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Open position

Postdoctoral Research Officer in our DNA Repair & Recombination Laboratory


St Vincent’s Institute (SVI) is an internationally recognized independent research organization, based on the St Vincent’s Hospital Campus on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD. The Institute has a dedicated team of over 150 staff and students, who are committed to improving the health and life-expectancy of Australians. We focus on common diseases that represent major health issues for Australians today, including infertility, diabetes, bone diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. With an exceptional pool of talented researchers and a growing number of state-of-the-art facilities, we are enthusiastic about the future.

Laboratory & Research Focus:

The DNA Repair and Recombination Laboratory is an established research group at SVI, focused on understanding the genetic control of DNA repair and recombination. Our vision is to translate basic knowledge of DNA repair pathways into treatments for infertility, bone marrow failure syndromes and cancer. Our team is a dynamic research environment within the Genome Stability Unit, with 13 members (senior scientists, postdocs, post-graduate students, RAs) who all share a passion for research and having fun along the way.


We are seeking a self-motivated and passionate postdoctoral Researcher to join the DNA Repair and Recombination Laboratory team headed by Dr Wayne Crismani. This role will manage a project focused on genetics, meiotic crossover formation and leveraging the power of single cell sequencing in gametes. The incumbent will work primarily as a wet-lab scientist, however, they will work closely with research bioinformaticians and statisticians for all experimental stages from planning through to data analysis. 

Our laboratory has made significant advances already on the project and a driven post doc will have ample opportunities for high quality publications in broad interest journals plus those with a focus in genetics and method development.

The successful appointee will have a PhD (or equivalent) focused on genetics and molecular biology. A strong understanding of Mendalian genetics and breeding strategies is essential.

The appointee will be highly organised, excellent at maintaining laboratory records and a clear communicator. Applicants whose first language is not English are welcome to provide supporting documentation such as IELTS or TOEFL scores.

Salary: commensurate with experience ranging from $85,000 to $91,911 per annum, plus 9.5% superannuation and generous $15,900 FBT exempt salary packaging.

Position Descriptions:

Further information:  Dr Wayne Crismani

To apply: All applications addressed to Dr Wayne Crismani should include the following:

  • Current CV (2 page maximum);  and

  • Cover letter addressing the selection criteria (1 page maximum). 

Closing Date:   Friday, 14 February 2020



Open position - On behalf of Dr Davis McCarthy

Postdoctoral Research Officer - Bioinformatics & Cellular Genomics

The Position

We seeking a motivated and successful postdoctoral Researcher to manage an independent project in single-cell genetics, developing new computational methods and open-source software to enable cloud-scale analyses of single-cell data. You will implement statistical and machine learning approaches and coordinate the processing and analysis of ‘omic data, specifically related to recombination in meiosis and DNA repair, as well as identifying opportunities to customise more efficient workflows and methods where warranted. 

The position also plays an important role in the overall performance and scientific activities of the laboratory as you will contribute to publications, assist in the supervision of students and present at seminars and lab meetings. The researcher will also have an organisation-wide responsibility in collaborating closely with the researchers of the wet-lab laboratories, providing computational expertise on experimental design and data analysis in specific cases. 

The successful incumbent will have a PhD (or equivalent) in a computational discipline relevant to bioinformatics and cellular genomics (bioinformatics, statistics, machine learning, computer science, applied mathematics, physics or similar) and possess advanced skills in using computer programming and scripting in R or Python and, ideally, familiarity with one or more of Julia, C++, Go, Nim, Rust, Java, Perl or SQL programming languages. You will have a demonstrated ability in the use of Unix-based systems, computing clusters and related queuing systems and in large-scale data analysis and management. Ideally you will have prior experience working in high-performance computing environments, including academic and/or commercial cloud computing platforms and experience using bioinformatics workflow management software (e.g. Snakemake, Nextflow, WDL). Your track record in bioinformatics, genomics, computational biology or other relevant quantitative fields will be evidenced by high-quality publications. Demonstrated experience developing open-source software and reproducible data analyses will be highly regarded.

Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience, ranging from AUD $85,000 to $91,911 per annum, plus:

  • 9.5% superannuation

  • generous $15,900 FBT exempt salary packaging

Applications addressed to Dr Davis McCarthy should include the following:

  • Current CV

  • Covering letter addressing selection criteria, as outlined on the Position Description

Enquiries Dr Davis McCarthy

Closing Date COB Friday, 14 February 2020



Previous openings


Honours/PhD Project #1

Cancer drug discovery by inhibition of a DNA repair pathway.

