Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Science and Psychiatric Genomics

Karolinska Institute Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics


1-2 Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Science and Psychiatric Genomics

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

We seek a new postdoc who will work in the KI-Psychiatric Genomics Institute (KI-PGI), led by Prof Patrick Sullivan. The KI-PGI is a research program within the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB) with 10 year funding from the Swedish Research Council. The KI-PGI begins with fundamental genomic findings and then elucidates the implications for patients, clinicians, and neuroscientists. Prof. Sullivan leads the worldwide collaboration Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), which is one of the most innovative and productive research efforts in the history of psychiatry. We are deeply collaborative, and in addition to the 150+ institutions involved in the PGC, we actively work with at least 10 major genetic, psychiatric, neuroscience, and functional genomic groups. We have established, long term collaborations within the KI, Sweden, Europe, the US, and Australia. We have multiple large new datasets. These recent papers describe our efforts in psychiatric genomics (Nat. Genet 2020), functional genomics, identification of brain cell types for schizophrenia (initial study and replication)(Nat. Genet. 2018, 2020), the work of the PGC, and reviews for the field (Cell, 2019). These are only a subset of efforts now underway.

The overarching goals of the KI-PGI are: on a population scale, how do genes and environment act and interact to modify risk for severe psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia and severe major depressive disorder)? By what molecular and cellular mechanisms do these genes act? We have data from large case-control studies of schizophrenia, and all subjects have been comprehensively evaluated with genome-wide SNP arrays, analysis of copy number variants(CNVs), and whole exome and whole genome sequencing, as well as comprehensive national health register data. Larger studies are in progress including expansion of the Swedish Schizophrenia Study (S3), Genomic Aggregation Project in Sweden (GAPS), and TRYGGVE2 (an effort to harmonize psychiatric genomics and national register data in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden). These studies are funded by major research funding from Swedish Research Council, NIH/NIMH, and EU Horizon 2020.

Prof Sullivan has a track record of postdoc advancement. Two recent KI postdocs now have their own labs and, in the past 15 years, more than 10 postdocs have advanced to Assistant or Associate Professor with independent funding. 

Your mission

We seek an outstanding and innovative postdoc to join our team. We are data-rich, and need a professional-level data scientist to maximize our understanding of the data we have collected and to identify new data that we need to make. This individual should be passionately committed to furthering knowledge of severe psychiatric disorders in order to improve the lives of people. The successful applicant will join the KI-PGI team and conduct research on the genomics and functional genomics of severe psychiatric disorders leveraging “multi-omic” approaches and/or ML approaches to high-dimensional and complex register data.

This is a position of 2 years with possibility of extension. Questions regarding the role, please contact Prof Patrick Sullivan or Lu Yi. Contact information can be found below.

Your profile

Qualified to be employed as a postdoctor is one who has obtained a doctorate or has equivalent scientific competence. Applicants who have not completed a doctorate at the end of the application period may also apply, provided that all requirements for a completed degree are met before the (intended) date of employment. This must be substantiated by the applicant's main supervisor, director or equivalent.

  • Applicants should have a PhD in computer science, physics, mathematics, engineering, biostatistics, or genetics. We will consider those with PhDs in other areas but who have advanced/relevant data science skills (e.g., machine learning).
  • Applicants should have substantial prior experience in professional analysis of multiple types of modern genomic and functional genomic datasets. These might include: GWAS, exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA-sequencing.
  • Modern genomics requires advanced skills in programming (e.g., R, python, SAS), use of standard software packages (e.g., PLINK, GATK), flexibly manipulating large datasets, bioinformatic integration, and pathway analysis.
  • Knowledge of complex trait genomics is very important. Knowledge of psychiatric genomics is helpful but can be taught if required.
  • Applicants should be highly collegial and experienced in working effectively in “team science” contexts as well as independently.
  • Successful Sullivan postdocs possess exceptional organizational skills and know how to multitask and solve complex problems. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required, along with ample experience with scientific writing.

What do we offer?

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct innovative medical research and provide the largest range of biomedical education in Sweden. Karolinska Institutet is a state university, which entitles employees to several benefits such as extended holiday and a generous occupational pension. Employees also have free access to our modern gym and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Location: Solna


An employment application must contain the following documents in English or Swedish:

  • A complete resumé, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page)

Welcome to apply at the latest 31 December 2020.

The application is to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 2
Working hours 100%
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Patrick Sullivan,
Carina Olofsson Moreno,
Lu Yi,
Union representative
Henry Wölling, SEKO,
Ann Almqvist, SACO,
Gunnel Brolin, OFR,
Published 16.Nov.2020
Last application date 31.Dec.2020 11:59 PM CET

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