European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Postdoctoral Fellow - Computational Analysis of Human Microbiome Data

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Heidelberg, Germany

We are seeking highly motivated computational biologists to join the research group of Peer Bork within the Structural and Computational Biology Unit as a postdoctoral fellow. This bioinformatics group works on a wide range of topics with a current focus on microbiome analysis in ecosystems like the human gut, soil and ocean.


Your role

Your role would be to analyse large-scale microbiomics data (metagenomes, metatranscriptomes, metabolomes etc.) for biological discoveries by data integration. The primary focus will be the human gut microbiome, with data coming from various internal and external projects, often involving hundreds of individuals. For example, multiple cohorts of patients with different stages of liver disease will be analysed, partially with multiple time points, deep omics characterisation, medical drug treatment and clinical follow-up data. Available projects will be, for example, (i) dissection of the impact of therapeutics, environmental factors, and the gut microbiome on human health, (ii) integration of multi-omics data for functional interpretations, and (iii) analysis of the diversity of the microbiome across the globe both in terms of structure (species and strains) and function (e.g. detection of novel functional modules). The work aims at biological discoveries and will comprise both methodological and applied aspects.


You have

  • A PhD degree in Biology, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, or a related field
  • Proven biological background knowledge and bioinformatics skills related to the group’s research
  • Experience in data integration, statistical analysis and visualisation, e.g. in Python or R
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team
  • Willingness to learn new skills as projects require
  • Good communication, interpersonal and English language skills


You might also have

  • Experience in working with the Linux command line and compute clusters
  • Experimental expertise in microbiology or collecting environmental samples
  • Familiarity with processing next-generation sequencing data and performing sequence analysis (such as multiple sequence alignment, phylogenetic analysis, or Hidden Markov Models)
  • Competence in processing large microbiomics datasets


Why join us

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits, and the availability of an excellent child care facility on campus.


What else you need to know

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with approximately 1900 employees from many nations, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome. Our mission is to offer vital services in training scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research. Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

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