Home > Jobs > 2016 > Computational Biologist/Bioinformaticist


Computational Biologist/Bioinformaticist open

Job Title: Computational Biologist/Bioinformaticist 


Two positions for Computational Biologists are now open at the Ragon Institute 

The Walker laboratory and the Pillai laboratory at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard have openings for highly motivated computational biologists to join a dynamic team of bench scientists and a growing community of computational biologists working together to better understand human immunology. Please contact Shiv Pillai (pillai @helix.mgh.harvard.edu) or Bruce Walker (bwalker@mgh.harvard.edu) if you are interested. The compensation plan will be competitive. 

About the Institute  

Located in the heart of the Kendall Square biotech hub, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard aims to harness the immune system to prevent and cure human disease. With ten principal investigators and over 100 scientists in total, the institute provides a highly collaborative environment with close ties to neighboring universities, hospitals and industrial partners, which includes the computational resources of Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute. The laboratory of Institute Director Dr. Bruce Walker MD studies immune mechanisms of spontaneous HIV control to inform the development of an effective HIV vaccine. The laboratory of Dr. Shiv Pillai uses chromatin accessibility and transcriptomic approaches to study lymphocyte fate and lymphocyte memory especially with a view to enhancing the activity of the immune system for purposes of therapy and vaccination The selected individuals will join a growing community of computational biologists at the institute and will have the opportunity to participate in a multitude of interdisciplinary projects. 


Under the direction of the principal investigators and collaborating bench scientists, and with available guidance from Dr. Arup Chakraborty, a Member of the Ragon Institute,  and from our Associate Member, Dr. Nir Yosef, Ph.D. at the UC Berkeley Center for Computational Biology, the selected candidates will develop and implement analytical pipelines for the analysis of high-throughput assay data including single-cell and population RNA-seq, atomic-resolution protein structure data, ATAC-seq data and high-dimensional flow and mass cytometry. Projects in the Walker laboratory are aimed at enhancing our understanding of effective HIV immunity and will primarily include analysis of datasets generated from unique specimens (peripheral blood, lymphoid tissue, etc.) from patients seen at partnering clinics and hospitals. Projects in the Pillai laboratory are aimed at understanding specific human Immune cells that are expanded in patients with autoimmunity and understanding the biology of selected human memory B and T cells. >

The Computational Biologists will develop approaches to research problems and apply the relevant tools to large datasets in order to generate novel biological insights. They will adapt existing software tools and develop new ones as necessary. In addition to communicating methods and results to lab members and collaborators, the selected individuals will be expected to contribute to experiment design and manuscript preparation. Opportunities for intellectual growth, say by developing machine learning algorithms or using network theory etc., with intellectual input from Dr. Arup Chakraborty, Director of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT (and a Member of the Ragon Institute) and with Dr. Nir Yosef at U.C Berkeley, are considered important feature of these positions


Minimum Qualifications 

Master's degree or a PhD in computer science, bioinformatics, statistics, biostatistics or related fields. Bachelor's degree holders with 2 or more years of related experience are also welcome to apply.  

Proficiency in R and a scripting language  

Familiarity with high performance computing and computing clusters 

Preferred Qualifications 

Experience with network analysis 

Familiarity with bioinformatic databases, such as the Gene Expression Omnibus, UCSC Genome Browser, and MSigDB; and workflows such as those within Galaxy and GenePattern 

Experience with version control tools (preferably Git) 


Demonstrate integrity, excellence, accountability, and teamwork in all interactions 

Good oral and written communication skills 

Ability to maintain organized, detailed, and up-to-date documentation for all code written for analysis 

Strong interest in human immunology and infectious disease research 


Application Information The position is open immediately, although the start date is flexible. Please submit a cover letter, CV, and references to both Dr. Bruce Walker at bwalker@mgh.harvard.edu and  Dr. Shiv Pillai at pillai@helix.mgh.harvard.edu All applicants, including those from abroad, must be able to come to Cambridge, MA USA for an interview.

posted 2016.12.16