CAREERS BLOG

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Mapping the Human Cell Atlas

5/25/2018 4:55:16 PM

The Human Cell Atlas consortium is an international collaboration seeking to create 3D reference maps of every cell in the human body. Such maps would reveal physiological characteristics of cells (e.g., type and state), locations of cells in tissues, and how cells interact. With technological advancements in single-cell multiomic and computational analyses, the tools are now available to make this work possible. These maps promise to reveal unique insights into the underlying mechanisms of disease, among other biomedical implications. Plus, data from this project will be made available to the science community and public for free.

HCA jobsCurrently in the first phase, the project is focused on developing the data-coordination platform that will be required. Also underway are pilot projects to standardize the single-cell methodologies needed to process and image cells on a large scale. And the project has yielded impressive results so far. To date, the HCA has releaseda number of single-cell sequencing datasets, including a census of over half-a-million immune cells.
 

Such a massive effort will require an interdisciplinary and diverse team of scientists across the clinical to computational disciplines. As an open-source and collaborative project, there are lots of opportunities for early-career scientists anywhere to get involved. Those who are interested can join the HCA Slack group to take part in discussions and contribute valuable input to project design. You also can submit a form expressing your interest in participating in future projects. Additionally, meetings are streamed on the HCA YouTube channel and all protocols are shared online.

And presumably, this work and associated funding will open up job opportunities as well. For example, the HCA recently received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization founded by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan, for 85 research projects that will create the foundational computational tools and benchmark datasets for the initiative moving forward.

So, for this week’s jobs roundup, I decided to look more into job openings affiliated with HCA projects. To note, many of the positions are computationally focused, as would be expected from the initial work required to start up this initiative.  

As an FYI, jobs were found using a multilateral approach that included: 1) browsing through tweets tagged with #humancellatlas for job mentions; 2) performing a keyword search on a generic job board for “human cell atlas”; 3) doing a search of job boards at a few institutions that received CZI funding; and 4) signing up for the HCA Slack account to check for any job postings.

 

Weekly jobs roundup 

  • The Broad Institute (Cambridge, Mass.) is recruiting a computational biologist, as part of its Human Cell Atlas team, to develop bioinformatic pipelines for single-cell genomic analyses that scale for cloud- and web-based applications. Minimum qualifications include graduate work in computer science, mathematics, bioinformatics or a related field and experience with next-generation sequencing pipelines or computational analyses of images. No application deadline is provided. (H/t to Kylee Degatano, software product manager at the Broad Institute, who shared this posting in the HCA Slack group.)  
  • The Computational Genomics Laboratory within the Genomics Institute at the University of California-Santa Cruz has open positions for bioinformatics software developers who will help build the data-storage component of the HCA project. The positions are listed as a senior software engineer and junior software engineer. See job postings for qualifications. While the initial review of applications began earlier this year, I have confirmed that both positions are still open. (Note: Thanks to Benedict Paten and Kevin Osborn of UCSC for such a quick response to my inquiry about open positions. Kevin, who is hiring for the positions here, also mentioned that they expect to be hiring more software developers as the project moves forward.)  
  • The Jackson Laboratory (Farmington, Conn.) is hiring a postdoctoral researcher to join the lab of Duygu Ucar, who has been awarded funding as part of the HCA project to perform single-cell RNA-seq analyses of immune-cell activation. The postdoc will develop computational tools for the analyses of genomic datasets associated with immune cells. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in a quantitative field (e.g., computer science, statistics) and programming experience. No application deadline is provided. (Note: I was unable to confirm the current status of this position and its involvement with the HCA project, so you may want to reach out to the PI.)
  • The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is seeking a postdoctoral fellow in computational single-cell genomics to join its Statistical Genomics and Systems Genetic group in Heidelberg, Germany. This position will work in direct support of the HCA project to develop new computational methods for probing single-cell RNA-seq data and related datasets. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in a quantitative field, or the biological sciences with a background in computational and statistical development. The application deadline is June 13.  
  • The Institute of Computational Biology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Technical University Munich in Germany is recruiting a postdoc to work on an HCA-funded project. The researcher will develop methods for analyzing single-cell RNA-seq data with regards to the transcriptional trajectories of differing cell states. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in bioinformatics, systems biology or a quantitative field and background in statistical data analysis. No application deadline is provided.

