Lead Post-Doctoral Scientist/Research Associate

University of British Columbia
Wasserman Lab @ the Medical Genetics
Canada British Columbia Vancouver


Lead Post-Doctoral Scientist/Research Associate

Silent Genomes: Reducing health-care disparities and improving diagnostic success for Indigenous children with genetic disease. Silent Genomes is a Genome Canada/CIHR funded 4-year project which has 4 key activities:

• Activity 1: the core of the project, integrates Indigenous-led governance, community engagement, community education, and student capacity building throughout the entire project;
• Activity 2: Precision diagnosis of children with genetic disease;
• Activity 3: Development of an Indigenous background variant library; and
• Activity 4: Economics of precision diagnosis for Indigenous children.

The project includes an international Indigenous Advisory Board, a pan-Canadian team of clinicians and genetic counsellors, local bioinformaticians, clinicians and scientists with the collective goal to improve access and effectiveness of genetic diagnosis for Indigenous children and their families.

Activity 3 within the Silent Genomes project is focused on the envisioning and implementation of a secure data storage and access system for genetic sequence data that will be shaped, and approved by the Indigenous communities participating in the Silent Genomes governance process. During the early stages of the project, the Bioinformatics Team, based on the campus of BC Children’s Hospital, will work on prototype model systems that can enable rich discussion of options, and be dynamically revised in response to the guidance and feedback of the partners. In short, the bioinformatics team needs to be able to imagine and implement diverse approaches to the secure storage and Indigenous-controlled access of genetic (DNA) data.

The Activity 3 bioinformatics team has openings for scientists.

The Silent Genomes project is strongly committed to hiring practices that value diversity and preference may be given to applicants who self-identify as Indigenous with the required combination of education and experience.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The Silent Genomes project is funded until mid-2022, and it is hoped that members of the team will stay on until the project concludes.

The lead post-doctoral scientist will have 2+ years of experience in bioinformatics, ideally with experience pertinent to the analysis and storage of confidential genetics-related data. The ideal candidate will have experience in the implementation of databases (either SQL or MongoDB), and the coding of software using C++, Java or Python. The position requires a PhD degree in the quantitative or life sciences awarded within the past 5 years (with extensions allowed for periods of health or family leave). It is expected that this individual will have demonstrated leadership and training skills, and the ability to work with people of diverse perspectives.

The post-doctoral scientist should have demonstrated experience in publishing research findings in scientific journals, developing funding applications (e.g. for scholarships), presenting their research findings at scientific conferences and working in collaborative scientific teams.

• Oversee the daily activities of trainees and direct a portion of the effort of a scientific programmer
• Oversee software development requiring programming in Java, C++, or Python
• Process the next-generation sequencing (NGS) data from FASTQ reads to called variants, including the analysis of single nucleotide, structural and copy number variation.
• Data management and tracking of incoming NGS data
• Work closely with Silent Genomes Activity 1, 2, 3, 4 PIs and collaboratively with team members
• Contribute to quarterly and annual reports related to the research projects
• Work with the PI to ensure that all scientific milestones are achieved
• Keeping up-to-date with scientific advances (e.g. relevant literature review, scientific meetings, twitter)
• Present findings at local, national and international scientific meetings where the impression can have direct influence on future scientific funding
• Write manuscripts describing the findings
• Assist in the development of grant and scholarship applications related to the research
• Provide supervision and mentorship to bioinformatics trainee(s)
• Perform other related duties.


Education and Experience:
• Ph.D. degree in a life or quantitative sciences discipline
• A minimum of 2+ years of experience in bioinformatics with a focus on genome sequence data processing and analysis.

Skills and Abilities:
• Knowledge of bioinformatics, with an emphasis on genome sequence analysis and gene annotation
• Knowledge of scientific tools, technologies and online resources for gene-disease relationship prediction
• Python, Java or C++ programming skills
• Experience with the Linux environment
• Experience with computer clusters
• Experience with SQL or MongoDB database systems
• Use of project management tools for scientific interaction, such as wikis or shared document repositories (e.g. Git)
• Research experience in Indigenous health and research will be considered an asset
• Keen interest in Indigenous health and research
• Drive and enthusiasm to both lead and work as a member of a team
• Creativity, initiative and good judgment for multi-tasking in a deadline-oriented environment
• Effective oral and written communication, analytical, and interpersonal skills
• Excellent organizational skills and ability to learn new skills quickly
• Enthusiasm for highly interdisciplinary research and dedication to explore emerging techniques
• Accuracy and attention to details

Start date

As soon as possible

Start date

To be determined

How to Apply

Please email your cover letter and resume to wyeth@cmmt.ubc.ca. Due to the number of resumes we receive, we are unable to confirm receipt of submissions over the phone, or provide the status of competitions except to those who are selected for an interview.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.


Dr. Wyeth Wasserman