Bioinformatics Scientist

Van Andel Research Institute
Job Location
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

We understand that attracting the highest caliber talent means offering an exciting job and benefits that meet one’s personal needs. In order to attract a diverse group of talented, motivated, and innovative professionals, we offer benefits and resources designed to support you in creating the life and work style that brings your best to you, your family, and the Van Andel Institute. - See more at:

Job Description

The VARI Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core provides computational and statistical research support to the growing number of scientists dedicated to studying cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and epigenetics at Van Andel Research Institute. We process and analyze next generation sequencing data, aid in experimental design, perform statistical simulations, develop automated image processing tools, and more. We are a one-stop, custom-design shop dedicated to finding a solution. To ensure quality, expeditious assistance for such diverse requests and responsibilities, we are looking for a full-time Bioinformatics Scientist to join our team.


As a Bioinformatics Scientist on our team, your first and foremost responsibility will be to work closely with scientists on the design, processing, and analysis of next-generation sequencing studies. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Any given day might include:

  • Meeting with a scientist to discuss a grant
  • Developing a web-based variant browser for the reporting of NGS results
  • Wrangling data into a useable format
  • Reading the latest literature on a new variant caller or integrating –omics data
  • Building and testing a ChIP-seq pipeline
  • Patiently explaining to a researcher why an experiment failed
  • Making an innovative figure for a manuscript
  • Spinning up a next generation sequencing pipeline on our High Performance Computing cluster
  • Writing an html report for your latest RNA sequencing project
  • Leading a workshop on how to use R or Python
  • Brainstorming with fellow teammates new ideas for making the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core better


The Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core is a young group still finding its way. This job might be right for you if:

You are interested in helping to build a sustainable team dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge and providing top quality customer service. This is an opportunity to leave your mark.

You love taking on difficult challenges and finding the best solution whether it be tried-and-true or cutting edge.

You enjoy helping others. Taking a few moments to explain how sequencing works makes you feel warm and fuzzy. You are patient and levelheaded.

You pay attention to detail. Every analysis, big or small, is worth doing well, every single time.

You are motivated and driven. You take ownership of your projects. You like learning new things and advancing your skillset. If you don’t know the answer, you’ll dig until you find it.

You play well with others. You enjoy collaborating and working as a team. You respect the skills each team member brings to the table while still being willing to provide constructive criticism.


To join our team you will need to have at least:

  • An advance degree (Ph.D. preferred) in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Molecular Biology, or similar field with demonstrable computational and statistical skills
  • Progressive to complex experience in such functional areas as NGS data analysis and/or data integration
  • Understanding of cellular and molecular biology and/or genetics
  • Working knowledge of at least one programming/scripting language (i.e. R, Python, C++, Perl)
  • Advanced mathematical and/or statistical skills as related to the analysis of NGS data
  • Experience working in a Linux environment


You must have the ability to contribute independently to experimental design when given a broad research question/problem. You will be expected to actively seek out information on methods and applications or consult with peers. Within 3 months, you will be expected to have met with and developed ongoing relationships with a number of VARI laboratories. You will be responsible for implementing, maintaining, and documenting analysis pipelines and workflows as well as developing educational resources and conducting short-courses, workshops, and seminars on NGS and bioinformatics. You may be asked to independently or jointly mentor undergraduate and graduate student interns or to serve as a general resource for problem solving. You will have the opportunity to author publications as well as develop new statistics and bioinformatics analysis tools and/or methods. 

How to Apply
About Our Organization

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premiere research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 270 scientists, educators and staff.

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), the research division of VAI, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in on-site laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe.

Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) is dedicated to strengthening science education and preparing and motivating individuals to pursue science-related professions through programs that provide hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities across the entire educational spectrum—from elementary through graduate school up to professional level.

VAEI’s Science Academy offers major scientific programs to engage students, teachers, and community members in science and promote science-related fields for all children, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status. Van Andel Institute Graduate School offers a unique, hands-on Ph.D. program to prepare graduate students for careers in biomedical research.

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