Postdoctoral Fellow - Metagenomics Analyst

Postdoctoral Fellow - Metagenomics Analyst

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Heidelberg, Germany


About the team/job


The Zeller Team is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to develop computational tools and data analysis strategies for human microbiome data. Drawing on state-of-the-art concepts from biostatistics and machine learning, we develop new computational methodology to meet the standards of clinical studies. In order to gain a better understanding of the microbiome’s role in human disease and treatment response, we apply these tools in collaborations with other computational and experimental research groups at EMBL and clinician scientists in Heidelberg and beyond.


Your role


The postholder will



  • develop new analytical methods for longitudinal microbiome data analysis which explicitly model dependency structures among microbial features (e.g. the phylogenetic tree reflecting species relationships) and implement these as software packages;

  • analyze metagenomics data sets from clinical microbiome studies in a team with other researchers from the Zeller Team and collaborating groups, capitalizing on her/his in-depth understanding of the methodologies in order to gain a better understanding of microbiome-host interactions (co-metabolism) and their bearing on host health and disease;

  • interact and collaborate with other scientists and bioinformaticians from the Bork and Korbel Groups at EMBL, the Saez-Rodriguez Group from Heidelberg University, and the Schlesner Group from the DKFZ to tightly integrate microbiome and molecular and clinical host data into disease models.


The position is ideally suited for applicants who

  • are as excited as we are about developing computational and statistical methods to push the limits of clinical microbiome analysis;
  • enjoy programming, scientific software development, and are eager to expand their repertoire of sophisticated data analysis skills;
  • like to work in a young dynamic team ingrained in EMBL’s collaborative, interdisciplinary, and culturally diverse research environment and enjoy networking with other bioinformaticians at EMBL and beyond.

You have



  • a PhD in computational biology or related field with a record of computational and/or statistical method development;

  • advanced programming skills, including R, Python, Unix/Bash as well as familiarity with basic concepts of computer science;

  • strong interest and prior experience in biological data analysis (in any relevant data-intense field of the life sciences including genomics, transcriptomics, single-cell analysis, etc.).

You might also have



  • experience in software development, e.g. maintenance of R/Bioconductor packages;

  • broad theoretical knowledge of, and work experience with biostatistics and machine learning;

  • familiarity with large-scale data analysis and pipelining in an HPC and/or cloud computing environment;

  • metagenomics data analysis skills.

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 from 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 do I 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 more than 1600 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.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: embl-HD01475

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