Postdoctoral Research Associate

Zhao Lab

Postdoctoral Research Associate position open in Dr. Guoyan Zhao’s laboratory ( ) in the Department of Genetics and Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. The Zhao laboratory employs multiple cutting-edge technologies in genomics and computational biology to investigate the development and function of mammalian brains in the context of human health and disease. Current areas of interest include applying single-nucleus RNA-sequencing and spatial transcriptomics/proteomics technologies on human brain with the goal of understanding disease pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD), Parkinson disease (PD), and Lewy body diseases (LBDs). We are also part of the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative. The goal of the massive effort is to identify science-based solutions to the opioid crisis. We will study human genes and nerve cells using cutting-edge single-cell muti-omics and spatial proteomics technologies to better understand how cells transmit pain and to find new ways to treat it.

The position requires working collaboratively with a team of experimental and computational biologists focused on single-nucleus RNA-seq data analysis and “multi-omics” data integration with a main goal to identify genetic markers and mechanisms of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases that will lead to better disease diagnosis, treatment and eventually cure. The candidate will be responsible for leading and carrying out these innovative projects, assist with grant preparation and reporting, and prepare and submit papers for publication. The successful candidate will have opportunities to travel and to present at national and international conferences.

The Department of Genetics is a highly collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment made up of over 30 international-leading faculty members. The neurodegenerative and pain research programs at Washington University School of Medicine are nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence and productivity. The Bioinformatics Program and the Neuroscience Program of WUSM are ranked #1 and #9 respectively by U.S. News and World Report.

Career and professional development training for postdoctoral researchers is provided through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Career Center, and many other groups.

Additional information on being a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis can be found at (

Required Qualifications

  • This interdisciplinary research requires both biology/neuroscience and bioinformatics/statistics knowledge.
  • Candidates should have a PhD (or equivalent doctorate) in Genetics, Neuroscience, Bioinformatics, Computational biology, Biostatistics, Statistical Genetics, Medical Statistics, or related areas.
  • Alternatively, an MD with appropriate prior research experience may apply.
  • There should be evidence of a strong quantitative research background with experience in programming and statistics.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in next-generation sequencing data analysis, large scale data analysis (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, single cell RNA-seq), comparative genomics.
  • Experience with the relevant bioinformatics tools (e.g., Seurat, STAR, DESEQ2, etc.).
  • Proficiency in scientific programming languages (e.g., Perl, Python, R) in a Linux/UNIX and/or Windows environment.
  • Knowledge or experience in molecular biology. Knowledge of neuroscience and neurodegeneration is a plus.
  • Highly motivated, well organized with excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team, establishing and maintaining good working relationships with P.I. and other members of the research group.

Working Conditions

This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological and chemical hazards. The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment and to provide standard care to research animals.

Salary Range

Base pay is commensurate with experience.

Applicant Special Instructions

To ensure full consideration, interested candidates should send the following to

1) A cover letter explaining research interests and experience.

2) CV.

3) The name and contact information of three references.


If you are unable to use our online application system and would like an accommodation, please email or call the dedicated accommodation inquiry number at 314-935-1149 and leave a voicemail with the nature of your request.

Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. The screenings will include criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, an employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.

Benefits Statement

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to our employees. Benefits eligibility is subject to employment status, full-time equivalent (FTE) workload, and weekly standard hours. Please visit our website at to view a summary of benefits.

EEO/AA Statement

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and especially encourages applications by those from underrepresented groups. It is the University’s policy to provide equal opportunity and access to persons in all job titles without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, protected veteran status, or genetic information.

Diversity Statement

Washington University is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment – fostering respect for all and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Individuals with a commitment to these values are encouraged to apply.