Postdoc in Genomic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics of RNA Viruses

Arizona State University
College of Health Solutions
United States AZ Phoenix


The College of Health Solutions (CHS) at Arizona State University (ASU) is seeking to fill a postdoc vacancy in genomic epidemiology and bioinformatics of RNA viruses. The candidate will work in the lab of Dr. Matthew Scotch. Please see the Scotch Lab’s website ( ) for more information about current projects. In addition to the CHS appointment, the candidate will have an affiliation with ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering.

The ideal candidate will have experience in both molecular (wet lab) and computational (dry lab) techniques for both methodological and applied research. Examples of methodological research could be the design and development of assays for detection of RNA viruses in wastewater or software for improving computational efficiency of phylodynamic modeling of large sequence datasets. Examples of applied research could be the amplification and sequencing of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses from wild birds, or the use of existing software and tools that use sequences and metadata to estimate the migration of pathogens during an outbreak.

Responsibilities for this position include processing of wastewater samples, including filtration, viral enrichment, reverse transcription, and sequencing library preparation and analysis (both short and long-reads including Oxford Nanopore). Processing of clinical samples (nasopharyngeal swabs), RNA extraction, RT-PCR of virus targets, gel electrophoresis, and sequencing. Bioinformatics and computational analysis including de novo and template-based assembly of raw sequence reads, genome annotation, curation of viral genomes, gene clustering, viral taxonomy classification/assignment, sequence identity and phylodynamic and phylogenetic analysis. Assisting in the mentoring of a group of undergraduate and graduate students. Preparation of first-author, peer-reviewed publications, and presentation of results at international conferences. This position is also expected to apply for a K99/R00 and publish at least 3 manuscripts (1 as lead author) within the first 12 months of position.

At ASU and the College of Health Solutions, we work to maximize opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives. We value and encourage inclusive excellence as outlined in our ASU Charter and strive to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for all faculty, staff, and students — which we believe is critical to our success as a community. All individuals who can strengthen our academic community are encouraged to apply and will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

About the College of Health Solutions
The College of Health Solutions is committed to translating scientific health research and discovery into practice to improve health outcomes through education, research, and service. We equip students with the knowledge and skills to influence healthier lifestyle choices; develop creative interventions to improve the health of people and populations; analyze and translate large amounts of health data into solutions; and maximize the technology, science, business, and application of diagnostics. Through teaching, academic programs, service and research, all faculty at the College of Health Solutions address one or more of our three major areas of focus: 1) The systems of health care and the health needs of populations; 2) Health and human performance of individuals across the lifespan; 3) Personalized interventions through precision health. Across these areas, we work to address complex and difficult health problems which require transformative collaboration, translational research, and innovation. We are particularly interested in making an impact on populations with significant health disparities.

Our research programs encompass basic science, discovery science, clinical trials, intervention science and measurement of health outcomes. In all cases, our faculty use interdisciplinary approaches to address the complex systems that underpin health problems. We are highly collaborative, transparent and team-oriented. Our innovative organizational structure includes translational teams that move science from labs into communities with evidence-based interventions that make a difference, as well as affinity networks where teams of people work together to improve methodologies and processes. All our programs, in and out of the classroom, are designed with the goal of improving the health of people and communities.

Current training programs include behavioral health, biomedical diagnostics, biomedical informatics, exercise science, health promotion, health sciences, kinesiology, medical studies, nutrition, population health, the science of health care delivery, and speech and hearing science. Our programs are offered at the ASU Downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Polytechnic, West and Lake Havasu campuses, as well as on Mayo Clinic’s campus in north Phoenix.

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy, and broad access. U.S. News & World Report ranks ASU #1 in the U.S. for innovation for eight years in a row. ASU has been named a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, a major milestone in its enterprise-wide commitment to increase the diversity of its student body. ASU is also part of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises the nation’s most elite research universities.

This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising multiple differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural, and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves 144,800 students across all campuses and on-line as of the Fall 2023 semester. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

For more information about ASU and the College of Health Solutions, visit and


Required Qualifications
- Doctorate (e.g., PhD, ScD) in computational biology, bioinformatics, genomics, genomic epidemiology, molecular biology, molecular virology, evolutionary biology, microbiology, environmental virology, epidemiology/public health, or related fields
- Existing research focus in genomic epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, molecular virology, or phylodynamics of RNA viruses
- Demonstrated ability to work, collaborate, and communicate effectively with diverse colleagues, community partners, and staff in a multicultural environment.
- Demonstrated ability to apply for a K99/R00 and publish at least 3 manuscripts (1 as lead author) within the first 12 months of position.
- Shows support of ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence as outlined in the ASU charter

Desired Qualifications
- Expertise in handling of infectious materials (e.g., clinical specimens, wastewater), viral RNA extraction, RT-qPCR, RT-PCR, gel electrophoresis
- Expertise in amplicon-based high-throughput sequencing via Illumina (short-reads) or Oxford Nanopore (long-reads) technologies
- Experience in virus metagenomics
- Experience in wastewater-based epidemiology
- Experience developing pipelines for analysis of high-throughput pathogen sequencing data
- Experience with BEAST software for virus phylodynamics
- Experience with programming and use of bioinformatics libraries and packages via Python and R.
- Background, knowledge, and/or research that could be conducted or relevant to the needs of Arizona's diverse populations
- Potential for high impact research
- Evidence of participation in translational, trans-disciplinary, and team science initiatives
- Strong English-language verbal and writing communication skills

Start date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

To apply, click to submit the following:
- A letter of interest including the name of the position for which you are applying, your qualifications and professional experience, and an example(s) of how your work has exemplified Arizona State University’s Charter and its values of Inclusive Excellence
- Curriculum vitae
- Research statement
- Copies of up to three publications
- Information for three professional references (their position, title, e-mail, phone number). References will not be contacted until the candidate progresses to the latter stages of the search process.


Matthew Scotch