Postdoctoral Training Opportunity in Computational Modeling of gene drive, mosquito ecology & arbovirus epidemiology @ TIGS ~ helpBIOTECH

18 October 2018

Postdoctoral Training Opportunity in Computational Modeling of gene drive, mosquito ecology & arbovirus epidemiology @ TIGS

Postdoctoral training opportunity in mathematical/computational modeling of gene drive, mosquito ecology & arbovirus epidemiology at TIGS 

Postdoctoral training opportunity in mathematical/computational modeling of gene drive, mosquito ecology & arbovirus epidemiology at the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, and the University of California Berkeley 

Description: The Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) is a partnership between the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the India-based philanthropic Tata Trusts. TIGS is currently funded by a generous gift from the Tata Trusts, which are among India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations that have established several of India’s leading institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Memorial Hospital and many other institutions of national and international importance. The overarching goal of TIGS is to advance global science and technology research in a socially conscious and ethical manner to ultimately find solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing issues, ranging from public health to agriculture. 

TIGS-India, a new public charitable Trust, was launched in summer 2017, and operates as a Center within the Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine Institute (inStem) in Bangalore, Karnataka. TIGS-India will work collaboratively with its partner institute, TIGS-UC San Diego to train personnel, advance research, and facilitate the broad applications leveraging the latest genetics technologies for the improvement of human health and agriculture within India, and advancing knowledge in basic sciences. 

 A fully-funded postdoctoral training opportunity within the Tata Institute for Genetics and Society is immediately available for candidates to study mathematical and computational aspects of gene drive systems in mosquito vectors of malaria, dengue, Chikungunya and Zika virus. Candidates must have a PhD with a strong background in applied mathematics, statistics and/or computer science. Successful candidates will work under the direction of Professor John Marshall ( at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health ( 

Possible research activities include: 

Contributing to the development of our gene drive modeling framework, MGDrivE (Mosquito Gene Drive Explorer, 
Adapting this framework to more accurately reflect the ecology of mosquito disease vectors in an Indian setting 
Using online resources such as OpenStreet
Maps to characterize relevant landscapes 
Characterizing the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases in settings of interest in India 
Working with molecular biologists to model the genetic constructs they are engineering and contribute to experimental design 
Using genomic data to characterize mosquito movement patterns 
Using machine learning alongside satellite and drone images to predict the spatial distribution of productive mosquito habitats 

Preferred Qualifications: 

A strong background in applied mathematics, statistics and/or computer science 
Experience with population genetics and/or genomic analysis 
An interest in mosquitoes and/or mosquito-borne diseases 

This is part of an exciting collaborative project involving numerous molecular biologists, ecologists and social scientists throughout the University of California system and the TIGS Center at inStem, India. Participating faculty in California include Drs. Ethan Bier, Suresh Subramani, Omar Akbari and Valentino Gantz at UCSD (molecular biology), Dr. Anthony James at UCI (molecular biology), Dr. Greg Lanzaro at UC Davis (mosquito ecology), Dr. John Marshall at UC Berkeley (mathematical modeling), Dr. Karthik Muralidharan at UCSD (economics) and Dr. Anita Raj at UCSD (social science). The successful candidate will have access to this extraordinary network of scientists. 

Funding: Available for a maximum duration of two years, subject to a clear definition of project aims, biannual project reports, formal annual presentations and an annual evaluation of significant progress both by the TIGS-affiliated faculty mentor and a TIGS-UC San Diego Advisory Group chaired by the Associate Director of the Institute. Each award covers the costs of the postdoctoral stipend, benefits, lab supplies, travel to UC Berkeley, and equipment. The best candidates will have the possibility of exciting job opportunities and incentives for continuation of their work at TIGS-India in Bangalore. 

Applications: Interested applicants should upload a Cover letter, CV, list of relevant publications including PDFs of your two most significant publications or manuscripts to date, contact information for 3 referees, and a one-page statement of research interests and future goals by visiting: Applications are encouraged from diverse candidates, but preference will be given to those who are interested in continuing this work at TIGS-India upon completion of the post-doctoral training at UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley has a large and vibrant computational biology community spanning the School of Public Health, the Center for Computational Biology, the Department of Integrative Biology, the Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics, the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, the Institute for Data Science, and more. The City of Berkeley and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area is known for its progressive values, vibrant social and cultural scene, and beautiful surrounding environment.


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