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Research Opportunities in Biological Computation

Microsoft Research, Cambridge, England

The Biological Computation Group at Microsoft Research is seeking to hire outstanding scientists to conduct research into uncovering fundamental principles of biological information processing. The overall aim of the group is to transform our understanding of how biological systems compute.

The group is studying biological systems across multiple scales and scientific domains, ranging from DNA computing and synthetic biology, through to developmental biology and immunology, tackling fundamental scientific questions in each domain. Current projects include designing molecular circuits made of DNA, and programming single cells that cooperate to perform complex functions over time and space. We also aim to understand the computation performed by cells during organ development, and how the adaptive immune system detects viruses and cancers in the human body, focusing on mechanism and function. We are tackling these questions through the development of computational models and domain-specific computational tools, in close collaboration with leading scientific research groups. The tools we develop are being integrated into a common software environment, which supports simulation and analysis across multiple scales and domains. Further information about the group is available at , including links to our software tools, which are freely available for use by the scientific community.

We are seeking to hire outstanding scientists to undertake research in one or more of the following areas: fundamentals of biological computation, immunology, developmental biology, synthetic biology, DNA computing and neuroscience. Candidates should have a strong research background in one of these areas, or a background in computer science, engineering, maths or physics and have applied their work in biological modelling. Candidates with an experimental background should be able to demonstrate strong computational or mathematical expertise.

Candidates will be expected to develop collaborations with leading research groups, particularly experimentalists, and to publish their research in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. However, the primary expectation is more ambitious: to make important contributions that enable fundamental progress in biological science.

The Biological Computation Group is part of Microsoft’s Computational Science Laboratory, which is well-resourced and also includes a Computational Ecology group together with expertise in software development. This is an exciting opportunity to join a young, dynamic team with excellent opportunities for growth in the future, including plans for state-of-the art wet lab facilities.

Postdoctoral positions are available for between two and three years, while permanent research positions are also available for more senior candidates. To apply, please complete the online application at , preferably before February 28th. Any pre-application enquiries should be sent to Andrew Phillips ( with subject “Hiring”. Applications will be considered on receipt, and suitable candidates will be interviewed on an ongoing basis.