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    Opportunity: Principal/Senior Bioinformatics Research Scientist -- Visualization Engineer, Web Developer & Designer @ St. Jude Children's Research Hospital -- Memphis, TN (US)
    Submitted by John Stukenborg; posted on Friday, August 27, 2021



    M. Madan Babu's Group at the Center of Excellence for Data-Driven Discovery and the Department of Structural Biology is seeking a highly driven, full-time Principal/Senior Bioinformatics Research Scientist to serve as the Web Development and Design lead to support the Kalodimos and Babu Groups on the Blue Sky Initiative "Seeing the Invisible in Protein Kinases." This project is supported by $35 million in institutional funding (more information in the St. Jude Strategic Plan 2022--2027). This is a joint project between the Kalodimos Lab and the Babu Group at St Jude.

    The project will extend the ultra-high field NMR spectroscopy and biochemistry approaches developed recently by the Kalodimos lab (Science 370, eabc2754, 2020) to study the human kinome. This is a large-scale project that aims to detect and structurally characterize the distinct conformational states populated by kinases, and to dissect the mechanisms of allosteric regulation and those underpinning oncogenic and drug-resistance mutations. This strategy will be integrated with and complemented by data-science and computational approaches developed by the Babu lab (Nature 587, 650, 2020), to systematically characterize the conformational landscape of the human kinome.

    The ideal candidate will be an expert in UX/UI design and back-end development of web applications to help scientists visualize, analyze and understand high-dimensional biological data. You will have a strong background in computer science, web development, bioinformatics, or computational biology and truly exceptional skills in designing visualizations to render complex, multi-dimensional biological data interpretable and understandable. You should be able to present or provide links to a strong work portfolio that demonstrates your expertise in designing, building, and deploying insightful web-based applications. You will be a team player and will work as part of an interdisciplinary team of 40 scientists including biochemists, NMR spectroscopists, data scientists and bioinformaticians. Exceptional communication (written and verbal) and critical thinking skills are a must.

    When submitting your application, please include your CV and a cover letter, which includes information or a link to a portfolio of past projects. If you do not meet the minimum years' experience for your degree level, but believe you are a truly exceptional candidate, please contact Ben Leslie (bleslie[at] for more information.


    In this role, the successful candidate will work independently to assist, and where relevant, lead ongoing projects on the Blue Sky Kinase Project. The Principal/Senior Bioinformatics Research Scientist is expected to work efficiently to manage concurrent projects, collaborate extensively, and meticulously document work (e.g., through written reports, presentations, etc.) and code. In addition, this person will be responsible for instructing and managing junior members of the team and delegating tasks to them.
    • Build the UI and back-end of high-complexity yet responsive web applications to both internally and public facing networks
    • Develop web-based visualization tools and UI design that identify patterns emerging from data analyses that combine information from sequence, expression, genome variation, disease mutations, and 3D structural information
    • Work with Blue Sky database engineer and members of Babu Group to integrate and manage currently existing and new datasets in the Babu Group into a platform that can easily be accessed, analyzed and visualized by Blue Sky Kinase Project members
    • Work with data scientists and experimentalists to understand interesting domain-specific datasets and build new high-performance tools to extract new insights from those data; teach other members how to use these tools


    Preferred Skills and Experience:
    • Exceptionally strong background and skills in the development of web sites and applications
    • Expertise working with biological data (structural data, sequences, expression, network, genomic data, etc.) or a strong willingness to acquire the required knowledge
    • Proven expertise in successfully deploying web applications to internal or public-facing networks
    • A strong understanding and ability to work with SQL datasets, and familiarity with next-gen ORMs that abstract these data types (e.g., SQLAlchemy, GraphQL, Prisma, Apollo, etc.)
    • Strong proficiency with the different cloud services (e.g., AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) as well as hybrid cloud technologies
    • Strong adherence to using version control software, functionality testing, reviewing and debugging code
    • Drive and enthusiasm to stay current with technological advances in the field, apply them to the Team's workflows, and teach other team members
    • Ability to contribute new ideas to automate or improve existing analysis methods. Independently implement improvements or help others to do so. Participate in manuscript preparation
    • Ability to work in a computational biology-oriented lab, collaborate with other members (experimental and computational) of the groups, supervise others, analyze areas of weakness, and schedule training sessions accordingly
    • Periodically organize meetings and update all relevant team members of progress
    • Our preference is for candidates who have demonstrated proficiency working with large biological datasets. However, we will be happy to other consider candidates if they can demonstrate experience working with large datasets from multiple fields outside of biology
    Minimum Education:
    • Bachelor's degree is required
    • Master's or PhD is preferred
    Minimum Experience:
    • Demonstrated expertise in designing, building, and securely deploying powerful web-based interactive applications that interface with internally or cloud-hosted data
    • Demonstrated proficiency in both front-end and back-end development
    • Ability to work with large, complex, and diverse data sets in a very fast-paced, intellectually curious environment
    • Expert in at least one modern web-framework: React, Angular, Vue, or Django
    • Expert in at least one modern visualization application such as D3.js, Three.js
    • Expertise building, curating, and managing databases using state-of-the-art frameworks and a strong willingness to integrate currently existing and continually created data within the group
    • Our preference is for candidates who have demonstrated proficiency working with large biological datasets, but we will be happy to consider other candidates who have diverse experience working with large datasets from multiple fields outside of biology
    • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience as a web developer is required
    Principal Bioinformatics Research Scientist:
    • Thirteen (13) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required
    • Eleven (11) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required with a Master's degree
    • Eight (8) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required with a PhD
    Senior Bioinformatics Research Scientist:
    • Ten (10) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required
    • Eight (8) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required with a Master's degree
    • Five (5) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required with a PhD


    Memphis, TN


    Apply online:[...]mp%5D


    Ranked #1 in the U.S. in Pediatric Cancer, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and home to the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project. The St. Jude campus is a truly unique research environment, encompassing state-of-the-art HPC facilities, world-leading oncology basic research, outstanding Shared Resources and Core Facilities and a dedicated translational Chemical Biology and Therapeutics department. The $412M Advanced Research Center, opened in 2021, doubles the campus' research space and adds support for an additional 1000 employees. There is a vibrant Data Science community at St. Jude, with opportunities to interact with researchers in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Departments, and tremendous support from the Center for Applied Bioinformatics.

    The Department of Structural Biology is building one of the world's most comprehensive research center for defining molecular structures to understand health and disease at the molecular level. The Department is home to multiple Technology Core Centers (Cryo-EM and Tomography, X-ray, NMR, Single-Molecule Imaging, and Protein Technologies) ready to characterize Data Driven Discoveries.

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