Job:Research Officer at Systems Genomics Lab, Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
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5.8 years ago
mbrozynska ▴ 50
  • Newly created role, based in Melbourne
  • Full Time, 2 Year contract in the first instance with possibility to extend
  • Generous Salary Packaging options

About Baker

Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute is an independent, internationally renowned medical research facility. Our work extends from the laboratory to wide-scale community studies with a focus on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Baker Institute has a project-oriented environment, encompassing a local and multi-site (including interstate) organisational structure. The staff comprise mainly research, scientific and specialist clinical personnel engaged in the capacity of permanent, grant specific and casual employment. The atmosphere is collegial, usually relaxed and informal though busy and often dynamic with frequent deadlines that must be met. The environment is often demanding and challenging with a strong team orientation but also provides the opportunity to work independently and show initiative. The nature of the work also requires a focus on accuracy and detail.

About the Role

We seek a postdoctoral Research Officer to join our Systems Genomics Lab (Head: A/Prof Michael Inouye, Website:

Systems Genomics is a young and dynamic lab, which primarily operates in a dry (i.e. computational) environment. We aim to alleviate the burden of disease using our interdisciplinary strengths in statistics, computation and bioscience to leverage the latest genomic/biomolecular technologies. We straddle basic and translational research in diseases with strong immune/inflammatory aetiologies, such as cardiovascular disease, asthma and autoimmunity.

By leveraging the immense opportunities of large datasets, the group focuses on: (i) building genomic risk scores for multi-factorial (complex) diseases then applying them to medicine and public health; and (ii) understanding the systems-level basis for disease through integrative network analysis of genes, metabolites, microbiota and health records.

The group has multiple externally-funded projects which utilise genomic risk scores, statistical models that estimate the risk of disease/trait for an individual. These projects are focused on diseases of substantial public health burden, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, celiac disease and arthritis. The RO will be expected to lead multiple projects in this area and will be responsible for the construction of genomic risk scores, their application to existing and forthcoming datasets and the evaluation of their performance in disease-specific scenarios of clinical and public health importance.

The RO will have extensive experience in programming languages common to the genomics field (e.g. R and python) as well as software tools, such as plink, snptest and impute. They will also be expected to apply common machine learning approaches to construct predictive models (e.g. support vector machines, random forests, deep neural networks). We will also consider applicants with a strong background in machine learning who are willing to train in genomics.


In this role you will be expected to:

  • Lead multiple projects that aim to build and characterise genomic risk scores (a.k.a. genetic risk scores, polygenic risk scores) for common human diseases
  • Develop and apply machine learning approaches to construct genomic risk scores for celiac disease, arthritis and cardiometabolic diseases
  • Provide statistical analysis of large-scale case-control and population-based cohorts to evaluate the performance and optimal deployment of genomic risk scores in clinical and public health practice
  • Provide bioinformatics expertise for experimental/study design, data analyses and interpretation, and reporting of results.
  • Coordinate the processing and analysis of large-scale data.
  • Develop new and/or revised research methodologies.
  • Perform critical analyses of literature relevant to research.
  • Assist in the design and implementation of complex statistical techniques and data processing systems.
  • Organise data, research and analysis procedures.

Skills and Experience

You will have:

  • A PhD, MD, or MBBS in a quantitative discipline (such as bioinformatics, computational biology, computer science, statistics or epidemiology) and/or health science discipline (such as biochemistry, molecular biology or genetics/genomics).
  • Research experience in genetics, genomics, computational biology or bioinformatics including significant experience in the statistical or computational analysis of large human genomic datasets.
  • Experience in the management, processing and quality control of large datasets.
  • Experience in statistical analysis of human genomic data with application to genome-wide association studies, genomic risk scores, phenotype prediction or related analyses.
  • A high level of interpersonal skills, excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and participate positively in a team including coordinating activities of students and junior staff.
  • Experience of managing large datasets and establishing analysis pipelines, including those for basic sequence/genomic data quality control and processing.
  • Experience in statistical modeling of genomic or other omic data
  • Well-developed time management skills, excellent planning and organisational skills.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Demonstrated ability to use Unix-based systems, compute clusters and related queuing systems, modern scripting/programming languages including R.


Salary is $79-85K + super and salary packaging, commensurate with the successful candidate's qualifications and experience.

How to Apply

Applications should include a current resume, a cover letter summarising their experience, and details of 3 professional referees quoting reference (MI02) to be received by COB 22 September. To be eligible to apply for this position you must have an appropriate Australian or New Zealand work visa or intend to apply for a valid visa. For a position description or further information, please visit our website at: or Seek website.

Contact details

A/Prof Michael Inouye, Head of Systems Genomics Lab
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Terry Schroeder, Senior HR Officer/Recruitment Specialist
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
03 8532 1111 or 03 8532 1575

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