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Dr. Jesse McClure joins the Karlsson Lab!

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Jesse even taught his parrot Auggie to play Scrabble.

Dr. Jesse McClure joined the Karlsson lab this summer as our first postdoc! Jesse will be working on a pet dog genetic mapping project we’ve dubbed “Darwin’s dogs”. Jesse has an impressive background in animal behavior, starting as a military working dog trainer, and recently finished his doctorate in neuroscience and behavior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Computational Postdoc Wanted

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Apply here

The Karlsson Lab in the Program Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is looking for an exceptional postdoctoral candidate to lead our work developing innovative new computational methods for studying human evolution in collaboration with scientists at the Broad Institute. The Karlsson lab uses the distinctive patterns left by ancient evolutionary events to investigate how our immune system combats infectious diseases, and how we can improve treatments and vaccines for diseases, like cholera, that affect millions of people every year.

Job description:

Computational postdoctoral fellow who can conceive and develop algorithms and analysis approaches for integrating diverse types of data and identifying functionally important genes and regions. A highly competitive salary and excellent benefits package will be provided commensurate with experience.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Devise new algorithms and approaches to analyze natural selection, association and other types of whole genome data.
  • Test methods on simulated data modeling a range of human population histories
  • Work closely with experimentalists to validate methods using real genomic datasets
  • Optimize successful algorithms for use by the broader scientific community


This position is an opportunity for experienced computer scientists to work at the cutting edge of medical genomics. The ideal candidate will have a strong quantitative research background and practical experience working with large, complex data sets, developing new analysis methods, and producing high quality published work. Experience in machine learning, signal processing and/or data mining is preferred. A background in human genetics and computational biology is helpful, but not required.

The candidate will also have shown the ability to solve complex problems individually and as part of a team; have excellent oral and written English communication skill; and have experience developing software in one or more programming languages.

Preference will be given to candidates with degrees in computer science, bioinformatics, statistical genetics or other applied quantitative fields.

Apply here

Golden retrievers help cancer research

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Our paper on two common cancers in golden retrievers is published in PLoS Genetics! Canine B-cell lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma are malignancies of the hematologic system that are clinically and histologically similar to human B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and angiosarcoma. We were part of a large group of scientists, led by Noriko Tonomura and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, that idenitifed genetic variants associated with a risk of developing these diseases in golden retrievers, and showed they appear to affect pathways involved in T-cell mediated immune response in the tumor. Thank you to all the golden retrievers (and their owners) who made this work possible!