Postdoctoral Bioinformatician to study Transcriptional Regulation in Malaria Parasites

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) is a cutting-edge institute addressing global public health challenges through research, translation into policy and education. ISGlobal has a broad research portfolio in communicable and non-communicable diseases, ranging from basic research at the molecular level to studies at the population level. ISGlobal is accredited with the Severo Ochoa distinction, a seal of excellence of the Spanish Science Ministry.
What We Are Looking for
ISGlobal is seeking to hire a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral bioinformatician. The selected candidate will work in a research project investigating novel aspects of the regulation of gene expression in malaria parasites. The bioinformatician will use bioinformatic tools to analyse and integrate large multiomic datasets generated by other members of the team.
The team
The ISGlobal Malaria Epigenetics lab directed by ICREA Research Professor Alfred Cortés investigates the regulation of gene expression in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We use a combination of approaches that include genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 technology, state-of-the-art phenotypic characterisation and multi-omic approaches. Our ultimate goal is to generate high-quality basic knowledge that is relevant for the fight against malaria.

Please visit our websites (;; for an overview of our recent contributions to understanding the biology of malaria parasites. These include the identification and characterisation of the master regulators of sexual conversion and of the heat-shock response.

We offer an inclusive, vibrant and intellectually-stimulating environment, with state-of-the-art facilities and a broad critical mass for malaria research. We support the professional growth of each and every member of our team through the many excellent training activities offered by ISGlobal, in-depth scientific discussions within the team and regular individual meetings with the group leader. We are seriously committed to promoting diversity and to favour work-family life balance. We love our social activities (including, among others, team building trips and ice-cream celebrations whenever we have something to celebrate). The selected candidate will be invited to participate in the ISGlobal Mentoring Program and in the activities of the ISGlobal Postdoctoral community, which include an annual symposium.

About the project
Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe forms of human malaria. Transcriptional regulation plays a key role in malaria parasite biology, as it controls fundamental processes such as life cycle progression, antigenic variation and adaptation to the conditions of the environment. Some of these processes are regulated at the epigenetic level, with a key role for euchromatin-heterochromatin transitions. Of note, heterochromatin plays a prominent role in the regulation of the conversion of some asexual parasites into sexual forms that mediate transmission to mosquito vectors. Another important process regulated at the transcriptional level is the heat-shock response, which enables parasite survival during malaria febrile episodes.

We have a postdoctoral bioinformatician position available to work in a project investigating novel aspects of the regulation of sexual conversion and the heat-shock response in malaria parasites. As part of this project, we will generate a large amount of multiomic data. While we have already established robust pipelines for the analysis of P. falciparum RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data, new pipelines for the analysis of CUT&TAG, Hi-C / UMI-4C and single-cell omics data will have to be developed. Novel, creative approaches will be needed for the analysis of some complex datasets. The bioinformatician will also work on the integration of the different omic datasets, and use previously published datasets available in public repositories.

The selected candidate will work in close collaboration with other members of the team and also with external national and international collaborators. We consider very important to establish a fluent communication between bioinformaticians and wet lab scientists.

Field research
Biological sciences
Training and experience /Qualifications
A PhD in bioinformatics or a closely related discipline. Applications from experienced bioinformaticians who have not completed a PhD may be considered.
Specific Requirements
Strong background in bioinformatic analysis of omics data
Programming skills in R, Python, etc
Interest on understanding the biology associated with the omic data analysed
Ability to work both autonomously and in close collaboration with other members of a team
High level of enthusiasm and motivation; passion for science!
Previous research expertise in malaria and/or in regulation of gene expression/chromatin biology is desirable but not essential
Key Responsibilities
The main tasks will be to analyse the data generated by other members of the team and to develop new methods of analysis. The selected candidate is expected to be creative in developing analysis approaches that result in maximal biological insight from the data generated.

The bioinformatician is expected to write manuscripts describing the data analysed, in collaboration with other members of the team. The successful candidate is also expected to assist wet lab scientists of the team in simple bioinformatic analyses and to develop pipelines that can be used by all members of the team for routine analyses. Good integration in the team environment is essential.

Specific Duties
Establish optimised bioinformatic analysis pipelines for routine analyses of omic data
Develop novel bioinformatic approaches for the analysis of complex datasets
Integrate data from diverse omic datasets (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, CUT&TAG, Hi-C/UMI-4C, single-cell omics)
Write manuscripts describing the data analysed
Present results in scientific conferences
Contribute to scientific discussion (e.g., in lab meetings)
Provide guidance and/or training to wet lab scientists in basic bioinformatic analyses
Capacity to work both independently and as part of a team
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English
Excellent organisation skills; ability to work systematically to maximise accuracy and minimise errors
Demonstrated track record of achievements
Language level
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are essential
Duration: initially one year, extendable for up to two additional years.
Starting date: anytime from October 2023
Contract: Full time
Salary Range: According to ISGlobal salary scales, will depend on the level of experience and qualifications
How to apply
Applicants must fill in the request form and include the following code reference position: Postdoc_Bioinformatics_MalariaEpigenetics_Sep23, attach the CV and a Cover Letter. Each attached document must be named with the candidate name and surname.

The receipt of applications will be open until the position is covered (in principle, before the end of the year).

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Alfred Cortés (alfred.corté

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The interviews could be placed during the reception candidatures period.

Diverse candidacies, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, and political views, are encouraged to apply.