical tools such as JMP
  • Experience working in genetics, genomics, next-generation sequencing, or transcriptomics
  • Experience in designing oligonucleotides
  • Understanding of nucleic acid secondary structure
  • Experience using nucleic acid secondary structure prediction packages such as NUPACK, ViennaRNA 2.0, UNAFold


The candidate:

The ideal candidate will be educated to MRes/Ph.D. level in a relevant technical discipline, (bioinformatics/computational biology) with some industry exposure. You will be a natural and creative problem solver, have the ability and confidence to work independently and demonstrable behaviours which embody their core values of proactivity, pragmatism, fairness and integrity.

(See for further details)

The opportunity:

As a small multidisciplinary team with a diverse set of challenges, you will have the opportunity to develop and strengthen your core skills but also gain experience in a range of areas outside of your direct role, including statistical analysis, computational modelling, and their machine learning-based DNA sequence design algorithms.

In return, you can expect to receive a competitive salary plus additional benefits including pension, and flexible working. This is a permanent post based on a 37.5 hour week.

For a confidential discussion please contact our retained partner, Keith Tocher at Abercorn Sinclair

About Abercorn Sinclair

Abercorn Sinclair is a specialist, technical recruitment consultancy based in Edinburgh. We provide permanent, interim, and contract services across the science & technology sectors.