I’m looking for a postdoc in viral phylogenetics and evolution. The advertisement follows:

A new postdoctoral position is available in Trevor Bedford’s group at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center located in Seattle, WA. Research will focus on virus phylogenies and infectious disease dynamics. A primary goal is to reconstruct patterns of strain replacement and characterize what makes a strain evolutionarily successful. With knowledge of past success, future progenitor strains may be able to be algorithmically predicted. Initial application will focus on the influenza virus where timely inference of progenitor strains has important applications to vaccine strain selection.

Previous research has shown that amino acid replacements at certain sites in influenza’s hemagglutinin (HA) protein tend to result in viruses that can partially escape existing human immunity leading to these mutants fixing within the viral population. Still, other sites in HA appear to be primarily functional and replacements at these sites lead to viral lineages that are likely to go extinct. Other research has focused on phylogeographic patterns, finding that viruses in China and Southeast Asia are historically more likely to be progenitor strains. The proposed research aims to extend and unite these previously retrospective studies to a fully statistical and predictive framework for viral evolution that would incorporate multiple predictors of evolutionary success.

The ideal candidate has experience with phylogenetic inference and/or infectious disease modeling and a strong interest in computational and statistical methods development. Candidates should also have programming experience in at least one scripting language (e.g. R, Python, Perl) and/or one compiled language (Java ideal) and a proven track-record of peer reviewed publications. However, candidates with PhDs from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including biology, mathematics, statistics, physics and computer science.

The position is available immediately with flexible starting dates for a 2-year appointment with possibility of extension. Informal inquires are welcome. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and skills, complete with benefits.

To apply please send (1) cover letter that includes the names and contacts for three references and a short statement of research interests, (2) a current CV and (3) code samples or links to published/distributed code to trvrbobfuscate@trevorbedford.com.