Supervisor: Dr Wayne Crismani              



Want to cure cancer? We do too. Join our dynamic young team of experts, in the identification and characterisation of new potential cancer therapeutics. In this project, you would learn about DNA repair, genetic diseases and a variety of laboratory-based techniques (AlphaScreen drug discovery assays, recombinant DNA technology, CRISPR gene targeting, drug discovery, cell-based chemotherapy response assays, pharmacokinetics, protein purification and in vitro enzyme assays).


Chemotherapy is one of the essential tools in modern cancer treatment. Chemotherapy works by creating DNA damage in cancer cells, but tumour cells can gain resistance by upregulating DNA repair pathways. Our team has made major breakthroughs in reconstituting these DNA repair reactions in vitro, allowing a new approach to design DNA repair-inhibiting drugs. This approach may identify sensitisers that would make these “untreatable” cancers receptive to traditional chemotherapies. By joining us you will gain exposure to basic and translational research that is at the forefront internationally. You will receive training in a molecular biology laboratory with a focus on biochemistry and cell biology, increase your understanding of cancer biology and treatment, and increase your employability particularly in the science sector.


$5,000 PhD top ups and honours scholarships are available to a limited number of outstanding candidates. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Honours/PhD Project #2

The generation of genetic diversity via DNA repair pathways

Supervisor: Dr Wayne Crismani              



Are you different from your brothers and sisters but have the same parents? Why is it that two parents can create children that are genetically unique? The answer is meiosis. We are seeking an enthusiastic scientist with an interest in genetics and evolution, to uncover how DNA repair pathways regulate generation of diversity during meiosis.


In our bodies, DNA double strand breaks are incredibly dangerous and must be repaired. Nonetheless, there are natural processes that actively generate DNA double strand breaks during meiosis, to allow genetic recombination, or the reshuffling of genetic material between related chromosomes. This process is tightly regulated by mechanisms that are widely conserved in eukaryotes. We previously showed that mutants of the gene FANCM cause a huge increase in meiotic recombination in plants (eg Crismani et al, Science 2012). A related gene has the same effect in yeast. We have now generated FANCM-deficient mice to determine if the same process governs genetic diversity in mammals. This research has potential implications for our understanding and treatment of infertility in humans.


Your project will take place in a dynamic young team of experts, and use a diverse set of techniques (including mouse genetics and meiosis techniques, next generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics analysis of recombination frequencies, recombinant DNA technology, immunofluorescence and ex vivo organ culture) to uncover how genetic diversity is regulated, and potentially affected in human disease.


$5,000 PhD top ups and honours scholarships are available to a limited number of outstanding candidates. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Closed January 31-01-2017 - Post-doctoral Researcher

The Facility

St Vincent's Institute (SVI) is located on the edge of the Melbourne CBD, the city that has been ranked as the world's most liveable city every year since 2011 by the Economist. SVI is a progressive and internationally recognised research organisation. SVI currently supports an exceptional body of prominent and highly talented research professionals working on a broad range of leading edge research including diabetes, immunology, metabolism, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer of the blood, bone and breast. St Vincent's institute prides itself on creating a stimulating and supportive workplace, with mentoring from some of the finest research scientists in Australia.

The opportunity

Researchers who are interested in a career focused on DNA repair, genome stability and drug development are invited to apply for a post-doctoral position now open in the Genome Stability Unit at SVI. The Genome Stability laboratory is an established research group at SVI, focused on understanding the genetic basis of inherited cancer syndromes, including Fanconi anaemia and familial breast and ovarian cancer. The project aims to deepen our understanding of the Fanconi anaemia core complex and identify lead compounds for the treatment of cancer and bone marrow failure syndromes.

Specific role

- Ubiquitination assay optimisation using the alpha screen platform

- Chemical screening, lead identification and optimisation

- Lead compound analysis

- Cell culture, protein production and purification

- Grant writing and manuscript preparation

Selection Criteria

  • Candidates with demonstrated expertise in any of the following areas will be considered: DNA repair, cancer and bone marrow failure syndromes, biochemistry, chemistry, protein production, drug screening, pharmacology, structural biology, ubiquitination assays, molecular biology.

  • The successful appointee will have a PhD degree in biochemistry, genetics, biophysics or related area, with experience working in a laboratory environment. Expertise in a wide range of biochemical techniques is ideal though not essential. Ideally candidates will have familiarity with ethics requirements and processes, PC2 work environments, OGTR, AQIS or similar regulatory bodies in the case of foreign applicants.

  • Candidates need to demonstrate their outputs with at least one first author publication in a quality journal or patents based on robust science.

Relevant literature 

Mechanism of Ubiquitination and Deubiquitination in the Fanconi Anemia Pathway, Molecular Cell, 2016. DOI:

Salary  $75,000 - $80,000 pa depending on experience, plus generous salary packaging of $15,900 FBT exempt and 9.5% superannuation.

Position Description



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