Associate Computational Scientist

Employer
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Location
Houston, Texas
Salary
Competitive
Closing date
Oct 6, 2022

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Discipline
Health Sciences
Organization Type
Healthcare/Hospital
The mission of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.

SUMMARY

We are seeking a highly motivated enthusiastic person with experience in microbiome sequence data analysis, data visualization, and fluency in programming languages and familiarity with the Linux operating system and using high-performance cluster computing.

The primary purpose of this position (Associate Computational Scientist) is to implement and develop bioinformatic and statistical analytical tools for microbiome-related research projects. Specifically, we are looking for a candidate who can plan and execute a statistical analysis starting from tabular data and ending with an attempt to answer a specific research question. The ideal candidate will know which statistical approaches are appropriate to address the research questions and should be willing to develop alternative approaches if no such ideal approach exits for the problem at hand. The ideal candidate will be able to effectively communicate signals embedded in the data through various combinations of data summary statistics, visualizations, etc.

Successful applicants should have strong expertise in bioinformatics, biostatistics, and data visualization tools as well as vast knowledge on next-generation sequencing methods and the use of large and sparse datasets related to microbiome research. Bioinformatic programming languages and skills (R, Perl, Python, etc.) and knowledge on commonly used bioinformatic, statistical, and data visualization tools in the microbiome space such as QIIME, MetaPhlAn, HUMAnN, LEfSe or others alike is required. In addition, excellent written and verbal communication; effective judgment and problem solving, ability to work independently and collaboratively, and a research background in immunology and cancer, and have an interest in translational research. Strong attention to detail, multi- tasking; and a willingness to learn new technologies is encouraged.

KEY FUNCTIONS

Participation in the design, implementation and evaluation of collaborative microbiome research studies.
  • Analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting preclinical and clinical microbiome data.
  • Creating publication quality figures and tables.
  • Assisting with raw and analyzed data organization, management, and submission to repositories.
  • Assisting with manuscript and grant preparation.
  • Maintaining a legible and self-explanatory scientific notebook and presenting results during lab meetings and at appropriate scientific conferences.
  • Working with teams of individuals to integrate data / metadata
  • Independently plans, organizes, coordinates, directs various computational data and develops and implements novel analytical pipelines for sequencing data statistical evaluation and visualization
  • Applies statistical tests for associations, differences, survival analyses, and regressions.
  • Assists with computational data on a daily basis to include:

write and edit manuscripts, figures, abstracts, protocols (animal and laboratory), and grants; compile, write, and submit reports to the principal, analyze and manipulate research data; prepare and present data for publication or scientific meetings; maintain current and accurate records of research data; and obtain and distribute pertinent research materials/data.
  • Ability to collect, analyze, interpret and present data at laboratory, departmental meetings, and at other institutional collaborator meetings, including those involving donors.
  • Records and evaluates data obtained in accordance with methods requested.
  • Contributes to project team.
  • Work in a clinical and research setting
  • Employ safe laboratory practices.
  • Reads literature and confers with supervisor regarding new procedures.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Interacts closely with other research staff across institutional functional teams.
  • Gather relevant information systematically; break down problems into simple components; make sound decisions
  • Recognize simple cause and effect relationships. Diagnose problems by breaking them down into simple tasks or activities.

COMPETENCIES

Analytical Thinking

- Gather relevant information systematically; break down problems into simple components; make sound decisions.

Innovative Thinking

- Approach problems with curiosity and open-mindedness; offer new ideas, solutions and/or options.

Team with Others

- Initiate, develop, and manage relationships and networks.

- Encourage collaboration and input from all team members, value the contributions of all team members; balance individual and team goals.

Service Orientation

Provide service to our stakeholders, including patients, caregivers, colleagues and each

other, in a safe, courteous, accountable, efficient and innovative manner to include:
  • Promoting inclusiveness and collegiality that demonstrates respect and professionalism to our stakeholders at all times
  • Modeling safe, ethical behavior that mitigates risk to the institution through sound business practices, and adherence to MD Anderson's Standards of Conduct, institutional policies and procedures
  • Responding to requests in a timely manner while proactively communicating

expectations for procedures, service arrival, or project deliverables to stakeholders
  • Using the steps to HEAL (Hear, Empathize, Address and Learn) the relationship when service recovery is needed


Working Conditions

​​​​​​​Laboratory environment

This position requires:

Working in Office Environment

____No

__X_ Yes

Working in Patient Care Unit (e.g. Nursing unit; outpatient clinic)

_X_ No

____ Yes

Exposure to human/animal blood, body fluids, or tissues

__X__No

__ Yes

Exposure to harmful chemicals

__X__No

___ Yes

Exposure to radiation

_X_ No

____ Yes

Physical Demands

Indicate the time required to do each of the following physical demands:

Time Spent

Never

0%

Occasionally

1-33%

Frequently

34-66%

Continuously

67-100%

Standing

Walking

Sitting

Reaching

Lifting/Carrying

Up to 10 lbs.

10lbs to 50 lbs.

More than 50 lbs.

Pushing/Pulling

Up to 10 lbs.

10lbs to 50 lbs.

More than 50 lbs.

Use computer/keyboard

EDUCATION:
Required: Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or related field.

Preferred: Master's degree or PhD with concentration in Science, Engineering or related field.

EXPERIENCE:
Required: Three years experience in scientific software development/analysis. With preferred degree, one year of required experience.

Ideal Candidate:
  • Should have a Master's or a Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences or a related field.
  • One year experience in scientific software implementation and development/analysis in the microbiome field.
  • Will have considerable computational and statistical experience in the microbiome field.
  • Must be highly motivated, reliable, responsible, well organized and a careful record keeper with good attention to details.
  • Excellent communication skills are required as well as the ability to work well in a collaborative and interdisciplinary team environment.

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law. http://www.mdanderson.org/about-us/legal-and-policy/legal-statements/eeo-affirmative-action.html

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