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Postdoctoral Scientist - Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics - Hitchins Lab

Requisition # 19002437 Apply Now

Principle Investigator, Dr. Megan Hitchins, is a member of the faculty of Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is situated with the Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics (BFG). The BFG brings together teams specializing in bioinformatics and computational biology, functional analysis of the genome and epigenome coupled with next generation sequencing, epigenetic profiling, and genome editing, to provide a complete pipeline for identifying the functional consequences of genetic and epigenetic variation in cancer risk, subtypes, and outcomes. Dr. Hitchins’ group focuses in particular on the role of genetic and epigenetic variants in high-risk cancers, and on DNA methylation markers of cancer, as applied to the detection of circulating tumor DNAs.

Dr. Hitchins is looking for a Postdoctoral Scientist to join the BFG to investigate methylation markers specific to cancer that may be exploited as biomarkers for cancer risk stratification, detection, diagnosis, prediction of treatment outcomes, and monitoring of treatment outcomes. The ideal candidate we are searching for will have wet-lab training in genetic, transcriptional and/or methylation analysis methods that include next generation sequencing based assays, methylation analysis techniques, and solid statistical analysis skills. The position requires a solid understanding of the molecular biology (genetics, epigenetics and gene regulation) underlying cancer.

As an appointed Postdoc, you will work with Dr. Hitchins on germline genetic variation, RNA expression, and DNA methylation associated with cancer phenotypes. You will be supported by a Research Associate/Laboratory Manager and work within a highly integrated and multi-disciplinary group comprising senior and junior post-doctoral scientists, research technicians, clinical fellows and graduate students. You will be expected to conduct wet-lab research and statistical analyses of data (both directed and independent) under the mentorship of Dr. Megan Hitchins, submit and publish papers and posters, and make oral presentations. This post-holder must be well organized and be able to demonstrate written and oral presentation skills.
Essential job duties and responsibilities:
  • Lead research project(s) in the genomics and epigenomics of cancer that form part of the research program under the mentorship of the Principal Investigator. This will include the undertaking of intellectual, technical (wet-lab), and analytical aspects of the project(s)
  • Draft manuscripts for publication and author or co-author
  • Contribute to the drafting of grant proposals
  • Attend, contribute to, and present at laboratory group meetings and departmental meetings
  • Present research findings at national and international conferences
  • Provide miscellaneous research support (ad hoc data analysis, hypothesis development, programming, troubleshooting, etc.)
  • Lead and train incoming Graduates Students, Research Fellows, lower level Research Associates, and other related support staff and may be requested by Pl to take on specific day-to-day supervisory activities
  • Comply with all safety standards and procedures
  • Assist with the establishment and maintenance of IRB proposals and protocols relating to projects in the laboratory
  • Assist with the maintenance of database and accompanying biorepository
Educational Requirements:
  • Ph.D in a relevant area (Human Genetics/Epigenetics/Cancer Biology/Molecular or Cellular Biology)
  • At least 4 years of wet-lab experience, which may include the Ph.D training period
  • Ph.D. in a relevant area (Human Genetics/Epigenetics/Cancer Biology/Molecular or Cellular Biology)
  • At least 4 years of wet-lab experience, which may include the Ph.D training period
Technical expertise in some of the following: 
  • Safe handling and processing of clinical samples (such as human blood, saliva, or formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks); Sterile cell culture; DNA and RNA extractions from fresh, frozen, and FFPE tissues
  • Expertise in an array of genetic, epigenetic, or other molecular biology techniques (such as PCR and real-time PCR, cDNA synthesis and reverse transcriptase PCR, generation of libraries for next generation sequencing, exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, whole genome bisulfite sequencing, gel electrophoresis, western blotting, pyrosequencing, sodium bisulfite conversion of genomic DNA for methylation analyses, various techniques for DNA methylation analysis, ChIP). On-site training will be provided for essential techniques
  • Familiarity with online genomics interrogation tools such as primer design, BLAST, human genome browser, ENCODE, functional prediction/interpretation of genetic variants
  • Basic bioinformatics data analysis skills for the analysis of next generation sequencing data, such as R, LINUX and programming languages (Python), pedigree analysis tools
  • Basic statistical analysis skills and familiarity with programs/software (such as R package or SPSS)
  • Solid understanding of the biology and genetics underlying gene regulation and genetic variation is strongly preferred
  • Working Title: Postdoctoral Scientist - Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics - Hitchins Lab
  • Department: Home Dept-Fine
  • Business Entity: Academic / Research
  • City: Los Angeles
  • Job Category: Academic / Research
  • Job Specialty: Postdoctoral
  • Position Type: Full-time
  • Shift Length: 8 hour shift
  • Shift Type: Full-time
Apply Now

Cedars-Sinai is an EEO employer. Cedars-Sinai does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of the race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics or any genetic information), marital status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, age (40 or older), military and/or veteran status or any other basis protected by federal or state law. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this email address.

Cedars-Sinai will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories, in accordance with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

At Cedars-Sinai, we are dedicated to the safety, health and wellbeing of our patients and employees. This includes protecting our patients from communicable diseases, such as influenza (flu). For this reason, we require that all new employees receive a flu vaccine based on the seasonal availability of flu vaccine (typically during September through March each year) as a condition of employment, and annually thereafter as a condition of continued employment.

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