Bioinformatics Research Assistant

Western Kentucky University Biology Department
Job Location
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Expected Salary Range: $35,000 - $40,000
Job Description

The Small Genome Discovery (SGD) Support Center is seeking candidates to fill their Bioinformatics Position in the small genome research program. The SGD Support Center is the central service that coordinates the sequencing of bacteriophage genomes, their assembly, and it is the quality control portal for annotated genomes received from students before submission to GenBank.

The successful candidate will have experience in genome assembly from high throughput sequencers and will be able to aid our biotechnology staff in genome finishing. Experience in sequence annotation and submission to GenBank is preferred. Since the SGD Support Center will aid participating campuses in implementing their annotation course, the candidate will have excellent communication skills and will be familiar with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems so they can resolve questions during software installation and use. The candidate will be required to assist in faculty training during the SGD faculty workshop and to assist students in the phage genome annotation labs at WKU. The candidate will have proficiency in database design and the programming skills needed to implement the archiving of genome annotation evidence from the network of participating colleges. The candidate will provide technical and organizational support for the annual SGD Phages Symposium and for the annual UT-KBRIN Bioinformatics Summit.

The candidate will have opportunities to develop and help mentor research projects, on the comparative studies of bacteriophage genomes, with undergraduate students. Candidates should be capable of developing broader online research opportunities and collaborations in bioinformatics between students and faculty at schools within the Small Genome Discovery network.

The position is grant funded for 5 years and candidates who will commit to the position for the length of the grant are encouraged to apply.

Principle Duties:

  • Assemble high-throughput DNA sequencing files into genome contigs.
  • Identify regions in assembled genome that require finishing.
  • Assist in genome finishing into a single phage genome sequence.
  • Assemble genome annotations into final GenBank format submission files and submit to GenBank.
  • Assist students in genome annotation laboratory in Bioinformatics 312 course.
  • Provide technical support in bioinformatics and annotation software to Small Genome Discovery Program satellite schools (up to 15 schools in KY).
  • Build and maintain annotation evidence database.
  • Help mentor student research projects.


  • M.S. in bioinformatics or M.S. in a related field and 2 years of experience in bioinformatics.
  • Experience in genome assembly from high-throughput sequencing platforms.
  • Experience in the quality control of genome assembly and genome finishing.

Knowledge and Skills Considered Essential for Success:

  • Excellent communication skills appropriate for teaching, technical support and mentoring.
  • Proficiency in Windows, Mac OSX and Linux operating systems.
  • Proficiency in one or more coding languages as evidenced by completed software development projects.
  • Proficiency in database design as evidenced by integration of database data into an informatics workflow.
  • Proficiency in web design, maintenance and in social media.
  • Good organizational skills.
How to Apply

Please visit the Western Kentucky University Human Resources website for this particular job posting:;jsessionid=2E32AE42...



About Our Organization

Western Kentucky University aspires to be the University of choice for faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping advance academic excellence. True to its spirit, WKU offers an inviting, nurturing, and challenging work environment, which is responsive to the needs of a diverse and ambitious learning community. WKU's main campus is located on a hill overlooking the city of Bowling Green (population est. 60,000), and is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the nation. In addition, WKU serves the communities of Elizabethtown/Fort Knox, Glasgow and Owensboro through its regional campuses. We invite you to consider WKU as a place where your academic and professional dreams can be realized.

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