Research Associate- McGill University, Canada

Professors Luda Diatchenko and Audrey Grant are jointly hiring a Research Assistant or Research Associate (depending on the qualifications of the candidate) in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University for a 1-year contract (renewable). This research opportunity is focused on applying statistical genomics approaches directed towards chronic pain development, conditions featuring chronic pain, and pain sensitivity. Chronic pain is defined based on the persistence of pain experience for over three months of time and represents a substantial public health burden with a prevalence of 20 % in the general population. Although the genetic basis of various pain conditions (including fibromyalgia, migraine, lower back pain) is not well understood, the development of chronic pain implicates both the nervous system and immunity, and may be related to psychiatric outcomes. The overall goal of our joint research interests is to identify the molecular basis for the transition from acute to chronic pain, body site specificity vs. widespreadness across pain conditions, and pain sensitivity. Methodology employed includes classical and emerging statistical genomics analysis techniques. The successful candidate will be in charge of analyses that span across these areas.

We seek a Statistical Genomics Analyst trained in the statistical or computational sciences with a graduate degree (PhD preferable, or MSc with prior research experience) to start as of January 2021. The ideal candidate should display a passion for statistical and computational approaches applied to complex traits such as pain, and have the following skills:

  • Strong statistical genetics, computational biology or machine learning background;

  • Solid experience in at least one of the following programming languages or environments: R,

    Python, SAS, STATA;

  • Experience using PLINK or other specialized software for processing genomic data;

  • Familiarity with Linux and shell scripts.

    Through supervision and advice given by Prof. Diatchenko and Prof. Grant, the candidate will conduct statistical analyses using existing and emerging statistical methods. The analytical tasks may involve:

  • Processing UK Biobank and Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging data and calculating the summary statistics of pain phenotypes (taking into account population admixture and various confounding covariates);

  • Statistical enrichment analysis of gene sets, pathways, cell/tissue-specific transcriptomes and epigenomes (harnessing reference single-cell and bulk public data);

  • Inferring mediating phenotypes of pain phenotypes within hierarchical polygenic models;

  • Statistical fine-mapping of pleiotropic sub-threshold functional genetic variants.

    We offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package.

    Please contact Prof. Luda Diatchenko ([email protected]) and/or Prof. Audrey Grant ([email protected]) for further inquiry about the position.