Vanderbilt University Research Assistant I in Nashville, Tennessee

Research Assistant I (Job Number: 1801327)


Position Summary :

The Data Science Research Assistant is part of the Irish Lab within the Cell and Developmental Biology Department, under the umbrella of the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and is a key individual contributor responsible for assisting with computational biology, data science, and machine learning projects. The Research Assistant will join a lab conducting research in immunology, neurobiology, and cancer and will work with the lab’s Principal Investigator and lab members on multiple projects related to precision medicine and single cell analysis of human tissues.

The Data Science Research Assistant will aid biologist lab members and collaborators to apply cutting edge computational tools to analyze “big data” generated using multiple approaches, including mass cytometry (CyTOF) and single cell RNA-seq. The Research Assistant will assist lab members with implementation and scripting of computational tools for single cell data analysis and machine learning in medicine. The Research Assistant will also assist with organizing and managing data being generated, contributing to multi-center projects and clinical trials, and sharing annotated data with publications. The Research Assistant will work at the direction of laboratory personnel, including the lab’s principal investigator.

About the Work Unit :

A central goal of our research at Vanderbilt is to understand how changes at the single cell level alter signaling in healthy cells and lead to therapy resistant populations in human diseases. In the Irish Lab, we use new tools and computational approaches to do basic and translational research in human cancer and immunology.

In addition to making discoveries at the frontier of human genetics and immunology, we aspire to use knowledge of cell signaling to create therapeutic technologies and to guide clinical decisions. In the long term, great potential exists to detect disease earlier and to tailor a patient’s therapy to the biological alterations detected in the cells of their disease. By better understanding biological systems which control development and cell-cell interactions in healthy and diseased contexts, we can learn to program cells to become therapeutic agents or target malignant signaling events to specifically kill cancer cells.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

  • Application of computational tools in single cell data analysis.

  • Development, editing, and generation of computational tools and automated workflows.

  • Data management and annotation.

Supervisory Relationships :

This position does not have supervisory responsibility; the position reports administratively and functionally to the lab’s Principal Investigator.

Education and Certifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on computer science, mathematics, statistics, engineering, computational biology, physics, or a related quantitative field from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary.

Experience and Skills :

  • Prior experience in a research environment, including from research for credit or a summer internship is necessary.

  • Computer programming experience is necessary.

  • Experience with the R language and environment for statistical computing is preferred.

  • Experience with statistical modeling, data science, or machine learning is preferred.

  • Experience with computational tools for dimensionality reduction, clustering, or modeling is preferred.

  • Experience with database or user interface design is preferred.

  • Experience in a team science environment is preferred.

  • Experience programmatically generating graphs is preferred.

  • Experience with adobe tools (Illustrator & Photoshop) is preferred.

Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit:

  • Adaptability – Reads cues and adapt accordingly. Adjusts style and approach to accommodate the styles and needs of others. Can anticipate and effectively de-escalate potential conflicts.

  • Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.

  • Naturally Communicates – Readily shares information and is comfortable working within a highly collaborative team. Communicates proactively. Understands that open communication and the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to the success of the team. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.

  • Raises the Bar – Expects and delivers excellence. Is a creative problem solver. Is proactive. Welcomes input on making things better. Places a high value on learning and getting better

  • Analytical & Detail-Oriented – Accurately assesses information and applies applicable law, policy and procedure. Considers the long term implications of actions today and advises employees appropriately. Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicates care about the outcomes.

Job requires a Bachelors degree

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 18230 - Cell and Developmental Biology

Job: Research / Lab Tech / Paraprofessional