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    Opportunity: Postdoctoral Research Associate -- Computational and Predictive Biology (modeling microbial communities) @ Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- Oak Ridge, TN (US)
    Submitted by Priya Ranjan; posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2022


    Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Computational and Predictive Biology Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with experience in computational biology and microbial ecology to take on an important role developing computational tools for designing synthetic communities of plant-associated microbes and investigating model community formation and functional dynamics.

    The candidate will work with a diverse and talented team of biologists, computer scientists, and developers in a joint effort between the Plant Microbe Interfaces (PMI and DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase projects, and will have many opportunities to broaden their knowledge, develop collaborative networks and their own research. This position provides the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research with access to suitable high-performance computing resources and ORNL's Leadership Class Supercomputer (


    In this role, you will work collaboratively with PMI and KBase researchers to:
    • Develop software to model compositional and functional shifts of microbial communities
    • Develop software to help with design of synthetic microbial communities for improved plant phenotypes.
    • Organize relevant PMI experimental datasets on isolates and synthetic communities
    • Develop, package, and apply computational methods in the KBase platform, which will be shared and disseminated across the microbiome research community
    • Present research progress in project meetings and national/international conferences
    • Contribute to ongoing projects in the group, and successfully define and develop your own projects
    • Publish original work and scientific results in peer-reviewed journals


    • A PhD in Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Data Science, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biology or a related field completed within the last 5 years
    • Strong computational science expertise and a solid background in scientific programming, data science, computational techniques and/or computational biology
    • Programming experience using Python
    • Familiar with data analysis and understanding of data models to represent biological concepts
    • Experience in analyzing microbiome datasets


    • Background in any of the following areas: modeling synthetic microbial community, modeling plant-microbe or plant-pathogen interactions, microbiology, ecological and evolutionary genomics
    • Experience with modeling tools such as COBRApy
    • Strong track record in developing software tools
    • Demonstrated strength and efficiency in technical writing
    • Strong experience with software engineering best practices
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills
    • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory
    • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


    Work will be performed onsite at Oak Ridge national laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA (


    A highly competitive salary will be offered commensurate with qualifications and experience in addition to annual leave and medical benefits.


    Please submit all application materials by February 10, 2022.
    • Cover Letter – Explain why you are interested in this position and how your background is relevant
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume
    Apply directly online at


    February 25, 2022

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