RNA Bioscience Initiative Informatic Fellows Program

Posted on May 26,

The RNA Bioscience Initiative (RBI) at the University of Colorado Anschutz supports multiple informatics fellowships at the Senior Research Associate Level. The objective of these unique, semi-autonomous postdoctoral positions is to train the next generation of bioinformatic analysts with the goal of mastering skills spanning both RNA biology and computer science. The program is explicitly designed to cater to the career development goals of the Informatic Fellows. As such, we have developed two tracks for Informatic Fellows:

Track #1: Positions where time is spent both on wet-lab RNA method development and applications, as well as informatic analysis and development.This track is designed to support Fellows who seek independent academic positions blending experimental and computational RNA research. As such, the majority of the Fellows’ effort will be within a core RBI lab.

Track #2: Positions solely focused primarily on informatic analysis and software development. This track is designed to support Fellows who seek independent positions in industry or academia as computational scientists. As such, the majority of the Fellows’ effort will be in collaboration with a variety of RNA informatics researchers on campus. To ensure proper mentoring in RNA biology and career development opportunities, at least 20% of effort will be within a core RBI lab.

Examples of RBI wet-lab projects include:

  • Development of new single-cell sequencing methods
  • RNA-seq analysis of the consequences of alterations in nonsense mediated RNA decay
  • RNA-seq approaches to complement ongoing efforts in antisense oligonucleotide therapy development
  • RNA-seq methods to measure RBP-binding and target RNA regulation
  • Method development and analysis of long-read sequencing

RBI Informatic Fellows develop and apply software for the analysis of a variety of RNA sequencing and other experiments focused on:

  • In-depth analysis of single cell sequencing data from multiple modalities
  • Characterization of mRNA isoforms generated by alternative splicing and polyadenylation
  • Determination of the kinetics of RNA splicing, decay, and translation
  • Identifying and characterizing the dynamics of RNA modifications
  • Integrating RNA sequencing data with genetic data
  • Ribosome profiling and the measurement of small and long non-coding RNAs

These tracks are not mutually exclusive and the RBI Informatic Fellow faculty committee will work with the Fellow and the core faculty member to devise a development plan. Additionally, the faculty committee recognizes there may be scenarios where a course-correction is required and will facilitate either changes in track or PI match.

RBI Informatics Fellows will additionally promote the use of RNA methods and informatics on the Anschutz campus through educational outreach activities, such as developing curricula and lecturing in graduate level classes and week-long short courses, mentoring RBI scholars and summer interns, and hosting regular office-hours to assist the informatics community. Educational outreach activities will consume no more than 10% effort per year, unless additional teaching experience is desired for career development.

Our ideal candidates are scientists with a PhD in biological or computer sciences who wish to expand their training to become proficient in both disciplines. Appointments are for two years with the possibility to extend for an additional year. Toward the end of their tenure, RBI Informatic Fellows will have the opportunity to develop independent collaborations with CU Anschutz faculty and/or liaise with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to secure a stable long-term position in informatics.

Salaries commensurate with experience but will be above NIH pay scale for post-doctoral fellows.

For more information please see the RBI Fellow website (https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/rbi/funding-opportunities/rbi-informatics-fellows-program) or
contact Jay Hessleberth (jay‘dot’hesselberth‘at’cuanschutz.edu).