Postdoctoral positon, Human Disease Ontology

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Job Location
Institute for Genome Sciences
Baltimore, MD 21201
Job Description

Postdoctoral Fellow Ontology Development

The Human Disease Ontology (DO) project ( is seeking a postdoctoral researcher with experience in ontologies.   The Human Disease Ontology, an OBO Foundry Ontology, is a highly utilized resource actively engaged with the biomedical research community since 2003.  The selected candidate will join Dr. Lynn Schriml’s established biomedical ontology and bioinformatics team to develop mechanistic profiles of human disease for biomedical and clinical research.  The position is open in Dr. Lynn Schriml’s research group at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  IGS is an interdisciplinary, multi-departmental team of collaborative genomics and bioinformatics investigators supported by core high-throughput sequencing, data analysis and genome annotation centers.  

This position is funded through the recently awarded NIH/NHGRI U41 Genomic Resource Grants for Community Resource Projects.

The initial appointment will be for one year with the possibility of an extension for an additional two years.  

This is an excellent opportunity to join an experienced ontology development and bioinformatics team, working directly with the DO’s team of clinicians to expand the DO, enhancing disease classifications of complex diseases, cancers, environmental and genetic diseases and developing mechanistic profiles of human disease for biomedical and clinical research. The successful candidate will coordinate disease annotation efforts across the Model Organism Databases, will facilitate cross-product semantic integration between DO and other OBO Foundry Ontologies.

The responsibilities of the postdoctoral position include: 

  • collaborative development with DO stakeholders;
  • researching human disease etiology;
  • characterizing human disease within the ontology;
  • development of disease-phenotype, symptom, cell type, anatomy and environmental driver associations;
  • coordinate development in Protégé of new mechanistic disease models;
  • leading community-based development among the model organism databases, rare disease researchers and cancer data repositories;
  • conducting outreach through presentations at national meetings;  and
  • contributing to peer-review publications and project grant submissions.


 The postdoctoral fellow will concentrate their efforts on ontology-based knowledge discovery and building dynamic disease mappings through semi-automated capturing of disease knowledge (from literature, biomedical data repositories and orthogonal ontologies).  We are looking for a highly motivated individual with demonstrated expertise in bioinformatics, ontology development, biocuration and related technologies. The candidate should have strong and effective inter-personal and communication skills.


A Ph.D. in medical informatics, computer science, bioinformatics, ontology development or related fields. This position requires demonstrated experience in bioinformatics and ontology development. Knowledge of biological ontologies, controlled vocabularies, expertise in Protégé and OBO-Edit are required as well as experience in Unix and Perl programming and software development.

How to Apply

Please include a CV, detailing your list of publications, a cover letter describing your experience and statement of research interests with your application.  For more detailed information about IGS, please visit

To Apply:

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