Cornell University, Animal Science

Position ID:Cornell-Animal Science-PDASSOC [#14424]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate in Canine Genetics
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Areas: Animal Genetics / Quantitative Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Population Genetics
Computational Biology
Appl Deadline:2019/09/30help popup (posted 2019/09/04)
Position Description:    

Postdoctoral Associate
Canine Genetics
Department of Animal Science
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second-largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.

The Department of Animal Science offers undergraduate and graduate programs on the biology and management of food, laboratory, and companion animal species. Our research programs advance our understanding of animal biology and address local and global issues facing animal industries today. Our goals are to discover and develop new techniques and information to benefit animals, agriculture, and human health. The Department’s 17 faculty members, many internationally recognized, have diverse interests in animal management, breeding, genetics, physiology, nutrition, growth biology, and microbiology. Dr. Heather Huson’s research strives to improve animal health and performance by improving our understanding of genetic regulation and selection.

The Postdoctoral Associate will work in collaboration with a diverse team studying the genetics of canine longevity, quality of life, and performance. The research will include phenotypic data collection from dogs with subsequent statistical and genomic analysis aimed at quantifying aging in dogs and identifying genetic factors effecting longevity and performance. The Postdoctoral Associate will assist in phenotypic data collection of behavioral, performance and health attributes on Alaskan sled dogs with corresponding genomic data ranging from targeted gene sequences to high-density SNP genotypes and whole genome sequences.

This is a complex, long-term research project in which the Postdoctoral Associate will lead a specific component of the project and assist in other aspects. The Postdoctoral Associate will provide mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students within the lab in areas of statistical and genomic analysis. The incumbent is expected to perform the following duties (all in collaboration with team leadership and members):
• Collect phenotypic measures (behavior, performance, health) on Alaskan sled dogs
• Assist in biological sample processing for genomic analysis and long-term storage
• Perform statistical analysis of phenotypic data
• Perform quality control, data management, and general handling of genomic data
• Perform genomic association studies and fine mapping to identify associated loci and markers • Interrogate whole genome sequence data for variant identification and association
• Communicate research methodology and results orally and in written format for scientific presentations and publications
• Mentor other team members in statistical and genomic analysis
• Assist in other laboratory projects in animal genetics when needed

Required Qualifications:
• Ph.D. in Quantitative, Molecular or Population Genetics, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, or other disciplines with relevant training.
• Ability to analyze SNP and whole genome sequence data for association studies and variant detection using programs such as PLINK, Golden Helix, or R.
• Statistical and bioinformatics skills using programs such as R, SAS, PEARL, or similar.
• Willingness to handle dogs for data collection. Specific training for safely handling canines will be provided.
• Capable of independent research, multitasking, and working in a collaborative atmosphere both within and outside the laboratory.
• Ability to communicate with the team and advisor and to conduct oneself in a respectful professional manner is absolutely essential.
• Expertise in computer software applications for database management, spreadsheets, word processing, and statistical analyses.
• Excellent analytical skills, including experience handling large phenotypic and genomic datasets.
• Publication of prior research
Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience with behavior and/or gait characteristics, preferably in dogs.
• Laboratory experience in DNA extraction, amplification, imaging, and sequencing.
• Have a strong publication record with evidence of substantial research productivity.
• Ability to successfully communicate scientific information.
• Potential for collaboration on other lab projects (cattle, goat, and wildlife) is also available.

This is a full-time (40 hours/week) position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a one-year appointment with possible extension for a second year depending on funding and performance.

To apply:
Please apply via Academic Jobs On-line

Qualified candidates should submit a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, publication of prior research, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion via the website. 

Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified. For more information, please contact Dr. Heather Huson at

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
  • Three References (no actual letters, just names and email addresses)
  • Publication of prior research

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Life. Changing.

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement. Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the new Cornell Tech campus to be built on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
Cornell University
Department of Animal Science
149 Morrison Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

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