Postdoctoral Research Positions in Computational Biology and Metagenomics

Harvard School of Public Health
Job Location: 
Boston, MA, USA
Job Description: 

The Huttenhower lab in the Biostatistics Department of the Harvard School of Public Health is seeking to fill two postdoctoral research positions. The first successful candidate will be responsible for funded research in the microbiology of the built environment, specifically the interaction, transmissibility, and identifiability of the human microbiome in the Boston mass transit system. The second fellow will be appointed at the Broad Institute to study the gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease as part of an ongoing collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Ramnik Xavier. The Huttenhower lab is broadly engaged in studies of the human microbiome in health and disease, with a focus on computational methods to characterize biomolecular functions within these microbial communities and their interactions with host immunity, genetics, and environment.

For the first position, we specifically seek to determine A) the relationship between the human microbiome and surfaces in an enclosed setting trafficked by millions of individuals (i.e. mass transit); B) the degree to which such an environment serves to transmit microbial communities among individuals; and C) the functional reservoir of microbial genes transmitted in this manner (e.g. antibiotic resistance). The second position will investigate the mechanisms of host-microbiome interactions in inflammatory bowel disease, based on pathways implicated both in the human host (through previous genetic association work) and in the microbiome (from recent functional screens). The candidates for these projects will be responsible both for experimental aspects (e.g. sample collection on the Boston subway) and for computational methods development to enable subsequent analysis. They should be broadly conversant with bioinformatic techniques for genomic data analysis and will collaborate closely with software developers for methods implementation and with experimental team members for validation of computational results.

The first position will be located within the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health; the second at the Broad Institute. The Huttenhower group works closely with the Broad Institute itself, the Human Microbiome Project, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the broader Boston biomedical and life sciences communities, resulting in a rich environment for quantitative, computational, and laboratory collaborations.


Doctoral degree in Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Biology, or a related field; proficiency in one or more statistical or scripting languages appropriate for scalable data analysis; comfort and experience with programming for biological data analysis; familiarity with functional genetic and/or genomic data, as indicated by publication record; ability to communicate scientific material and collaborate well.

Contact Information: 

Please submit a cover letter (including a brief but detailed statement of interest), CV, and contact information for at least three references to Dr. Curtis Huttenhower at AND to