Job:Postdoctoral Research Scientist position at Columbia University Medical Center
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Last seen 10 days ago
United States


A Postdoctoral Research Scientist position in Computational Biology is available at the Center for Translational and Computational Neuroimmunology (CTCN) in the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, NY.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and energetic individual to join our computational team. Our overarching research goal at the CTCN is to identify and model molecular mechanisms that drive neurodegeneration with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The computational team develops and applies systems biology approaches to genome-wide high-dimensional human data obtained from large well-characterized cohorts. These data are often multi-modal (genetic, epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic), include different brain regions or peripheral tissue, and were obtained at different resolutions (tissue-level data, single-cell/nucleus data, or spatial transcriptomics) requiring complex integrative analyses.

The candidate will be primarily working on a project studying molecular pathways driving motor decline, which is an early non-cognitive symptom of ADRD. The candidate will be responsible for designing, leading, and carrying out the analyses of transcriptomic and proteomic data from key mobility tissues (motor cortex, spinal cord, and muscle) to identify dysregulated pathways related to motor traits controlling for the presence of AD and other CNS pathologies. Tissue specimens were obtained from the same aged persons, all of whom had gait testing with wearable sensors and annual cognitive testing before death, making these data of several hundred tissue profiles a unique resource for studying motor impairment.

The ideal candidate should have a quantitative background (Statistics, Biostatistics, Computer Science, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, or Applied Mathematics), be highly motivated to solve biological problems, and have experience analyzing large-scale high-throughput genomic data. The candidate should have good knowledge of one programming language for implementing computational models and algorithms (R is preferred, Matlab, Python, Perl, C/C++ also options). Experience with graph modeling, Bayesian statistics, or causal inference is a plus. Because our work involves multiple collaborators, a good balance between independence and team spirit is essential, and the ability to communicate effectively and in a timely manner are necessary.

The successful candidate will be part of an integrated team of data scientists, cellular biologists, human immunologists, and clinician scientists who come together to perform team-based projects, with each postdoctoral researcher leading her or his own project. The position therefore offers a stimulating and multi-disciplinary environment with numerous opportunities to collaborate with researchers without and outside of the CTCN, including established collaborations with the New York Genome Center and the Rush University in Chicago. The candidate will be mentored by Drs. Hans-Ulrich Klein and Philip De Jager.

Principal duties and responsibilities

  • Responsible for the design, execution, and interpretation of bioinformatics analyses.
  • Contribute to QA/QC of data to prepare datasets for analysis.
  • Interface with team to accomplish group projects in addition to primary project.
  • Interface with collaborators to prepare, analyze, and interpret data.
  • Display initiative and independence in accomplishing all duties and responsibilities. Prepare summary reports of data and results for dissemination to colleagues and collaborators. Both technical summaries and documents for a wider scientific audience will be generated.
  • Participate in grant writing and proposals as needed.
  • Directly respond to inquiries regarding projects being managed. Produces subsets of data for distribution to collaborators as approved by the principal investigators.


Ph.D. in computational biology, bioinformatics, statistics, biostatistics, computer science, or related area. Ph.D. in biology or neuroscience is also acceptable if the candidate has extensive experience with quantitative methods.

Required skills, abilities and competences

  • Demonstrated analytical skills
  • Outstanding problem solving skills
  • Strong organizational skills in managing large datasets
  • Experience in analyzing RNA-sequencing or similar related data
  • Programming experience in R, Matlab or Python
  • Ability to work independently and display initiative within a team environment

Supervisory responsibilities

The candidate may supervise rotating students as opportunities arise.

Application Instructions

Application and inquiries should be submitted by e-mail to Hans-Ulrich Klein ( Along with your CV, please include a cover letter describing previous research, research interests, and future goals. Please provide contact details for 3 references.

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