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University of Michigan

Job Description

Interested applicants please submit (1) a letter of interest that describes your specific interest in the position and your relevant skills and experience; (2) a curriculum vita; (3) contact information for three references. Submit your application via this site. Informal questions and inquiries are welcome prior to applying and should be sent to Prof. Beverly Strassmann (bis@umich.edu).


The Strassmann Lab in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Social Research is looking for a postdoctoral research fellow to work with genomic data from from placental tissue collected from the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. Our group studies the epigenetic mechanisms in the placenta that transfer information about maternal nutrition to offspring and that play a role in the developmental origins of non-communicable diseases. We focus on genomic imprinting, which is a mechanism of epigenetic regulation that represses genes on the maternal or paternal allele. A major obstacle in the genomic imprinting field is the lack of longitudinal data on human phenotypes. Our NIH R01 study is unique because our international team has collected a wealth of genomic and prospective longitudinal phenotypic data for two generations of mother-offspring pairs gathered over 24 years. We are testing the hypothesis that natural variation in imprinting transmits maternal growth and life history phenotypes to offspring. The postdoc will work with next generation sequencing data from allele specific expression and DNA-methylation of imprinted genes in the placenta, along with our longitudinal growth, demographic, health, and social data for mothers and offspring. We seek a highly motivated research fellow to participate in the computational (statistical/bioinformatic) and/or laboratory aims of the study as both an independent thinker and team player.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.


  • Analyze epigenetic, genomic, epidemiological, health, and demographic data to test hypotheses about the intergenerational transmission of health phenotypes (e.g. stunting) from mother to offspring.
  • Prepare research findings for presentation at scientific meetings and manuscripts for publication.
  • Help train and mentor a graduate and undergraduate student.
  • Assist the PI and other members of the international team with data management or proposal writing.
  • If the successful candidate has relevant laboratory experience, they will assist in the preparation of targeted libraries for DNA-methylation sequencing.

Required Qualifications*

  • PhD in anthropological genetics, human genetics, human biology, epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics or a relevant field in the life sciences.
  • Experience working on epigenetic, genomic, epidemiological, or biological studies of humans.
  • Peer reviewed publications and demonstrated ability to write manuscripts for publication.
  • Experience with data analysis in R, Python or a similar statistical programming language.
  • Ability to work independently or collaboratively and to take initiative within a strong team dynamic.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills and excellent verbal and written English communication skills.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Molecular biology laboratory skills relevant to prepping samples for DNA-methylation or RNA-seq analyses.
  • Advanced ability in statistics or bioinformatics
  • Knowledge of Unix/Linux environments
  • Experience with code sharing and collaborative tools (i.e. GitHub)
  • Elementary French

Work Locations

The position is in person in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Additional Information

  • Salary: In accordance with the NIH stipend levels for postdoctoral fellows and number of years of experience.
  • Start Date: Flexible.
  • Duration: The appointment will be for 2-3 years, contingent on annual renewal.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine. This includes those working remotely and temporary workers. More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.

Job Opening ID


Working Title


Job Title


Work Location

Ann Arbor Campus

Ann Arbor, MI

Full/Part Time




FLSA Status


Organizational Group

College Of Lsa


LSA Anthropology

Posting Begin/End Date

9/29/2022 - 10/29/2022

Career Interest

Research Fellows

*Please mention you saw this ad on AcademicJobs.*

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