Scientist, Computational Biology

The University Of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Job Type:
  • Staff
Degree Level Required:
Bachelor's, Masters
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Scientist, Computational Biology

The Gut4Health initiative aims to establish the first microbiome profiling core at the BC Children’s Hospital. The core will work with local clinicians and researchers to study the gut microbiome composition and function in pediatric patients, to help predict, prevent and treat diseases such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and Clostridium difficile infections. The goals of the core include supporting local microbiome-based studies and aiding in the development of new and safe microbiome-based therapies. Funding for the Gut4Health initiative comes from the generous donations of the mining community through the Mining for Miracles Program. BC Children’s Hospital campus is located in Vancouver, a culturally diverse city located between the Pacific Ocean and world-famous Rocky Mountains.

We are looking for a talented, highly motivated candidate to join our team and drive the bioinformatics analysis on data sets from clinical and experimental samples from BC Children’s patient population. The candidate should have a strong background in microbial ecology analysis, and/or metagenomics, computational biology, and/or bioinformatics. These analyses will largely be performed on data produced from metagenomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic, and 16S rRNA microbiome surveys. The successful candidate will also assist in developing the experimental design for these experiments. These analyses will further our understanding of the gut microbiome and its role in diverse diseases. A thorough understanding of analysis algorithms and the methods used to integrate biological and medical datasets is essential. It is expected that the successful candidate will master specific technical skills underlying modern computational biology and data science frameworks, and be sufficiently skilled to independently perform such work and instruct others as well. The computational biologist will work closely with an interdisciplinary team to tackle cutting-edge challenges in microbiome science, leveraging diverse data modalities to explore the microbiome and host-microbiome-environment interactions.


The candidate will report to the Project Manager of the Gut4Health project. The successful candidate will primarily work together with the Project Manager to assist local researchers from the BC Children’s Hospital Research (BCCHR) institute. External interactions will be at the local, national, and international levels with other departments, research organizations, community organizations, university, and research institute personnel.


Required Experience ● Bachelor or Masters degree in Computational Biology, Microbial Ecology, Bioinformatics, Data Science or related field ● Proficiency in at least one programming language (R is preferred) ● Experience working in a team environment, collaborating on solutions, and sharing code ● Practical knowledge with the development of novel algorithms/analysis pipelines for integrative analysis of high throughput sequencing data ● Understanding of the basics and limitations of experimental protocols, uncover causal mechanisms, and visualize data ● Ability to express complex ideas in understandable ways, and to communicate effectively with people from different fields ● General understanding of the information technology infrastructure. ● Provide efficient data management support ● Intermediate knowledge of statistical analysis ● Keeps current with emerging trends in computational biology, statistical genetics and genomics analysis and record keeping

Preferred Experience ● Demonstrated ability to design, process, and integrate multiple types of ‘omics data (DNA-seq, RNA-Seq, and metabolomics) to derive biological insights ● Familiarity with microbiome and genomic data analysis tools ● Ability to process and analyze multi-dimensional genomics or population data. ● Experience with public biological databases and open source bioinformatics tools, and data exploration ● Excellent organizational, analytical, and record-keeping skills with the ability to organize and present technical reports ● Intermediate understanding of a range of disease and therapeutic areas including public health, pulmonary, gastroenterology, immunology, rare diseases and oncology