Principal Bioinformatics Research Scientist / Director of Microbial Genomics

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Department of Host-Microbe Interactions
United States TN Memphis


The new Department of Host-Microbe Interactions is seeking a talented and highly motivated Principal Bioinformatics Research Scientist or Lead Bioinformatics Research Scientist with extensive experience in large-scale microbial genomic data analysis to create and direct the new Microbial Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics Laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Microbial Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics Laboratory's mission is to support initiatives on microbial genomic, phylogenomic, and computational needs of researchers in the Department of Host-Microbe Interactions and the Center for Infectious Disease Research. The laboratory is a major initiative backed by substantial support as a part of our institutional strategic plan and will be fully integrated with research in microbial evolution, microbial pathogenesis, virology, the microbiome, computational biology, and data sciences at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The focus of this position is on bacterial and viral genomics, using specimens and data obtained from our healthcare system to address key questions such as the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance, genome heterogeneity, outbreaks, transmission, and the identification of potential targets for the generation of novel therapies. This will be achieved using a combination of approaches, including: short-and long-read whole genome sequencing; phylogenomic, transcriptomic, and bioinformatics approaches involving electronic health data; and experimental data generated by collaborating partners. Data analysis will focus on answering clinical questions, generating insights to prevent infections, and building predictive models of disease susceptibility.

The successful candidate will assemble a team of Ph.D.- and MS-level bioinformaticians and data scientists to analyze and interpret newly generated as well as existing large collections of microbial whole-genome sequences and metagenomes, using cutting-edge bioinformatics approaches to address project aims. The director will present research findings at project meetings, scientific conferences, and outreach/training events. There will be opportunities to initiate new projects and collaborate with other groups at St. Jude, including clinicians, basic scientists, and data scientists.


The ideal candidate should have:

A PhD and extensive postdoctoral experience in microbial genomics, phylogenomics, bioinformatics, computational biology, and data science.

A strong CV that includes high-profile publications in the field of computational biology and microbial genomics.

Extensive expertise in analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing microbial genomics and microbiome datasets generated by high throughput sequencing technologies including short- (Illumina) and long-read- (e.g. PacBio and Oxford Nanopore) whole genome sequencing.

Extensive experience performing statistical analyses of large microbial genomic datasets and validation of genomic pipelines.

Expert-level proficiency in relevant programming languages such as R and Python, preferably in a High-Performance Computing (HPC) environment.

Preferably, proficiency in tools for ensuring reproducibility of pipelines, such as workflow management systems (e.g., nextflow or snakemake), and version control (e.g., git).

Preferably, experience with database management systems such as MySQL.

Extensive expertise in data integration and harmonization.

Possess a deep understanding of essential bioinformatics concepts and algorithms, e.g., alignment, SNP nucleotide calling, classification of nucleotide and protein sequence, phylogenetics, and genomic assembly.

Previous experience working in the field of infectious diseases is preferred.

Proven problem-solving skills and collaborative nature in fast-paced environment.

Excellent communication and presentation skills.

Start date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

Please apply online at