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Director, Child Health Bioinformatics

Medical College of Wisconsin & Children's Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Comprehensive compensation and benefits, as well as research and recruitment support
Closing date
Sep 4, 2023

View more

Life Sciences, Bioinformatics
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Faculty, Research Scientist, Other
Organization Type

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Children’s Wisconsin (CW) are seeking a visionary, courageous, innovative, and scholarly leader to serve as Director, Child Health Bioinformatics.

The Child Health Bioinformatics Director is a recognized expert with an independently funded research program in systems biology and informatics related to childhood disease. The Director will hold the Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Endowed Chair in Systems Biology and will be appointed as an Associate Director of the Mellowes Center.

Newly renovated laboratory and office space will be located within the Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine (Mellowes Center, MC) with satellite location(s) convenient to child health researchers, and clinical practice at the adjacent Children’s Hospital Wisconsin.

With a long-standing history of pioneering genomic sciences and precision medicine, the Mellowes Center has evolved into a national and international leader in data-science-driven integration and modeling of multi-omics for system biology. The Child Health Bioinformatics Director will serve a leadership role in developing the strategic vision for expanding bioinformatics and systems biology for the child health enterprise and Children’s Research Institute (CRI). In addition to maintaining their own research program, responsibilities include developing the infrastructure for operations, resource utilization, research consultation, and core services that support systems biology/bioinformatics research faculty and staff across the child health enterprise.

The Director will be employed by a pediatric specialty practice unit (SPU) and work closely with Mellowes Center leaders, researchers, and scientists. In partnership with CRI and the Mellowes Center, the Director will recruit additional faculty (second endowed chair is available) as child health-focused bioinformatics team members at the assistant or associate professor level. 

The Director will lead a team that develops and applies bioinformatics workflows for standard and custom data analysis across a broad range of technologies, many of which are currently supported by the Mellowes Center, such as single nuclei sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, genome variant analyses, transcriptomics, and epigenomics. The Director is expected to create deliverables that could serve as standards for quality and innovation in broader communities, building informatics tools for data management, omics, and imaging analyses within the reality of clinical data integration.

The Director and their team will support researchers across the child health research community with data management, quality control, analysis of data, and presentation of results. Additionally, they will coordinate selected key research projects and act as an independent point of contact for researchers seeking to access the resources (e.g., personnel, technical expertise, and equipment) available in the Mellowes Center.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Determine needs of researchers across Child Health Enterprise; work with CRI and Mellowes Center leadership in setting strategic, scientific, and operational priorities. Leveraging the existing resources, skills, and processes of the Mellowes Center, provide best practice bioinformatics services to investigators across the child health enterprise, including pre-experiment/grant consulting, application, and training on the use of bioinformatics core software tools, and integration of user-generated and large-scale public data sets. Enable implementation of scalable workflows to disseminate analytical advances to the research community. Develop staffing plans and oversee recruitment within the bioinformatics research team; oversee developers as necessary, provide management of database design, interface design and information processing. Partners with Mellowes Center and CRI resources. Build and manage a team of bioinformatics professionals, including direct and indirect reports. Participate with Mellowes Center and CRI in seminar series, special trainings, mini-courses, and user groups for bioinformatics related activities. Work with CRI and Mellowes Center to develop and promote the funding model for expansion and long-term sustainability of Shared Resources in Bioinformatics and Data Science, including investments from organizational units around the community, charge-back models and collaborative grant applications. Lead and collaborate on grant applications related to bioinformatics projects.

Required Qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree required; preference for candidates with a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology or related field. Candidates with degrees in other fields including machine learning or statistical genetics, and with strong research in bioinformatics and systems biology, are also encouraged to apply. Independent extramurally funded research program or recent history of strong funding portfolio. Career path includes a clear trajectory to national stature in systems biology research. 5+ years related work experience required, and 5+ years team supervisory and program/project management experience required. Demonstrated excellence in analytical, writing, and communication skills. Committed to providing bioinformatics support spanning a broad range of scientific projects and data types to researchers with a broad range of NGS data literacy; emphasis on immunology and cardiovascular diseases; Pediatric or child health content expertise preferred. Extensive knowledge of public domain bioinformatics data sources, public sequence databases, genomic tools, and analytic platforms for data and knowledge integration and management; emphasis on single cell and gene expression analysis. Applications in multi-omics and systems-level data integration.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Evidence of software development experience and proficiency in scripting; experience with SQL or other relational database systems, Unix and mixed operating systems environments, high-dimensional data management and analysis Ability to use machine learning and other artificial intelligence methods. Proficient in R and Bioconductor preferred; python-based proficiency acceptable yet the Director must work with teams whose projects may span different systems. Advanced skills with Microsoft applications which may include Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access and other web-based applications (may produce complex documents, perform analysis, and maintain databases).

Children’s Wisconsin and Children’s Specialty Group

Children’s Wisconsin is the state’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. With more than 1.3 million annual connections with kids and families statewide, Children’s provides a wide range of care and support — everything from routine care to lifesaving advances and treatment options, foster care and adoption services, child advocacy, and provides an insurance plan. In addition to its reputation for providing the highest quality patient care, Children’s has also been recognized as an employer and community partner, including as a top workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Children’s and its joint venture with the Medical College of Wisconsin – the Children’s Specialty Group, or CSG - are the largest providers of pediatric healthcare in the state, serving the children and families of Wisconsin with the highest level of care through their American College of Surgeons Level I Children’s Surgery Verification Center, Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence, 72-bed Level IV NICU, Level IV Epilepsy Center, and a 72-bed PICU. In 2022-2023, CW and CSG had eight specialties ranked by US News & World Report: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology, and urology.

Medical College of Wisconsin

At the core of everything we do at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is the pursuit of new knowledge and the power of academic medicine. Bringing together the world’s top scientists and clinicians, inspired students, and invested communities, we are driven to solve the most complex challenges in health and society. MCW is home to a diverse group of thought leaders collaborating to build a healthier world and a continuous cycle of life-changing knowledge.  MCW has approximately 1,600 full-time and part-time faculty and approximately 3,445 full-time employees. More than 1,500 physicians from the community serve as volunteer faculty.  MCW makes a substantial contribution to the Milwaukee region and state through its community investments and community engaged research.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin, is located on Lake Michigan’s western shore. A metropolitan area with more than 1.5 million people, Milwaukee is an affordable, comfortable place to live, work, and play, big enough to be exciting and uncongested enough to get around easily. Milwaukee’s many neighborhoods have incredible charm, accommodating a variety of lifestyles, from high-rise apartments to small farms.  Nestled along a magnificent bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, Milwaukee’s downtown is home to botanical gardens, a superlative symphony orchestra, museums, a ballet company, a theater district, the world champion Milwaukee Bucks, the Milwaukee Brewers, and many fine restaurants. The lake and its harbors are skirted by scenic parklands and provide first-class opportunities for recreation. A recent study ranked Milwaukee as the 15th most walkable of the 50 largest US cities. Milwaukee County is also known for its “Grand Necklace of Parks” totaling more than 140, which offer hiking, picnic facilities, cross country skiing, and ice skating. 

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

We believe that embracing human differences is critical to realize our vision of a healthier world, and we recognize that a healthy and thriving community starts from within.   If you believe embracing individuality and working together makes us stronger, then MCW is the place for you.  People of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin are Equal Opportunity Employers.  We are committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristic, or military status.  

Application review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

All interactions will remain confidential, and no inquiries will be made without the consent of the applicant.  Nominations and applications, including current curriculum vitae and a cover letter stating qualifications and reasons for interest in the role.


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