Skip Navigation

New York Genome Center


Postdoctoral researcher (causal network inference in cancer), Knowles & Azizi Labs


New York, NY
ID: 688-105

The Knowles and Azizi labs are seeking a joint postdoctoral research scientist with a background in computational biology, machine learning, and statistics, as well as preferably genomics and cancer biology. This collaborative project combines causal inference and gene regulatory network modeling to better understand cancer progression, metastasis and drug resistance. This project is part of the MacMillan Center for the Study of the Non-Coding Cancer Genome (, which is hosted at NYGC. 


The incumbent Postdoctoral Research Associate will support the “Inferring cell-type specific gene regulation and the causal networks underlying cancer progression and drug resistance” project as part of the MacMillan Center for the Study of the Non-Coding Cancer Genome (CSNCG). The MacMillan CSNCG is a partnership between The MacMillan Family Foundation and the New York Genome Center. The mission of the CSNCG is to dramatically advance our understanding of human physiology and disease mechanisms in cancer through an unprecedented research program focused on understanding the role and function of the non-coding genome and epigenome in cancer evolution, progression, and treatment response. This requires shared innovative technologies and mathematical approaches, and an interdisciplinary effort between theory, measurement, and application. Thus, a key goal of the CSNCG will be the creation of a common causality discovery platform that brings together engineers, data scientists, mathematicians, technologists, and biological experts to engage in collaborative efforts to develop and scale access to tissue-based measurements and computational tools, which will provide quantification of phenotypes as a function of natural or experimental variation of the dark genome and epigenome. 


The Knowles lab ( develops machine learning methods to understand the role of transcriptomic dysregulation across the spectrum from rare to common genetic disease. This includes characterization of the genetic and environmental factors contributing to mRNA expression and splicing variation. Beyond this specific project there are opportunities for close collaboration with diverse research groups at NYGC collecting large-scale genomics datasets and developing novel genomic technologies including single cell methods, forward genetic screens and long-read transcriptomics. The lab is joint between the NYGC and Columbia University Departments of Computer Science and Systems Biology


The Azizi lab ( utilizes an interdisciplinary approach combining cutting-edge single-cell genomic and imaging technologies with statistical machine learning techniques, to characterize complex populations of interacting cells in the tumor microenvironment as well as their dysregulated circuitry and spatial organization. The Azizi lab is primarily affiliated with the Biomedical Engineering Department and the Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics (IICD) at Columbia University. We are also affiliated with the Computer Science Department, Data Science Institute and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. The lab is located in the Columbia Morningside (main) campus.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conceptualize novel computational approaches for causal gene regulatory network inference. 
  • Implement and document these methods following good software engineering practices. 
  • Benchmark these methods against existing baseline approaches e.g. using simulations. 
  • Apply these methods to diverse cancer omics datasets, especially single cell.  
  • Document and present progress and results in written or oral reports to other lab members.
  • Prepare manuscripts and external presentations including for center meetings. 
  • Building standardized Python and conda packages. 


Position Requirements

  • PhD in computer science, statistical genetics, bioinformatics or related quantitative subject. 
  • Publication record including a first author paper on a relevant topic (e.g. computational biology, machine learning, or statistics).  
  • Strong programming skills in Python or R 
  • Technical skills and coursework in machine learning, data science or statistics
  • Previous experience in developing novel machine learning methods or computational biology tools 
  • Experience with processing and analysis of genomic data and knowledge of cancer biology is preferrable
  • Strong interest in applications of statistical machine learning in genomics 
  • Highly independent and interested in working with a multidisciplinary team


Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At NYGC we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.



  • Technical and Professional Skills: Consistently demonstrates skills and knowledge relevant for current role; strives to expand the depth and breadth of technical and professional skills; works with a high level of integrity; exhibits focus and discipline; appropriately prioritizes, manages expectations and delivers on commitments.
  • Collaborative & Communicative: Models collaboration and teamwork; brings out the best in others; effectively works with all levels, internally and externally; respects and embraces diversity of perspective; communicates clearly and listens carefully; uses good judgment as to what to communicate and when to do so.
  • Adaptable & Innovative: Adaptable and embraces change; develops new insights and pursues improvements and efficiency; fosters exchange of new ideas and willing to challenge the status quo; takes initiative and is solution-oriented; engages in work with passion and curiosity.


Work Flexibility

NYGC has established a flexible work policy to give employees and other staff more ability to balance their work, personal commitments, and commuting challenges. The incumbent in this position is eligible for a flexible work schedule or hybrid remote work arrangement (working onsite on Tuesdays and Thursdays at minimum) with supervisory approval.



The pay range for this position is $63,000 - 68,000 per year; the base pay offered may vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. Separately, the NYGC offers a $1,500 per month taxable postdoctoral housing allowance ($18,000 per year), a full range of medical, financial, and other benefits, and generous time off.


About the New York Genome Center

The New York Genome Center (NYGC) is an independent, nonprofit, academic research organization dedicated to advancing genomic research. NYGC scientists and staff are furthering new approaches to diagnosing and treating neurological diseases and cancer through their unique capabilities in whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, state-of-the art analytics, and the development of genomic tools. NYGC concentrates specifically on disease-based research in the following areas: neuropsychiatric disease (autism, schizophrenia, bipolar); neurodegenerative disease (ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s), and cancer.


Located in Lower Manhattan, the New York Genome Center was founded by and remains closely affiliated with twelve leading academic medical centers and research universities in the New York region and beyond, engaging in research projects with and for these institutions. Essential to our collaborative work is an outstanding faculty, whose members typically hold a joint appointment at NYGC and a partner university. They support our scientific mission by conducting independent research in areas of mutual interest to us and the wider scientific community. 


Equal Opportunity

NYGC is committed to creating a workplace where our employees reflect the rich diversity of the New York community— in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs — and we work to support this diversity through our employment practices. We want our employees to thrive both personally and professionally. 


The New York Genome Center is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, protected veteran or military status, domestic violence victim status, partnership status, caregiver status, alienage or citizenship status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. The New York Genome Center takes affirmative action in support of its policy to hire and advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.


FLSA Status – Exempt

This position is eligible for visa sponsorship and relocation assistance. 


Please note: We care greatly about our employees’ wellbeing, so NYGC has moved to a fully COVID-19 vaccinated environment. You must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be provided access at NYGC, even if you are working partially remotely.

This position is located at 101 Avenue of the Americas, 7th Floor, New York, NY. View the Google Map in full screen.