Computational Biologist - Brain and Neurodegenerative Disease

VARI has seen immense growth in the past year, hiring over 6 new Principal Investigators to start research labs with the goal of improving health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations.

Two of these new Principal Investigators, Rita Guerreiro, Ph.D. and Jose Bras, Ph.D., will be joining VARI in November 2018. Their main research focus is dedicated to understanding the genetic basis of neurological disease. Though Drs. Guerreiro and Bras’ labs work closely together, they each focus on different approaches in their research.

Dr. Guerreiro’s interests include the analysis of genetic variability in several neurological diseases (including Parkinson and Alzheimer’s diseases) and more broadly trying to understand how genetic variants affect the disease process at the molecular level.

Dr. Bras’ research interests are primarily directed at how genetic variability acts on neurodegenerative diseases, using a bioinformatics/computational biology approach.

They are actively seeking to add a talented Computational Biologist, to start in January/February 2019. As a Computational Biologist, in their joint lab, you will be key in leading projects applying computational methods focused on brain and neurodegenerative disease.

In this role, you would be tasked to:

Develop and apply methods for the identification of disease-causing and disease-risk variations in exome and genome sequences.Apply computational skills to develop innovative ways to discover relationships between gene annotation and patient phenotypesAssist in the development of grant and scholarship applications related to the researchReport, present/publish the results in scientific conferences/journalsProvide ad-hoc bioinformatics support to cross-disciplinary projects

You also should possess the following traits and characteristics:

Motivated and hardworking individual that possesses strong planning and organizational skills.You are at a stage in your career where you can confidently take the lead on projects.Brings innovation/creative thinking about science.  A strong commitment to building and maintaining a positive work environment. 

You also possess a Ph.D., which is ideally focused on Bioinformatics, but it is important for you to have a good understanding of biology. The key areas you excel in would include:

PhD in Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Computer Science, Computational Biology, Genetics, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics or a related disciplineKnowledge and demonstrable experience with large-scale NGS data analyses (exome, genome, RNA-seq, single-cell RNA-seq, ATAC-seq)Strong statistical and scripting programming skills (R, Python)Exceptional communication skills as demonstrated by publications and presentations

Apply by submitting the following:

cover letter highlighting key qualifications,current curriculum vitae with complete bibliography,names and contact information of 2 references,

This position will be open until filled and will be reviewing applications on an ongoing basis. If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at

VARI is committed to achieving excellence through increasing diversity. We actively encourage applications from women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.

Van Andel Institute is an EEO and Affirmative Action Employer

About Grand Rapids, MI

Van Andel Research Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI which is the second largest city in Michigan and the largest city in West Michigan. Grand Rapids offers a remarkable combination of cosmopolitan atmosphere and small town warmth, known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community, and is ranked one of "America's Top 100 Places to Live."

Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you'd expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theaters, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walk-able neighborhoods. 

With a medical and life sciences industry boom, strong entrepreneurial activity, dedication to green building and living, and innovative employers, Grand Rapids' diverse economy continues to grow, offering endless career opportunities.

To apply visit:

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