Postdoctoral Research Associate - Structural Biology

Job Location US-TN-Memphis
Structural Biology
Faculty Member
Madan Babu Mohan


Madan Babu's Group at the Center of Excellence for Data-Driven Discovery and the Department of Structural Biology is seeking a highly driven, full-time Network Biologist and Multiomics Researcher. This post will be part of a newly established Centre for Adipocyte Signaling (ADIPOSIGN) funded by a major grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. This position is available immediately with four years of funding. ADIPOSIGN is run by four partners with highly complementary expertise in the fields of adipocyte biology, transcriptional regulation, signal transduction, physiology, and computational systems biology:


Susanne Mandrup, Prof., Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SDU, DK

Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld, Prof., Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SDU, DK

Madan Babu, Member, Dept. of Structural Biology SJCRH, USA

Zach Gerhart-Hines, Assoc. Prof., NNF Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, DK


The ideal candidate will be able to identify, develop, and use computational biology methods to mine, integrate, visualize, and analyze multiple large-scale omics datasets and biomolecular network data (transcriptional, metabolic, signaling networks) for hypothesis generation and creation of network models of obesity. You will establish computational pipelines to organize and interrogate multiple omics datasets as well as develop and maintain an internal data resource for the consortium.  When submitting your application, please include your CV and a cover letter. 


This position requires relocation to Memphis, TN. When possible, it will involve travel for collaborative purposes to Denmark. You will be working in a highly dynamic and collaborative environment, and will be expected to communicate complex informatics principles, methods, analyses and results to scientists from diverse backgrounds in the consortium. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are a must, as you will interact directly with both Computational Biologists and Experimentalists in a highly interdisciplinary environment.


Ranked #1 in the U.S. in Pediatric Cancer, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and home to the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project. The St. Jude campus is a truly unique research environment, encompassing state-of-the-art HPC facilities, world-leading oncology basic research, outstanding Shared Resources and Core Facilities and a dedicated translational Chemical Biology and Therapeutics department. The $412M Advanced Research Center, opened in 2021, doubles the campus’ research space and adds support for an additional 1000 employees. There is a vibrant Data Science community at St. Jude, with opportunities to interact with researchers in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Departments, and tremendous support from the Center for Applied Bioinformatics. The St. Jude Postdoctoral Association provides tremendous support for professional and career development.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is consistently named as one of Fortune magazine and’s “Best Places to Work,” as well as “Best Workplace for Women” and “Best Workplace for Diversity.” We are in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee, a vibrant and friendly city at the historic American crossroads of music, trade, food, and culture. Mild winters and beautiful green outdoor spaces are part of the reasons why Forbes recently named Memphis the 4th happiest city in which to work. Cost of living and high quality of life are other attractions; Money magazine listed Memphis as one of the least expensive cities in which to raise a child. St. Jude facilities and salaries are highly competitive. The Babu Group strives to build and maintain a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion and we strongly feel these values directly contribute to the dynamic and intellectually stimulating scientific environment we can provide.


Preferred Qualifications include:

  • Extensive experience in working with omics datasets and biomolecular networks (e.g. high-throughput transcriptomics or epigenomics data sets, protein-protein interaction networks, PTMs, signaling pathways, and gene regulatory networks)
  • Experience with developing web interfaces for data analysis, visualization and dissemination (e.g., R Shiny)
  • Experience with developing and maintaining databases (ideally including graph databases)
  • Experience with representing complex datasets and networks as interpretable figures and novel data visualisation methods
  • Experience with diverse statistical data analysis approaches is desirable (Bayesian and non-Bayesian statistical methods)
  • Expertise in adipocyte biology or other fields relevant to the study of obesity is desirable
  • Interest and expertise in GPCR signaling, transcription, metabolic pathways and/or nuclear receptors is desirable
  • Understanding of human genetics, polygenic risk scores, genome-wide association studies and analysis methods


  • To undertake cutting-edge research aimed at understanding the molecular basis of obesity phenotypes by integrating diverse omics datasets in order to understand how pathological cell states can arise
  • To develop and employ state-of-the-art computational and network biology methods for the integrative analysis of data generated by the ADIPOSIGN consortium members
  • To assist with the identification of candidate genes (e.g., GPCRs, Nuclear Receptors, etc.), networks and pathways, and variants linked with obesity for further analysis and experimental validation
  • To discover, develop and maintain network models of obesity and the effect of naturally occurring variants via a community database and make it available to the scientific community
  • Establish computational pipelines to organise and interrogate multiple omics datasets and datatypes
  • Integrate omics datasets with molecular networks for differential network analysis and define context-specific biological networks
  • To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques and data resources to pursue the research objectives
  • To maintain collaborative interactions with all the other partners involved in ADIPOSIGN and provide general bioinformatics support for data analysis, interpretation, presentation, and manuscript writing
  • To travel and present scientific work at seminars within the lab, consortium meetings, progress report meetings and at external meetings
  • To collaborate with other group members of Madan’s lab and contribute to lab-wide discussions on developments in the area of computational systems biology, omics data analysis and network biology
  • To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication
  • To contribute to the mission of St. Jude and ADIPOSIGN in the public communication of science, and the dissemination and translation of research findings into improvements in health care
  • To assist in the training of PhD Students, and other members of the Group and ADIPOSIGN consortium

Minimum Education

A PhD in computational biology, systems biology, network biology or bioinformatics

Minimum Experience

  • Extensive expertise and proven track record in integrative systems biology and multi-omics data analysis and network biology
  • Experience with integrating diverse datasets (i.e., molecular and clinical data, different data types)
  • Fluency in general-purpose or specialized statistical programming languages such as Python and/or R
  • Working knowledge of standard bioinformatics pipelines (homology search, sequence alignment, variant call analysis tools) and their associated packages (e.g., hmmer, biopython, bioperl, or similar)
  • Strong visualisation skills as well as written and oral communication skills

Other Information

COVID-19 vaccine:


As of September 10, 2021, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees, excluding those with an approved medical or religious accommodation, as a condition of employment.


EEO Statement:  St. Jude is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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