Assistant Data Scientist (Genomic) - Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis (Ting Laboratory)

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Apr 1, 2023

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Health Sciences
Organization Type

Job Details

The Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis is an interdisciplinary, basic science research department that conducts groundbreaking research aimed at defining the mechanisms controlling normal cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, and survival as well as mechanisms controlling genome maintenance to identify the aberrations in these processes that drive cancer.

Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis

Epigenetic gene regulation is important for both normal development and disease states. In cancers, aberrant promoter CpG island hypermethylation correlates highly with gene inactivation and can account for lack of gene expression where mutations do not exist. Dr. Ting is interested in dissecting the mechanisms of epigenetic gene silencing and understanding the functional relevance of DNA methylation in diseases. Dr. Ting's lab has three major focus areas:
  • Pioneering technical and computational tools for genome-wide DNA methylation assay. Dr. Ting developed MBD-isolated Genome Sequencing (MiGS), which is a cost-effective technique to survey whole genome DNA methylation patterns. The Ting lab also develops computational tools that facilitate sequencing data analyses and interpretation.
  • Defining novel and clinically relevant functions for DNA methylation. We have defined genome-wide abnormal DNA methylation patternsin colon, bladder, and prostate cancers. Knowing where these disruptions occur enabled us to generate and test hypotheses regarding the function of these changes. We investigate both gene promoters and non-promoter regions with the goal of defining context-specific functions of DNA methylation.
  • Delineating the mechanics of DNA methylation in cancer. Wide-spread disruptions to DNA methylation patterns are contribute to tumorigenesis and progression, but the regulatory mechanisms that establish, maintain, and modify these patterns are still being worked out. Researchers in Dr. Ting's lab explore the roles for epigenetic enzymes, small non-coding RNAs, and environmental exposures in the initiation and maintenance of abnormal DNA methylation patterns in cancer.


Sequencing Data Analysis
  • Assist with writing computer codes to establish new computational pipelines using R, Python, and C++.
  • Create new scripts as directed to carry out specific data manipulation or adapt published software to project needs and computational infrastructure.
  • With supervision and assistance from senior bioinformatics personnel and PI, perform genomic data analyses, such as single cell RNA-seq, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and HiC-seq.
  • Provide assistance and input in developing and implementing workflow for data analysis in collaboration with research scientists. Assist with hypothesis testing.

Data and Systems Maintenance
  • Under direct supervision, build and deploy data analysis support systems for large data sets.
  • Interact closely with systems administrator to provide assistance for maintaining and running software packages for next generation sequencing data analyses.
  • With supervision and assistance from senior bioinformatics personnel and PI, conduct data QC, sequence alignment, sequence analyses, annotation, and interpretation.
  • Organize and present findings.

Research Support
  • Contributes to the development of procedures and makes recommendations on new procedures.
  • Explore and learn new technologies relevant to lab research projects.
  • Interact closely with PIs and assist with other research, computational, scientific or support staff to accomplish project focus or results.


Required: Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Computational Biology, or related field.


Required: None

Preferred: Experience in genomic data analyses, such as single cell RNA-seq, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and HiC-seq.

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.


The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It was named the nation's No. 1 hospital for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's 2023 rankings. It is one of the nation's original three comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

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