The labs of Maria Chikina (University of Pittsburgh) and Nathan Clark (University of Utah) in Computational and Systems Biology (CSB) are seeking a postdoctoral researcher with a strong computational background to develop phylogenetic methods for identifying genomic regions driving convergent phenotypes. Ideal candidates should have some knowledge of molecular evolution and strong programming skills. Candidates will have an opportunity to develop translational applications through our ongoing collaborations with physicians, and to procure new genomic data through our wet lab and collaborators.
Our work in convergent evolution has a strong publication record in high-impact journals:
-Pan-mammalian analysis of molecular constraints underlying extended lifespan. eLife. 2020. elifesciences.org/articles/51089
-Ancient convergent losses of Paraoxonase 1 yield potential risks for modern marine mammals. Science. 2018. science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6402/591.abstract
-Subterranean mammals show convergent regression in ocular genes and enhancers, along with adaptation to tunneling. eLife. 2017. elifesciences.org/articles/25884
-Hundreds of Genes Experienced Convergent Shifts in Selective Pressure in Marine Mammals. MBE. 2016. academic.oup.com/mbe/article/33/9/2182/2579331
-Evolutionary Signatures amongst Disease Genes Permit Novel Methods for Gene Prioritization and Construction of Informative Gene-Based Networks. PLOS Genetics. 2015. journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1004967
This position is located in Pittsburgh, a vibrant but still affordable city which is undergoing a major renaissance with a younger-shifting demographic driven by biomedical and tech ventures (Google, Uber, Amazon, and Facebook all have offices here). You can read more about life in Pittsburgh here:
Our Computational and Systems Biology department has excellent computational resources and a close relationship with Computational Biology at CMU through our joint graduate program and seminars. We also actively participate in the highly collaborative and rapidly expanding evolutionary research community in Pittsburgh through initiatives such as the Molecular Evolution Lab Discussion group, the Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine, and the Three Rivers Evolution Event. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is an excellent research environment that is ranked #5 in NIH funding.