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Research Assistant Professor for Whole-Genome Sequencing in Alzheimer’s disease

Posted by on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in Announcements, Job Opportunities, Path to Career Resources .

The Cruchaga Lab, member of the Neurogenomics and Informatics Center (NGI) at Washington University School of Medicine, invites applications for a faculty position at the rank of Research Assistant Professor to develop a project to identify novel genes and pathways in Alzheimer’s Disease utilizing Whole Genome Sequencing.

The Cruchaga lab has pioneered the use of next-generation sequencing technology to identify novel functional variants and genes implicated on Alzheimer’s disease. The ultimate goal of the lab is to identify novel risk and protective variants, create prediction models and identify drug targets. The lab has a strong experience and publication record in analyzing sequence data to identify novel genes implicated on AD
Genetic studies for AD have primarily focused on patients affected by the late-onset form of the disease (>65), or by the early onset AD (EOAD, <65) from families with Mendelian mutations in the APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2 genes. Mutations in these three genes only explain ~10% cases. Recently Dr. Cruchaga in collaboration with investigators at Miami University, and Columbia University to generate and analyze WGS in more than 3,500 EOAD cases and more than 10,000 controls from the Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project. We also have two other large sequencing studies focused on late-onset familial AD, and endophenotype-based studies.
We are looking for investigators with expertise in Whole Genome data, single variant and gene-based association analyses, colocalization, Mendelian Randomization, and TWAS/Fusion approaches to lead this large effort. The successful candidate will join an already stablished team that include senior and junior scientist as well as Postdocs and PhD students that will also be involved on this project.

Recent publications on the subject
• Rare coding variants in the phospholipase D3 gene confer risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Cruchaga et al., Nature 2014
• Exome sequencing identifies rare damaging variants in ATP8B4 and ABCA1 as risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Holstege H et al, Nature Genetics 2022
• Genomic atlas of the proteome from brain, CSF and plasma prioritizes proteins implicated in neurological disorders. Yang C et al., Nature Neuroscience 2021
• SORL1 variants across Alzheimer’s disease European American cohorts. Fernández MV et al., Eur J Hum Genet. 2016

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Responsible for developing end-to-end a project dissecting the genomic etiology of AD and related phenotypes
Lead, develop, and troubleshoot specific analyses
Multi-task projects and keeping pace in a dynamic research environment
Present research advances at a variety of internal and external seminars
Lead manuscript writing.
Direct, coordinate and supervise laboratory personal
Ability to mentor students and research staff

Preferred Qualifications
PhD or MD with 5 years of postdoctoral experience
Prominent record of research achievements in Whole Genome, Whole Exome sequencing
Demonstrated expertise in BWA-GATK, SKAT-O, plink, QC, IBD, PCA, R, Bash, Python, Perl, Java, SAS, SQL, Docker and omic data integration
Good knowledge of association analysis PRSice, MAGENTA, Mendelian Randomization, Mantra, Colocalization, Quantitative Trait Loci and Unix/Linux
Independent in literature search and keeping abreast of new scientific developments
Good, communications and writing skills
Demonstrable commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

The Cruchaga Lab provides a unique collaborative scientific environment emphasizing the analysis of functional genomics and high dimensional omics data to understand Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The Lab is member of the NGI that includes faculties with expertise in genetics, genomics, multi-omics, machine learning, iPSC, animal models of neurodegenerative diseases and Clinical research. The new faculty member will work in a collegial environment in a well-stablished, well-funded research group, currently 35+ dynamic members, developing bioinformatics tools and analyzing multi omics data to explore the frontiers of Alzheimer’s disease.

Basic Qualifications
The candidate must hold a PhD or MD in a relevant discipline, at least 3 years of postdoctoral experience, strong publication record in Genomics of Alzheimer’s disease, advanced bioinformatics background and experience multitasking scientific projects.

Special Instructions
Applicants should submit: 1) cover letter describing their interest in the position, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) one-page description of their single-most important paper highlighting the novelty of the findings (accepted papers only) and 4) names and contact information of 3 professional references. Please send the materials in one single PDF to the attention of the Search Committee at

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