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Microsoft Research Studentship

  • Application for this studentship is now open

Computation During Development: Characterising the Molecular Programs that Underlie Pluripotency and Differentiation in Embryonic Stem Cells

Project Summary:

Embryonic stem (ES) cells are a unique type of cell derived from the inner cell mass of the developing blastocyst, which possess the ability to self-renew indefinitely, and to differentiate into all somatic lineages; a characteristic known as pluripotency. Harnessing this potential makes them an attractive prospect for regenerative medicine, while understanding the decision-making procedures that determine differentiation is vital to our overall understanding of development. We aim to combine both state-of-the-art experimental and computational methods to uncover the processes that underlie cell fate determination. We are seeking an outstanding individual for award of a fully funded three year Microsoft PhD Scholarship. The candidate should have a strong background in biochemistry/developmental biology, knowledge of computational/mathematical methods, and the ability to contribute to both experimental work in the Hendrich lab and in computational development at Microsoft Research.

Primary Supervisor:


Dr Brian Hendrich

Transcriptional Control of Stem Cell Fate

Email: [email protected]

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Microsoft Research Supervisor:

downloadStephen J. Emmott is a Professor and Head ofComputational Science at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK, where he has worked since 2004. He is also a Visiting Professor at University College Londonand the University of Oxford

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How To Apply

Applications for this studentship will be considered as they are received, so please submit your application as soon as possible.

  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your references are submitted as soon as possible after you apply.
  • Early applications should be eligible for October 2014 start. Later applications may only be eligible for January 2015 start.

To apply please  Download Microsoft Research Application Form and upload it to as soon as possible. You will also be required to upload your current CV and copies of your transcripts.


  • This is a 3-year PhD position.

  • For more information about the work of these labs, please visit
    1. and


  • Salary range £29,388 to £37,393 per annum dependent on experience.
  • We are looking for highly motivated candidates who have a PhD (or MSc plus direct practical experience) in bioinformatics, literature curation, and/or experience in handling large biological sequence datasets.
By developing high throughput technologies to systematically detect extracellular protein interactions, the Cell Surface Signalling Laboratory has identified extracellular receptor-ligand interactions that are essential for cellular recognition processes (see Nature v508 p483 and Nature v480 p534). The specific project will involve computationally integrating multiple datasets and the literature to compile a comprehensive gene set of human cell surface receptor proteins that will be used to create an important new screening tool for the laboratory.

Essential Skills

  • PhD (or MSc plus practical experience) in bioinformatics or a related area
  • Experience in the application of bioinformatics tools
  • Experience in handling large datasets through Awk/Perl/Python scripting or expert use of Excel
  • Experience in reading and curating biological literature

Other information

Postdoctoral Fellows are typically in their first or second postdoctoral position as part of a period of early career research training. This position is fixed-term for maternity cover. Due to the nature of the contract no minimum or maximum period of employment can be guaranteed. You should be aware the maximum period of maternity leave available to our employees is 12 months.
  • The closing date for applications is 8th June 2014

Apply here


Source link:

Have you tried the new UniProt beta site?

We would like to introduce you to the new UniProt beta site! We have been working on this site behind the scenes for a while and we're glad it's finally time to share it with you. The current UniProt website ( will still be available while we continue working on the beta site.

How it all started

At UniProt, we are keen to understand the scientific community that uses our services and to better understand your requirements. As part of this effort, we conducted two user workshops a couple of years ago - one in Washington DC and one in Hinxton, UK. The idea was to understand the gaps in our users' experience with our site and also to brainstorm ideas for future developments. We tested the website with users and identified various areas of improvement, finally leading to the decision of redesigning the interface.



User centred design

We chose a user centred design approach to ensure that the new interface is intuitive and helps users get the most out of our data and functionality. This approach involved user feedback from the very early stages so we could iterate the design rapidly with this feedback. It broadly consisted of the following stages:


Key highlights

Some highlights of the changes and improvements:

  • A new homepage and advanced search functionality
  • A new results page interface with easy to use filters
  • A basket to store your favourite proteins and build up your own set
  • New protein entry page content classification and navigation bar
  • New tool output interfaces (check out the Blast results!)

MARI themes

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