Research Officer

Research Officer

The University of Queensland - Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Brisbane, Australia


The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) is a leading global life sciences research institute committed to improving quality of life through research. IMB was established in 2000 as UQ’s first research institute and is the cornerstone of one of the largest bioscience research precincts in Australia.

The Institute is home to more than 450 researchers, postgraduate students and support staff from more than 40 countries who work in partnership with their academic, industry and clinical colleagues around the world to advance knowledge in areas including pain, rare diseases, inflammation, superbug infection, cardiovascular disease, environmental research, drug discovery and development, cancer, diabetes and obesity, and reproductive health. Our mission is to drive the bioeconomy and create better health; our vision is to be a life sciences institute with global impact.

By investigating how we grow and develop at the genetic, molecular, cellular and organ levels, IMB researchers can better understand the development processes and pathways involved in human and animal health and disease. The institute also has the technical capacity to translate its new knowledge into drugs, diagnostics and technologies to more effectively prevent, detect and treat disease; and pursue opportunities in a range of biotechnology applications for health, industry and the environment.

IMB’s research outcomes are protected and commercialised by UQ-owned technology transfer group UniQuest.

Details of the research interests of the Institute may be accessed on the Institute’s website at:

The Program in Complex Trait Genomics ( is a joint initiative between the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). Physically located in IMB, the broad research focus is towards a better understanding of complex traits and disorders, including psychiatric and neurological disorders. A key research strength is the development of underpinning computational and statistical analysis methods. The Program is led by an Executive comprising Prof Peter Visscher, Prof Naomi Wray and Prof Jian Yang who were awarded a five-year Program Grant by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, commencing in 2017. In addition, Peter Visscher was awarded a five-year Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship in 2018 to enhance capacity in human complex trait genetics and genomics.

Visscher, Wray and Yang and their colleagues are internationally recognised for pioneering the use of multi-marker statistical methods in human genetics and for innovative methods in the analysis of genetic and genomic data of complex traits. Their research is regularly published in top journals such as Nature, Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, Genome Research, American Journal of Human Genetics, PLoS Genetics and Molecular Psychiatry.

Research in the Program covers four major themes: Statistical Genomics, Systems Genomics, Psychiatric Genomics and Motor Neuron Disease Genomics. The Program consists of over 20 postdoctoral research staff as well as PhD students, research assistants and visiting academics. Current research involves; the development of novel statistical genetics methodology and software; analysis of genotype, expression and methylation array data alongside DNA and RNA sequencing data; application of statistical genetic methods to infer the genetic control of traits and diseases.

The role: There are multiple roles available for A and B Level Academics.

Level A postdoctoral staff will be required to work with lead researchers on existing projects (listed below), whilst Level B postdoctoral staff will be expected to develop and run their own research program in collaboration with members of PCTG.

1. Multivariate whole genome estimation and prediction analysis of genomics data applied to psychiatric disorders. This project will require the development of statistical methods and computer algorithms to perform multivariate association analysis in large samples. Whilst the focus is on neurological or psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, motor neuron diseases, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease), methods and software can be applied to other traits and disease phenotypes.

2. Develop methodology to estimate genetic parameters in quantitative and disease traits from whole-genome sequence data. This project will build on recent cutting-edge research performed by PCTG for accurate estimation of genetic variance from large-scale samples. One major focus of this initiative is the development of efficient and user-friendly software, which is to be made publically available.

3. Develop methods for the analyses of ‘omics data. The project will build on the large amount of ‘omics data collected by PCTG and collaborators, including genome-wide SNPs, whole-genome sequence, genome-wide gene expression, and genome-wide DNA methylation in large samples. The aim of this project is to use the integrated information from ‘omics data to identify genes and genetic regulatory mechanisms responsible for the genetic etiology of complex diseases and to achieve a higher accuracy of disease risk prediction.

4. Analysis of genomics data of motor neuron disease (e.g. SNP, blood DNA methylation, exome sequence) from Australian and Chinese cohorts, in particular leading analyses that are informed by knowledge and understanding of the underlying biology of the disease.

5. Analysis of data from the Australian Genetics of Depression study. In collaboration with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research we have detailed questionnaire data and genome-wide genotypes on 15,000 cases. The appointee will lead analyses of these data and integration with external data sets to better understand the genetic and non-genetic factors of depression and response to antidepressants.

The person: The successful candidates will have a strong background in statistics and a proven ability to code efficiently in low-level programming languages.

For appointment at Level A: PhD in a relevant field e.g. statistical genetics, quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, computer programming, statistics, econometrics or other relevant areas.

For appointment at Level B: PhD in a relevant field and at least two years post-doctoral experience or equivalent and demonstrated research productivity consistent with this experience.

The University of Queensland values diversity and inclusion and actively encourages applications from those who bring diversity to the University. Please refer to the University’s Diversity and Inclusion webpage ( for further information and points of contact if you require additional support.

This role is a full-time position; however flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to the contact person listed in the job advertisement.

Remuneration: This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment at Level A or B. Appointment level will be commensurate to qualifications and experience.

The remuneration package for Level A will be in the range AUD$77,307 – $89,285 p.a., plus employer superannuation contributions of up to 17% (total package will be in the range AUD$90,449 – $107,259 p.a.).

The remuneration package for Level B will be in the range AUD$93,985 – $111,607 p.a., plus employer superannuation contributions of up to 17% (total package will be in the range AUD$109,963 – $130,580 p.a.).

Enquiries: To discuss this role please contact Anjali Henders by email To submit an application for this role, go to and use the Apply button. All applicants must supply the following document: Resume.

Applications close: 14 December 2018

Job no: 505383

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 505383