Are you interested in research at the exciting interface of computation and biology? Are you excited by the challenge of discovering new knowledge from large biological datasets to make a difference in basic science and in human health? A computational biology research group in the Center for Public Heath Genomics at the University of Virginia led by Nathan Sheffield is recruiting individuals with an interest in team-oriented computational biology.

About the lab

The group ( occupies wet and dry lab space in the Center for Public Health Genomics. We are also affiliated with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, in the School of Engineering, and Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine. I am also affiliated with the Data Science Institute and the Child Health Research Center.

These affiliations across grounds demonstrate the interdisciplinarity and collaboration priority of the group. We make use of UVA’s high-performance cluster (named Rivanna) for computational analysis. Our research is at the interface of computation and biology, drawing on techniques in computer science, data science, bioinformatics, and statistics, and applying them to biological questions in cancer, epigenetics, single-cell analysis, development, and genomics.

Teamwork is the foundation of my research. I’m trying to build a team of intelligent, creative people who are interested in working together to accomplish great things. I use GitHub to build a shared code base so others can benefit from my work, and I hope to build a team that will contribute to this goal. Writing readable, reusable code pays off as we accumulate useful code and re-apply it to new biological systems. I want to challenge the norm in academic computational research of individual scientists writing isolated code, and instead push open, multi-author code development.

If these topics excite you, please read more about our research interests and open source philosophy.

About the university

The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Charlottesville, Virginia. UVA routinely competes for the #1 rank among public universities in the United States, with a co-located School of Medicine and a top-tier environment for research. Charlottesville is also a great place to live. If you’re unfamiliar with area, please read the many reasons you should consider coming to UVA.

Interested in joining?

I’m recruiting team-oriented postdocs with experience in computational research. Applicants should be familiar with skills listed on my page of skills and training materials.


  • PhD in computational biology, bioinformatics, computer science, biomedical engineering, genomics, or related field.
  • Computational experience with linux command-line systems, R, Python, C++, object-oriented programming, and git is strongly preferred.
  • Biological understanding in genomics, cancer biology, or related field, as evidenced by first-author publications in high impact journals. Exceptional applicants from other fields who wish to transition to computational genomics will be considered.
  • Willingness to contribute to team projects (such as building communal software) and demonstrated commitment to sharing software and data with the community.

Include with your application:

  • Your CV, including education and publication history
  • Your career goals, and what you think you would gain from experience in our group
  • Why you think you would fit well, and what you would contribute
  • Your biggest ideas for what projects or types of projects you’d like to work on
  • A link to GitHub or other public repository with code you showcase, or other demonstration of your commitment to sharing
  • Your ideas for sources of funds for your postdoctoral research (secured funding is not a prerequisite, but ambition is favorable)

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled.

This position is posted at and is active as of October 2016.

Informal inquiries and application materials can be directed to the attention of Dr. Nathan Sheffield at . But ultimately, official applications must be submitted at the official UVA application system (posting number 0619301).