PhD Bioinformatician for high throughput sequencing

National Institutes of Health/NIDCD
Job Location: 
Bethesda, MD USA
Job Description: 

Bioinformatic analysis of high throughput sequencing in head and neck cancer

Dr. Carter Van Waes
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Head and Neck Surgery Branch, NIDCD

This fellowship will focus on bioinformatics analysis of head and neck cancer, performing expression and mutational analysis of next generation transcriptomic and genomic sequencing, ChIP sequencing, as well as microarrays, prediction of gene transcriptional regulation, interactions and networks. Interest and experience in bioinformatics and/or computational biology with programming and statistical ability are strongly desired.

Our laboratory has previously identified global gene signatures of head and neck cancer subsets, which are related to p53 and NF-κB transcription factor families, and multiple signaling pathways, that are broadly important in cancer. Currently, RNA whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) has been successfully performed in head and neck cancer cell lines and tissues collected from patients. We are examining for genomic alterations and driver molecules upon which the individual tumors are either addicted to or dependent, and for major regulatory nodes or components, which are underlying therapeutic resistance, as targets for molecular therapy of head and neck cancer.

The newly recruited bioinformatics fellow will lead and participate in the data analysis for the following projects: 1) RNA-seq of matched normal mucosa, dysplastic, and primary head and neck cancer tissue pairs and cell lines; 2) Exome- and targeted-seq to identify driver genetic defects including gene mutations, deletion and fusion molecules as the candidate molecular signatures; 3) Using existing annotated and published databases to identify related bioinformatics and network information. Identification of transcriptome signatures and related signaling networks will greatly enhance our understanding of the molecular pathological mechanisms of head and neck cancer with aggressive malignant phenotypes, and provide information critical for future development of personalized prevention and therapeutic strategies that are most effective for head and neck cancer.

Equal Opportunity Employment. Equality is held as one of the most important values here at NIH. Selection for this and any position will be based solely on merit. NIH does not discriminate on the premises of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, politics, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age or membership or non-membership


PhD in bioinformatics, computation biology, high throughput sequencing.

The IRTA (Intramural Research Training Award) and visiting fellow program at NIH provides opportunities for recent PhD graduates to spend 2-5 years engaged in biomedical and bioinformatics research of head and neck cancer.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have received a PhD degree from an accredited U.S. college or university for less than five years are eligible to apply for IRTA fellowship. Foreign PhDs are welcome to apply as a visiting fellow.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.

Contact Information: 

Applicants are asked to submit a CV, a transcript, and the letter of three references by e-mail to: or If you have questions, please call Carter Van Waes, MD, PhD, 301-402-2001; or Zhong Chen, MD, PhD, 301-435-2073.

About Our Organization: 

The position is in the Clinical Genomics Unit of the Head and Neck Surgery Branch, NIDCD, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) main campus of Bethesda, Maryland. Our weblink is: Our current research team includes the senior investigator, staff scientist, biologist, one senior research fellow, three PhD postdoctoral fellows, two PhD students, two medical students, and one technical pre-IRTA fellow, who provide a critical mass for conduct and validation of the genomic research. Our laboratory has over 1,800 square feet of research space; a new SOLiD 5500 sequencing system including the sequence analyzer, Penguin cluster, Covaris system, and EZ Bead system (emulsifier, amplifier and enricher). In addition, we have state of the art instruments equipped for cellular, molecular and genomic studies.