Donna Kridelbaugh is a contributor to the ASBMB Careers Blog. She holds an advanced degree in microbiology and is a former lab manager.   

Stay updated on new posts by following the  ASBMB on social media  or click “follow” on this blog (must be a member and signed in). Also, be sure to check out the   ASBMB Job Board  for even more job listings.

Working on autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases

5/18/2018 11:55:19 AM

May 20 is World Autoimmune/Autoinflammatory Arthritis Day. AI arthritis refers to a multitude of autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus) that cause joint inflammation among other symptoms. This annual health observance, organized by the International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis, raises awareness of the need to develop diagnostics for early detection of these diseases to improve patient outcomes.  

For research news related to inflammatory arthritic diseases, be sure to check out the ASBMB’s health observance information page on this topic.  

This week, we feature a number of biomedical research opportunities for early-career scientists in this area. A number of positions were found in both academia and industry for bachelor’s to Ph.D. degree levels. These jobs focus on basic research into disease mechanisms to the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Jobs were found via searches on a generic job board using the keywords “arthritis research,” “inflammatory disease” and “rheumatology.”  

Weekly jobs roundup  

  • The Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine is seeking a life science research professional to work in the lab of William Robinson. The researcher will investigate the molecular basis of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases to inform the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is hiring a research specialist to study the basis of autoimmune pathology in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Note: The job posting indicates that the position is being hired for at two different levels of qualifications, but it’s unclear if one or two positions are open, so you may want to reach out and ask. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in science and either less than one year or one to three years of research experience for each hiring level. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The Division of Rheumatology at the John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is hiring a research specialist to support a research lab in the area of molecular immunology studies. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in science and two years of experience or a master’s degree may substitute for experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • Corrona, a provider of observational datasets for autoimmune diseases and related clinical services in support of biopharmaceutical companies, is recruiting a scientific manager to lead its science team and manage clinical-analysis projects. This position can be located in Waltham, Mass., or a remote location. Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree in public health, biostatistics or epidemiology and three years of project-management experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The Department of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Washington University School of Medicine is looking for a bioinformaticist to assist with the genetic analyses of immune-system disorders. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in science (master’s or Ph.D. in computer science preferred) and four years of relevant experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The biopharmaceutical company AbbVie is recruiting a scientist in functional immunology to identify and validate new drug targets for the treatment of autoimmune and chronic inflammation disorders. The position is located in in Cambridge, Mass. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the biological sciences and five to seven or two to five years of lab experience, respectively. No application deadline is provided.  
  • Recursion Pharmaceuticals (Salt Lake City) is hiring a research scientist in disease biology and cellular pharmacology to test new drug treatments for a range of diseases, including rare and inflammatory diseases. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in a biological field and two to four years of cell or molecular biology research experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The biopharmaceutical company Regeneron is filling multiple positions at its R&D facility in Tarrytown, N.Y. The company focuses on developing medicines for the treatment of various medical conditions, including drug candidates for rheumatoid arthritis in the pipeline. Recently posted positions include a summer intern in inflammatory and immune diseases and a Ph.D.-level mass spectrometrist. See the job postings for details on qualifications. No application deadlines are provided.    

Donna Kridelbaugh is a contributor to the ASBMB Careers Blog. She holds an advanced degree in microbiology and is a former lab manager.   

Stay updated on new posts by following the ASBMB on social media  or click “follow” on this blog (must be a member and signed in). Also, be sure to check out the  ASBMB Job Board  for even more job listings.

Academic administration positions

5/11/2018 12:46:43 PM

Do you enjoy working in an academic environment, but not so excited about the prospect of running your own lab or teaching? Do you have a passion for helping students and early-career scientists be successful in their academic training and beyond? If so, you may want to consider a career in academic administration. This refers to the professional staff who are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of academic programs. While some academic admin positions (e.g., dean) require experience as a faculty member, most positions do not and only require direct experience working with science trainees in a programmatic capacity.  

