Post-doctoral Position in Combination Screening Informatics

The NCATS Informatics group is looking for a post-doctoral scientist to work on methodology development for the analysis and visualization of drug combination screening data. Currently, the NCATS Matrix Screening Platform has screened more than 65,000 combinations (in checkerboard fashion), across 200 cell lines, looking for synergy and antagonism. See the following papers for an overview of the platform and recent applications

I’m looking for a candidate who’s interested in addressing multiple aspects of combination screening such as

  • How do we use this data alongwith public data sources to prospectively predict drug combination responses?
  • How can we effectively summarize, visualize and prioritize 5,000 combination responses
  • What do combinations tell us about biological networks and their responses to perturbations?

However, these are just starting points. It’s expected that the candidate will dig in to the data and take the lead on formulating questions and identify opportunities to develop and apply new methods of analysis & visualization. There will be opportunities to work with experimental scientists so that novel methods can be tested on real data.

About You – You should have experience working with chemical structure-activity data and/or genomic data and a deep interest in developing methods to analyze such data. You’re strong on algorithms and/or statistics and on the lookout for new ways to apply them to chemical and biological data. Or develop brand new ones if they don’t do what you want. You also want to share your work – by implementing your research in software that is distributed publicly, by writing papers and presenting your work at meetings. At the end of it all, you want your work to impact real life problems and not just remain a theoretical curiosity.

About Us – The NCATS Informatics group plays a key role in the operation of multiple screening platforms (small molecules, RNAi, ADME, drug combinations) within the Division of Preclinical Innovation at NCATS. Informatics scientists are committed to research and development in all areas of molecular informatics. The group provides an intellectually stimulating environment and is interested in a diverse range of informatics topics that vary in scale from small molecules right up to phenotypes and clinical data. Since we collaborate closely with experimental colleagues at NCATS, you’ll be exposed to research on a wide variety of biological systems. Importantly, we’re a production center, which means we generate large quantities of screening data on a regular basis (30,000 plates over 1280 screens in 2014 alone). As a result, our research is regularly applied to live data and projects.

 Required

  • A Ph.D. in a computational field (e.g., computational chemistry, cheminformatics, bioinformatics) or a Ph.D. in Computer Science/Statistics with a specialization in biological and/or chemical topics.
  • 3 or more publications during your Ph.D. with at least 1 first author paper (or else, a paper where you were a significant contributor).
  • Must have strong programming skills – ideally in R. If not, you should have experience with other data analysis environments (Python, Matlab, etc.) and be willing to pick up R. In general you’ll likely need to munge data, internal and external, so this should not be a bottleneck.
  • Strong communication skills (in written and spoken English).

Preferred

  • Background in biology, chemistry or biochemistry
  • Experience with gene expression (microarray or RNASeq) analysis
  • Experience with Java development

Please send a cover letter, that specifically addresses why you’re interested in this position, a CV and bibliography (all PDF) to Rajarshi Guha (rajarshi.guha@nih.gov)

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