Staff Scientist-Bioinformatics, Johnston Lab

Job ID
Regular Full-Time
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Staff Scientist


Computational Staff Scientist — Microbial Genomic/Metagenomic/Epigenomic analyses


Cures Start Here. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Careers Start Here.

At Fred Hutch, we believe that the innovation, collaboration, and rigor that result from diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission of eliminating cancer and related diseases. We seek employees who bring different and innovative ways of seeing the world and solving problems. Fred Hutch is in pursuit of becoming an antiracist organization. We are committed to ensuring that all candidates hired share our commitment to diversity, antiracism, and inclusion.


A Computational Staff Scientist position is available immediately in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division (VIDD) of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch), Seattle, WA. The successful applicant will work with Dr. Christopher D. Johnston (Johnston Laboratory)


The successful applicant will work with Dr. Christopher D. Johnston to develop and support the growing computational and bioinformatics efforts within a research group focused on the human microbiome. Central responsibilities will include all aspects of analysis and management of multiple unique data sets -primarily associated with long-read sequencing technologies (PacBio) including large scale computational genomics of clinical microbial strain collections, patient tumor and tissue metagenomics, and microbial/eukaryote epigenetics. Additionally, statistical analysis of large datasets, integration of multiple data elements, and generation of figures to visualize microbiome data and results.


The scientist is expected to assist researchers with data analysis, write manuscripts, provide figures and analyses for grant proposals, and present research at scientific meetings.


In addition, dependent upon career trajectory the scientist will have the option to write independent grant applications in the bioinformatics and microbiome space.  


  • Applicants should have a PhD degree in computational biology, bioinformatics, computer science, applied mathematics, statistics/biostatistics, biomedical engineering, evolutionary/systems biology or other fields with strong quantitative training
  • Demonstrated experience in analysis of large-scale sequence data, and integrated analysis of genomic, transcriptomic, or epigenomic, data is expected
  • Experience in high performance computing, and cluster infrastructure support and usage will be highly beneficial. Deep knowledge of mathematics and statistical methods and proficiency using statistical analysis software such as R or Matlab
  • Experience with a general scripting language such as Python, Ruby, Perl, or bash
  • Experience working with metagenomics / epigenomic / other Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data and the ability to write custom scripts to access databases, perform and evaluate quality control and analyze NGS data
  • Proficiency with data visualization tools (Spotfire, Tableau, R, Python)
  • Experience with an object-oriented language such as Java, C++ or C# and familiarity with standard software development best practices: source code control, unit testing, in-code documentation and automated build environments
  • Development experience in Linux and Windows environments
  • Background with molecular biology or immunology a plus
  • Candidate must demonstrate outstanding personal initiative and creativity in problem solving

Application instructions:

Please include a cover letter with your application, detailing your interest and suitability for this position.

A statement describing your commitment and contributions toward greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in your career or that will be made through your work at Fred Hutch is requested of all finalists.

Our Commitment to Diversity

We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Employer. We are committed to cultivating a workplace in which diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, disability (physical or mental), marital or veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, or membership in any other legally protected class. We are an Affirmative Action employer. We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds to apply and desire priority referrals of protected veterans. If due to a disability you need assistance/and or a reasonable accommodation during the application or recruiting process, please send a request to our Employee Services Center at or by calling 206-667-4700.


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