Academic administrators wear a lot of different hats, from the planning and administration of programs (e.g., recruitment and retention efforts) to providing support services for trainees (e.g., academic and career counseling). These positions also play a critical role in developing and ensuring compliance with policies that impact the success of students and promote a diverse and inclusive environment. As an example, check out the recent essays in the ASBMB Today that advocate for GRE scores to be removed from graduate admissions criteria. Such policies can be changed and academic admins have the influence to make this happen. (FYI, see this list of biology and biomedical graduate programs dropping the GRE requirement, which is maintained by Joshua Hall of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill).

This week’s jobs roundup features academic-administration positions working with programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training levels. I have focused on jobs that involve some type of management responsibilities vs. a support role. Job searches were done via several generic and academic job boards using keywords related to “student affairs”, “education administration” and “program manager” combined with the word “science” and the training level (as indicated above). Also, be sure to check out this previous post on careers to support diversity in science efforts for more ideas on nonfaculty academic jobs. 

Weekly jobs roundup  

  • The University of California–Los Angeles is searching for an assistant director of the Undergraduate Research Center-Sciences to manage several undergrad research programs, including programming and services targeted to retain underrepresented students as science majors. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in the sciences, postdoctoral research experience and university teaching experience. The application deadline is May 29.  
  • The Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado–Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus is hiring both a pre-bioengineering program manager and graduate program manager to oversee operations of the respective academic programs, which includes student advising, program operations and strategic-planning efforts. Minimum qualifications for both positions include a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and experience managing student programs. The application deadlines are May 23.  
  • The Biological Sciences Division at The University of Chicago is looking to fill multiple positions for graduate education administrators (search for this position title to see all related postings). These positions will oversee all administrative aspects of the specific graduate programs, including recruitment, retention and professional-development activities for grad students. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree in the life science preferred) and two years of experience in student affairs. The jobs were listed in late April, and postings expire on or before various dates in October. (H/t to Briana Konnick for sharing these postings with the ASBMB via the Graduate Career Consortium message board.)

  • Additionally, the Molecular Biosciences cluster within BSD at The University of Chicago is hiring a director of graduate education to provide overall management and oversight of its graduate programs. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred) and five years of administrative experience. The job posting expires on or before Sept. 14. Note: The position was posted in March, so you may want to reach out to the division to check on the status of the position.  
  • The Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, Mo.) is recruiting an executive director of graduate education within the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences to manage the operational and administrative aspects of its graduate programs. This includes planning curriculum needs, implementing policy directives and evaluating program effectiveness. Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree (Ph.D. preferred) and five years of administrative experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The Graduate School at Northwestern University is seeking an assistant director of postdoctoral affairs to support the needs and priorities of the postdoc community across the Chicago and Evanston campuses. Tasks include advising on and monitoring compliance with postdoc policies and providing direct support services (e.g., onboarding, career counseling). Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree (Ph.D. preferred) and four years of program administration experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The California Institute of Technology is hiring a postdoctoral and visitor programs manager to manage the appointments of nontenured faculty and postdoctoral scholars within the Biology and Biological Engineering Division, including onboarding, compliance and financial aspects. Other responsibilities include coordinating professional-development events (e.g., postdoc summer seminars). Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree and five years of administrative experience. No application deadline is provided.    

Bonus job 

The American Society for Microbiology is hiring for several positions in the area of science education and training. These positions include a program coordinator to oversee the ASM’s fellowship programs and an education specialist to coordinate yearlong professional development and mentoring activities for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students community. See the job postings for details on qualifications. No application deadlines are provided. 

Author's note

And if you know of an undergraduate student who could use some financial support, be sure to let them know that the deadline to apply for the Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates is June 1. This scholarship is open to ASBMB student members who are full-time students at the junior level or higher with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students whose social, educational or economic background adds to the diversity of the biomedical workforce or who show commitment to enhancing academic success of underrepresented students are especially encouraged to apply. Students with DACA status also are eligible.