Join the lab

Current openings for undergrads, MS, PhD, postdoc, and a programmer!

The programmer position is a full-time job, so not for students. To apply, please fill out this form.

For current or prospective students or postdocs, we have a number of openings! We are looking for trainees who want to work in disease research, and who are interested in data science. Our work is 100% computational, using data sets generated by other people. So, you should be excited to visualize and model data sets using tools like R and Python, and packages like tensorflow/pytorch and Stan. This research sits at the crossroads of computational biology, data science, and epidemiology, and there are a number of possible projects. Recent projects/papers include: discovering drug combinations that may have latent impact on developing cancer; a model for learning how medications impact genes driving disease; drug repurposing by linking shared genetics of rare and common disease. Your ideas for other projects are welcome! Your ideas for other projects are welcome!

Here is a short list of some of the data we are working with:

  • USA claims data (N3C, Marketscan, medicare)
  • Genotype-phenotype multi-omics data (The Cancer Genome Atlas, the Alzheimer’s Disease Network Initiative)
  • Drug assays (LINCS/Connectivity Map, EPA ToxCast)
  • Biobank data (UK Biobank, Million Veterans Program)

We have collaborators in computer science, applied math, engineering, epidemiology, and health science.

PhD students and postdocs can apply by filling out this form. Any questions contact me here., but applications should go through the form.

Postdocs: We are taking applications for postdocs who have experience in either data science or biology, with demonstrated interest in our field.

PhD Students: These positions are fully funded with a mix of TAship and research funds. Students can join the UML Applied Biology PhD program – applications are rolling. It is also possible to join the PhD in Computer Science or in Biomedical Engineering. Please apply here on my website, not at the grad school website.

MS Students: students should apply to the MS Biology program. As the MS program is only 2 years, students are encouraged to contact me as early as possible in your first semester.

Undergraduates: please email me for possible projects. Students from biology, computer science, and other sciences may find good fits.

High school students: generally I cannot accept high school students, with the exception that if you are a student at Lowell High School please feel free to contact me.

Mentoring philosophy

I take my responsibilities as a mentor seriously, with a goal of treating students as colleagues in a collaboration. As an example of my mentoring philosophy, please check out the Statement of Expectations I created for summer research students previously.

My responsibilities involve:

  • helping to set the scientific direction for the project
  • providing the needed materials
  • giving students regular feedback on results and reports

The student’s responsibilities include:

  • taking ownership of their project, meaning that they don’t look at the project as something they are doing for me, but as something we are working on together
  • learning to manage their time and organize their work
  • communicating regularly, and making sure I am giving them feedback and anything else they need

I think it is important to address a common source of tension in research: the idea that only some people can “cut it”. I do not feel it is my job as a mentor to judge students’ brilliance, but only to work together on well-supported analyses using good communication. Research is hard, so project success should not be considered a reflection of your personal abilities. Please read up on impostor syndrome, something that all of us in science are prone to suffer! This problem is often more acute for people in underrepresented groups (especially including women in science and ethnic minority members).