Company:  Confidential

Job Title: Study pediatric cancer developmental subtypes as Postdoctoral Scholar

Job Number: 79184

Location: Santa Cruz, CA; Remote optional, US

Job Description


Pediatric cancers are developmental disorders marked by global deregulation in gene expression. Pediatric cancer transcriptomes provide insight into the developmental origin of tumors and can point to potential therapeutic targets. In this project, the postdoctoral researcher will utilize large bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) datasets from human cancer and normal tissues to characterize the developmental subtypes of pediatric tumors with an eye toward subtype-specific therapeutics. An expected outcome of this project is generalizable scientific software that can be applied to broad collections of pediatric cancer data, such as those maintained by the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative and the Childhood Cancer Data Lab.


UC Santa Cruz Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative is a research arm of the UCSC Genomics Institute. The Treehouse team constructs, harmonizes, and makes publically available human RNA-Seq datasets from human cancers and develops methods for analyzing such datasets with the goal of repurposing approved drugs for individual pediatric cancer patients. Treehouse projects include the Tumor Map ([Please click the Apply button for the link or email]) and the Tumor, Patient-Derived Xenograft, and Cell Line Compendia ([Please click the Apply button for the link or email]).

The Childhood Cancer Data Lab, an initiative of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, builds software systems, analytical workflows, and training programs to accelerate the pace of data-intensive pediatric cancer research. Data Lab projects include the Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas ([Please click the Apply button for the link or email]) and co-organizing the Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas, a public crowdsourcing initiative to unravel the genomics and transcriptomics of pediatric brain tumors, with the Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


Join the Treehouse and Data Lab teams for a unique postdoctoral researcher opportunity at UC Santa Cruz, home of the Genome Browser, Cell Browser, and Xena platforms. The postdoctoral researcher will be jointly mentored by the Co-Founder of the Treehouse Initiative, Olena Morozova Vaske, PhD, and the Director of the Childhood Cancer Data Lab, Jaclyn N. Taroni, PhD, and work alongside highly experienced data scientists who develop new analytical approaches and/or apply them to pediatric cancer. The postdoctoral researcher will additionally have mentoring and workshop instruction opportunities if desired and aligned with future career goals.

Applicants will be appointed as a postdoctoral scholar at UCSC. A successful applicant will have a PhD in computational or biological sciences and a strong background in computer science, machine learning, statistics, genetics, bioinformatics, or a closely related field. Candidates must have obtained their PhD no more than 3 years before July 1, 2024. Programming experience with attributable contributions to source code and great interest in applying these skills to pediatric cancer are also required. A highly successful candidate will have a proven collaborative cancer biology research track record.

This position is remote-optional (US only). Candidates who are located in or are willing to relocate to a geographic location that would allow for monthly travel to UCSC for seminars and in-person meetings are preferred. Funding for the position is contingent on preparing and submitting a proposal to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with guidance from mentors. The starting salary is $70,000 annually.


Please use the linked Google Form to submit the following in PDF format:

  • Your curriculum vitae
  • A cover letter describing your interest in the position, which includes links to source code samples
  • A one- to two-page Letter of Intent for a proposed project
  • Contact information for three references

Application Deadline: 2024-07-01


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