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Bioinformatics Analyst / Computational Biologist in hot field

Research | Chicago, IL | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

The lab of Dr. Kyle Eagen at Northwestern University focuses on elucidating how DNA folds within cells and how DNA misfolding relates to human disease, including cancer.  Northwestern is one of the top ranked universities in the country, and the Feinberg School of Medicine is well known for its exceptional and innovative research and clinical achievements. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics has been provided substantial resources by the School of Medicine towards expanding interdisciplinary research in the computational, genomic, molecular, biochemical, structural, and enzymological bases of human disease, with the additional advantage of using multiple computational and model systems in the process. Dr. Eagen’s lab is dedicated to applying state-of-the-art computational strategies to tackle big problems in biomedicine, to make important scientific contributions, and to educate and train the next generation of computational biologists. The lab is located at the downtown Chicago campus in the vibrant Streeterville neighborhood along the shores of Lake Michigan.

About the Job

A Bioinformatics Analyst/Computational Biologist position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Kyle Eagen in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University. The individual will identify and implement computational solutions to research problems related to DNA folding in both health and disease. S/he will be responsible for taking on highly interdisciplinary projects and key functions in this endeavor, including applying state-of-the-art open source software for basic and advanced analysis of next-generation sequencing Hi-C data. S/he will work closely with Dr. Eagen to develop cutting-edge computational tools and pipelines as the lab expands into new research areas.

The ideal candidate should be highly motivated, well organized, manage time effectively, and have the ability to work independently as well as part of a team. S/he will have a background in bioinformatics, computational biology, and/or biostatistics and have software development experience, at least to the level of developing scripts for processing data in languages such as Java, Python, Perl, and/or R.  The candidate must be comfortable working in a Linux/Unix environment and with high performance computing (HPC) workload managers and job schedulers.  The most common datasets s/he will encounter are extremely large and complex chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) datasets, but will likely also include ChIP-seq, total RNA-seq, and PRO-seq data.

Appointment will be commensurate with experience and credentials.

General Responsibilities

  • Manages and plans for data/analysis requests and projects, building collaborative pipelines as needed
  • Consults with lab members on appropriate data management, methodological issues and statistical analysis
  • Communicates with lab members and technical staff to monitor/shape the growth and maintenance of computational resources

Specific Responsibilities

  • Strategic Planning and Development
    • Maintain and expand upon existing computational pipelines for Hi-C, ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq
    • Interpret results using a variety of techniques by applying and/or developing appropriate statistical analysis for Hi-C, ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq
    • Collaborate with lab members to interpret and refine Hi-C, ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq analysis
    • Develop novel computational and visualization tools as well as other resources to further the analysis and interpretation of Hi-C data
    • Collaborate with local IT to implement new technologies
    • Determine data structure for local datasets
  • Administrative
    • Prepare reports, charts, and graphs for presentations and publications ensuring high quality and accuracy
    • Define, develop, and communicate new computational standards and best practices
    • Develop and maintain documentation of computational processes for quality assurance and reporting
    • Manage related next-generation DNA sequencing data
    • Search and evaluate scientific literature in support of research projects
    • Write portions of grant applications, manuscripts, and publications
    • Co-author scientific papers
  • Effectively interact with team members to make important contributions on big problems while ensuring a high standard of scientific rigor

Complete other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience
  • 4 years data analysis/report writing or similar experience required

Minimum Competencies (Skills, knowledge, and abilities):

  • Experience in the following:
    • Infrastructure: Linux Operating System
    • Programming Languages: Java, Python, Perl, Shell Scripting, R
    • Analytical: critical thinking, data mining, data modeling, judgement, metadata creation and management, problem solving, troubleshooting
  • Demonstrated ability to learn about new technologies
  • Demonstrated ability working with open-source bioinformatics software and publically available databases
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Willingness and capability to share knowledge with other members of the team
  • A record of taking initiative to solve problems and working to high-quality standards
  • Attention to detail and accurate record keeping
  • Ability to multitask, work and learn independently, and be self-motivated

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD or Master’s degree in Bioinformatics, Biostatistics or Computer Science with biology background

Preferred Competencies (Skills, knowledge, and abilities):

  • Proficient with Linux/Unix
  • Experience in Java, Python, Perl, R and/or shell scripting
  • Background in statistics
  • Experience working in an academic or health care computing environment
  • Ability to solve complex bioinformatics problems
  • Familiarity with software versioning tools (e.g. GitHub)
  • Knowledge of linear algebra and/or Fourier analysis

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.