Postdoctoral Research Associate (Zhao Lab)


A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is open in Dr. Guoyan Zhao’s laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience 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 nervous system in the context of human health and disease. Current areas of interest include microglia and astrocyte biology, Alzheimer disease (AD), Parkinson disease (PD) and Lewy body diseases (LBDs).

The position requires working collaboratively with a team of experimental and computational biologists focused on single-nucleus RNA-seq and single-cell proteomic data analysis, and “multi-omics” data integration with a main goal to identify genetic markers and mechanisms of neurodegeneration that will lead to better disease diagnosis, treatment and eventually cure. We also develop computational tools to dissect gene transcriptional regulation and predict impact of genetic variants on gene expression. 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 Neuroscience is a highly collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment made up of over 30 international-leading faculty members. The neurodegenerative research program at Washington University School of Medicine is nationally and internationally recognized for its excellence and productivity. The Bioinformatics Program and the Neuroscience Program of WUSM is 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

WUSM maintains a safe working environment through current mandatory vaccine and mask requirements.

Required qualifications

  • Ph.D. (or equivalent doctorate) degree in genetics, neuroscience, bioinformatics, computational biology, biostatistics, statistical genetics, medical statistics, or related areas; alternatively, an M.D. with appropriate prior research experience may apply.
  • Biology/neuroscience and bioinformatics/statistics knowledge; this is also for individuals who have a strong background in one area and would like to learn about the other area.
  • 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, Hi-C, 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.
  • 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 instructions

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

  • Candidate cover letter explaining research interests and experience.
  • Candidate CV.
  • Name and contact information of three references.

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 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability status, protected veteran status, national or ethnic origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation. Women, minorities, protected veterans and the disabled are strongly encouraged to apply.

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.