Computational Biologist


Van Andel Research Institute


Grand Rapids, Michigan

Principal Investigator

Rita Guerreiro

Principal Investigator

Jose Bras


Apply by visiting and submitting a cover letter highlighting key qualifications, current curriculum vitae with complete bibliography, and the names and contact information of two references. Contact for more information.


Rita Guerreiro and Jose Bras joined VARI in November 2018 as principal investigators. Their main research focus is dedicated to understanding the genetic basis of neurological disease.

Though Drs. Guerreiro and Bras’ labs work closely together, each focuses on different approaches in their research. Dr. Guerreiro’s interests include the analysis of genetic variability in several neurological diseases (including Parkinson and Alzheimer’s diseases) and more broadly trying to understand how genetic variants affect the disease process at the molecular level. Dr. Bras’ research interests are primarily directed at how genetic variability acts on neurodegenerative diseases, using a bioinformatics/computational biology approach.

They are seeking to add a talented computational biologist, to start in January/February 2019. The biologist, in their joint lab, will be key in leading projects applying computational methods focused on brain and neurodegenerative disease.

The computational biologist would be tasked to:

  • Develop and apply methods for the identification of disease-causing and disease-risk variations in exome and genome sequences.
  • Apply computational skills to develop innovative ways to discover relationships between gene annotation and patient phenotypes.
  • Assist in the development of grant and scholarship applications related to the research.
  • Report, present/publish the results in scientific conferences/journals.
  • Provide ad hoc bioinformatics support to cross-disciplinary projects.


Candidates should possess the following traits and characteristics:

  • Motivated and hardworking individual that possesses strong planning and organizational skills.
  • At a stage in your career where you can confidently take the lead on projects.
  • Innovative/creative thinking about science.
  • A strong commitment to building and maintaining a positive work environment.

Candidates should also possess a Ph.D., ideally focused on bioinformatics, and a good understanding of biology. The key areas in which to excel would include:

  • Ph.D. in bioinformatics, biostatistics, computer science, computational biology, genetics, mathematics, physics, statistics or a related discipline.
  • Knowledge and demonstrable experience with large-scale NGS data analyses (exome, genome, RNA-seq, single-cell RNA-seq, ATAC-seq).
  • Strong statistical and scripting programming skills (R, Python).
  • Exceptional communication skills as demonstrated by publications and presentations.