Human Genomics Research Positions at the University of Pennsylvania

The Tishkoff lab at the University of Pennsylvania is seeking candidates for research positions at multiple levels (postdoc and staff positions are available—MD and/or PhD required). Candidates working with non-human or model organisms who want to obtain experience working with human data are also encouraged to apply.
We are integrating genomic, transcriptomic, metagenomic, metabolomic, and epigenomic datasets generated from a large sample of ethnically diverse Africans, African Americans, and African immigrants in the US (https://www.med.upenn.edu/tishkoff/). We use evolutionary, statistical, population genetics and functional genomics approaches to understand the genetic architecture of a number of anthropometric, cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune related traits for which we have detailed phenotype data.

    Position 1 (Computional scientist studying human evolution/genetics of complex traits)

The candidate will be involved in inferring the demographic history of African populations, determining the genetic basis of adaptation during human evolutionary history, characterizing genetic and epigenetic factors influencing gene regulation in tissues and single cells in humans, characterizing variation from whole genome short and long-read sequencing data, and/or studying genotype/phenotype associations for complex traits. The ideal computational candidates will have strong computational/statistical skills with experience in handling large genomic datasets, population genetics analyses and/or quantitative analyses of complex traits.

    Position 2 (Scientist to conduct functional genomics studies)

The candidate will use functional genomics approaches to determine the impact of candidate causal variants identified by GWAS and selection scans on protein function, gene regulation and chromatin interactions. The ideal functional genomics candidate would have expertise in using cutting edge techniques for characterizing gene regulation and chromatin structure (e.g. single cell sequencing, massively parallel reporter assays, chromosome conformation capture, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, ChIP-seq).

    Position 3 (Scientist to study human immune response)

The candidate will use single cell sequencing techniques (RNA-seq and ATAC-seq) to study genetic and epigenetic factors influencing immune response in populations with diverse ancestries and environments. The ideal candidate for studying immune response would have a background in immunology and extensive cell culture experience. Experience with library construction or singe cell data analysis is a plus.


  • Candidates will receive excellent salaries commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Candidates will have an opportunity to develop creative, independent projects.
  • Candidates are encouraged to present their work at conferences and meetings.
  • We offer a collaborative and supportive environment and welcome applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds.


Positions are available for research scientists to conduct genomics research in Africa and the US. The Tishkoff lab at the University of Pennsylvania uses integrative genomic approaches to study human evolutionary history in Africa and the genetic basis of anthropometric, cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune related traits.

We are seeking research scientists with training and experience with “wet lab” molecular biology and/or genetics techniques. Ideally, they would also have experience doing field work and excellent interpersonal skills. The position would require preparing research and ethics applications in close partnership with African collaborators and government regulatory institutions. The successful candidate(s) would help oversee field work in partnership with African collaborators in remote regions of Africa. The position(s) may require extensive travel to different regions of Africa for periods of up to 6 months, on average, often living in “field conditions”. While in the US, the position would involve functional genomic and/or computational research in the Tishkoff lab at the University of Pennsylvania, studying the genetic basis of adaptive traits as well as genetic and environmental factors influencing disease risk in populations of African ancestry. Candidates will have an opportunity to develop creative, independent projects. There will be opportunities to work together with an outstanding team of collaborators with expertise in statistical and population genetics, translational genetics, infectious disease, public health, and functional genomics.

Candidates should have a masters and/or PhD and/or MD degree. They must have substantial experience in “wet lab” molecular biology techniques. An ideal candidate would have training in biological anthropology, biology, genetics/genomics, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, tropical diseases and/or public health. Starting dates are flexible and research in Africa will not be initiated until COVID restrictions are lifted and travel conditions are safe. Candidates will receive excellent salary and benefits, commensurate with their research experience.

Interested candidates should contact:

  Dr. Sarah Tishkoff
  David and Lyn Silfen University Professor
  Departments of Genetics and Biology
  University of Pennsylvania
  tishkoff@pennmedicine.upenn.edu   |   https://www.med.upenn.edu/tishkoff/

Other Opportunities

Research in the lab ranges from purely lab based genomics research to purely computational analysis. I strongly encourage all lab-based researchers to also obtain strong computational skills. Research projects include characterization of genomic variation, inference of demographic history and adaptation, RNA Seq and eQTL analyses, characterization of epigenetic variation and impact on gene expression, microbiome, metabolomics, and genotype/phenotype association analyses. We are applying systems biology and evolutionary genetics approaches to address fundamental questions about human evolutionary history, local adaptation, and the genetic and environmental factors influencing both normal variable traits and disease susceptibility with a focus on African populations (see Research for full description).

Graduate students can apply via any of the following programs:
Department of Anthropology Graduate Program
Department of Biology Graduate Program
Genetics and Gene Regulation Graduate Program 
Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Program
Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology