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Bioinformatics Specialist - Matsen Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Seattle, Washington, US
Closing date
Jan 15, 2022

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Primary Work Address: 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA, 98109

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The Matsen research group at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA develops and applies methods to learn about evolution and immunology from molecular sequence data. This position will be to develop software in collaboration with the team to answer hard biological questions.

They are seeking a Bioinformatics Specialist to join the team. This includes

  • working with the team and collaborators to extract biological knowledge from high-throughput data sets
  • designing and implementing software packages to fill unmet needs in computational biology
  • developing pipelines for reproducible large-scale processing
  • contributing to writing papers.


The Matsen group provides an environment where you can work on interesting problems of real relevance to human health and our understanding of the host/pathogen interface.

This is an environment that offers independence and ownership, that aligns your work with your interests and personal goals, that values clean code and elegant solutions, and that is highly collaborative between postdocs, PhD students, interns, programmers, and collaborators.

The Center is housed in a lovely campus on Lake Union a short walk from downtown, and a slightly longer walk from the University of Washington. The Matsen group is in the newly-remodeled Steam Plant building overlooking the lake. We believe that science is for everyone. We have had researchers with a variety of backgrounds and believe in the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Please read our expectations of group members. By applying for this position, we expect that you will fulfill these expectations. We enthusiastically solicit feedback on these expectations or requests for clarification.


Bachelor's degree in bioinformatics, computational biology, or a related discipline or an equivalent combination of education and related experience.

Essential Skills

We are looking for someone who has:
  • demonstrated coding ability in Python
  • if from a biological background: knowledge of genomics
  • if from a math/stat/CS background: knowledge of the data science Python stack and/or pipeline/workflow automation
  • a desire to produce clean (clear, factored, and tested) code
  • the motivation to learn new topics and improve their craft
  • an ability to work in a team and communicate
  • an ability to find solutions independently
  • interest in the group's research and is excited to contribute

Additional Helpful Skills
  • experience developing in a Linux environment
  • background in statistics
  • experience with a modern git-based workflow

Application Instructions

If you are interested in this position, please submit the following materials (preferably as one PDF):
  • A CV summarizing your education and work experience so far.
  • The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two references.
  • A code sample showing work that you are proud of. The code sample need not be elaborate, but should demonstrate what you consider to be clean code. This is an important part of the interview because we value code quality, and we hope you do as well. Ideally, it would be publicly accessible (e.g. on GitHub), but if that's not possible, a zipped attachment is fine too.

Physical Requirements:

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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