Bioinformatics and Data Curation Specialist — Samuel J. Wood Library and C.V. Starr Biomedical Information Center, Weill Cornell Medicine — New York, NY

The Samuel J. Wood Library/C.V. Starr Biomedical Information Center has been the traditional information hub of Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), as well as providing clinical information services to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The Bioinformatics and Data Curation Specialist is responsible for development of a bioinformatics support program to serve WCM and will work closely with the data services group to develop a data core to facilitate study of clinical data to inform improved healthcare practice.

Specifically this position will collaborate with information technologists and data scientists to build a research data repository for use by WCM. The successful candidate for this position will serve as a subject matter expert in the area of bioinformatics. The incumbent is charged with developing approaches and methods for solving the many complex problems encountered in this domain. This individual provides guidance to scientists, research administrators, and others working with clinical or genetic data. The position brings a thorough knowledge of pathway analysis and microbiology to bear on genomic data sets, facilitating the discovery of new knowledge. This individual further is fluent in use of many bioinformatics tools, and able to coach researchers in their proper selection and use. The purpose of this position is to enable scientists to better understand biological processes so they can best analyze and use their data. This position will partner with other in formatics thought leaders in WCM in imagining, creating, and managing a dynamic, modern information research facility to support research, education, and clinical care for the next generation and beyond.

The incumbent serves as a member of the Samuel J. Wood Library research team. This position will assist the Library Director, the Associate Director for Research, and other Information Technologies & Services (ITS) leaders in strategic planning and execution of a customized data repository that provides an environment where faculty and students can run statistical queries, and where they can computationally identify healthcare policy best practices using clinical data in simulated situations. Further, this individual will join other Weill Cornell thought leaders in health informatics.

Position Activities:

1. This position incorporates a deep understanding of genetic biology to enable scientists to better understand biological processes. The incumbent is skilled at thinking through and developing computational approaches to achieve this understanding. This individual is capable of selecting tools to help identify candidate genes and variants (SNPs) that provide a better understanding of the genetic basis of disease.
2. This position analyzes whole genome sequences using computer-assisted analysis tools available either commercially or open source. The incumbent recommends commercial tools for license by Weill Cornell for both pathway analysis and high throughput mass spectrometry analysis. The outcome of the work is mapping and analyzing DNA and protein sequences to compare them, and may include creating and viewing 3D models of protein structures.
3. Analyzing biological data to produce meaningful information involves writing and running software programs that use algorithms from various statistical or mathematical schools of thought.
4. The work involves sequence analysis, genome annotation, computational biology, comparative genomics, genetics of disease, mutation analysis, gene and protein expression analysis, and analysis of regulation. Typically one or a few of these approaches over time will prove most useful to the effort, and the most effective approaches will be further developed by the incumbent.
5. This individual will work closely with the data curation service to provide expertise in data curation and data organization. The position will contribute to the design of a curation workflow that will be scalable as demand for this service increases. The incumbent will work with the data curation service to evaluate a variety of curation software, and if needed, select one that maximizes the user experience while still accomplishing the data curation component.
6. This position will collaborate with other library and information technologists to build a research data repository for use by WCM. If practicable, the incumbent will curate a database or databases specific to bioinformatics data.
7. This position will be responsible for student instruction in use of statistical tools, such as R, STATA, and SAS, embedded within the research data repository. These tools will help students and faculty use their data to inform healthcare policy and research.
8. The successful candidate will have input into organizational data policy decisions.
9. As the research data repository is developed, the incumbent will collaborate with researchers, and if practicable, serve as a reference on the CTSC Navigators Team to enable new researchers to make impactful decisions with their clinical data.
10. The position will carry some scientific writing or editing responsibilities as part of a grant editing team for the organization, and will receive ongoing training for this work.

1) PhD in molecular biology or other basic science discipline that provides a deep understanding of biological processes, or MD.
2) Two years of postdoc or professional experience in bioinformatics, genomics, data sets, structured or semantic data, or data curation/data science.
3) Demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills, strong user-service (scientist) orientation; ability to work cooperatively in a team environment.
4) Demonstrates excellent organizational, written and oral communication skills, including the ability to present data effectively.
5) Demonstrates knowledge of current and emerging curation software tools, with the ability to evaluate such for our environment and determine if appropriate to recommend for integration. If appropriate, ensures that the user experience when switching over to this software is enhanced, and not adversely affected.
6) Is self-motivated and demonstrates strong initiative and ability to work independently as well as with others.
7) Demonstrates flexibility and calmness in stressful situations.
8) Possesses superior skills in problem identification, analysis and resolution. Is a systems thinker.
9) Experience participating in library science, informatics, and/or basic or clinical research, and an appropriate publication and presentation history commensurate with academic level.
10) Has a strong sense of mission and organizational commitment.

Preferred for the Position:
1) Knowledge of and experience with semantic technologies
2) Data visualization skills
3) Participation in data core development, including technical aspects when and if determined necessary by project manager
4) Computer coding skills

Working Conditions: Position requires working in an office environment where there are a few physical discomforts such as dust, dirt, noise and the like. Ability to work more than 40 hours a week, off-hours and weekends during periods of heavy workload is required. Light travel between office locations, primarily within Manhattan is required. Occasional meetings or clinical staff interactions in typical patient care areas may be required, though direct patient exposure is not anticipated.

Privacy Notice:
This position could have exposure and/or access to protected health information (PHI) or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as part of normal duties. Access to data within systems that contain significant portions of confidential staff or even medical records may be necessary for completion of daily tasks. This might occasionally include participation in teaching within patient care areas such as the hospital.

With regard to HIPAA and protection of employee, student, subject, and patient privacy, it is the responsibility of each WCM employee to limit viewing of PHI and PII to the minimum as necessary to perform assigned duties.

Please email cover letter and curriculum vitae to Terrie R. Wheeler, Library Director, at

Weill Cornell Medicine’s educational mission emphasizes the importance of combining a strong foundation in the medical sciences with extensive clinical training in patient care. By promoting a true social commitment, stimulating creativity, and fostering independent thought and study, WCM continues to cultivate the best of tomorrow’s leaders in the field of medicine.

Weill Cornell Medical College is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer.

About John Pell

John Pell is an assistant professor and librarian at Hunter College in New York City.

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