Postdoctoral associate in big data bioinformatics

This position has been filled.

The opportunity

One of the major promises of Big Data lies in the simultaneous mining of multiple sources of data. This is particularly important in life sciences, where different and complementary data are scattered across multiple resources. To overcome this issue, the use of RDF/semantic web technology is emerging, but querying these systems often proves to be too complex for most users—thereby hampering wide development and adoption of these technologies.

This project is a collaboration between bioinformaticians from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in Lausanne and Zurich, and information system engineers at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), funded by the Swiss National Priority Programme "Big Data". It aims at enabling sophisticated semantic queries across large, decentralized and heterogeneous databases via an intuitive interface. The system will enable scientists, without prior training, to perform powerful joint queries across resources in ways that cannot be anticipated and therefore goes far beyond the query functionality of specialized knowledge bases.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Lausanne, under the supervision of Prof. Christophe Dessimoz (OMA database), Dr. Heinz Stockinger (CTO of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics), and Prof. Marc Robinson-Rechavi (Bgee database). S/he will be responsible to implement interfaces to the OMA orthology database and Bgee gene expression database, and to establish a catalogue of sample cross-resources queries.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to gain teaching experience (e.g. via student project supervision and contribution to undergraduate or graduate teaching) and to contribute to other ongoing projects in the host labs.

At least 50% of the regular working hours will be devoted to personal research work.

Working conditions in Lausanne are extremely competitive, and include access to state-of-the-art computing and sequencing facilities. The environment is highly international, and all activities are conducted in English.

Profile Sought

Essential: Desirable:

How to apply

The application should consist of a single PDF file containing the following elements:

Applications should be sent to Prof. Christophe Dessimoz ( with subject line "Big data postdoc job".

For informal information, please contact Prof. Dessimoz, Prof. Marc Robinson-Rechavi (, or Dr. Heinz Stockinger (

Committed to promoting equal employment opportunities among its staff members, the University of Lausanne and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics particularly encourages applications by women.

To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by 1 March 2017.

More info

Last modified on March 27th, 2017.