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Tumor Heterogeneity, Tumor Evolution, and Emerging Cancer Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship

Tongwu Zhang is an Earl Stadtman investigator in the Biostatistics Branch.

Work with Dr. Tongwu Zhang

Tongwu Zhang, Ph.D., an Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in the Biostatistics Branch, is seeking a postdoctoral fellow specializing in bioinformatics or computation biology with an interest in unraveling the complexities of cancer genomics in multiple cancer types. The research focuses on studying tumor heterogeneity, tumor evolution, and cutting-edge aspects of cancer genomics.

Position Description

This position offers an opportunity to study cancer genomics using cutting-edge computational methods and diverse sequencing technologies. The research focuses on characterizing tumor heterogeneity and evolution in relation to specific genetic backgrounds and etiological factors. Leveraging the richness of many epidemiological studies in DCEG helps to facilitate the in-depth investigation of tumor heterogeneity and evolution differences across diverse populations or exposures, as well as the germline and somatic interactions. The research also explores emerging cancer genomic features, including mutational signatures, retrotransposable elements, and extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA). Additionally, the research will also involve developing innovative computational methods, interactive visualization tools, and data portals to facilitate a deeper understanding of complex cancer genomic features.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead or co-lead international collaborative projects focusing on cancer genomics analyses and studies. The fellow will receive mentorship to acquire new methods and approaches for analyzing large-scale and high-dimensional genomic data. Moreover, the fellow will also have the chance to develop new projects and collaborate closely with experts in diverse fields, including bioinformatics, data science, biostatistics, epidemiology, cancer genomics, and genetics, both within and outside of NIH. The fellow will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in mentoring postbaccalaureate or summer students, contributing to their growth and development. Learn more about the other advantages of being a DCEG fellow, including our distinctive research environment, mentorship, professional development, compensation and benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Candidates are required to have completed or will soon complete a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in bioinformatics, computation biology, or other related areas within the past five years. Preference will be given to those demonstrating the ability to collaborate effectively within multidisciplinary teams, along with strong verbal and written communication skills. Salary will be determined based on NCI stipend schedule for postdoctoral fellows.


Doctorate degree in bioinformatics, computational biology, computer science, biostatistics, applied mathematics, or a related field. 

Proficiency in cancer genomics-related data analysis or experience in conducting studies in the field of cancer genomics. 

Demonstrated extensive experience in processing and visualizing genomic or genetic data, coupled with a robust understanding of statistical methods and analyses for biological data. 

Strong programming skills in various languages (e.g., bash, R, and Python), and extensive experience in utilizing high-performance computing clusters and job submission engines (e.g., SLURM). 

The ability to work collaboratively within a team, exceptional written, presentation, and verbal communication skills, and a demonstrated capacity to quickly learn and adopt bioinformatics and computational techniques and resources.


Proficient in advanced genomic analysis from whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data, including somatic calling, mutational signature, retrotransposable element, and ecDNA. 

Experience in integrative data analysis involving multi-omics datasets (WGS, RNA-Seq, DNA methylation, ATAC-Seq) or expertise in conducting single-cell DNA or RNA sequencing methodologies and analysis. 

Familiarity and hands-on experience with tools for exploring and investigating cancer genomics-related data sources (such as cBioPortal, ICGC, TCGA, PCAWG, AACR GENIE, GTEx, gnomAD, etc. ). 

Proficiency in performing bioinformatics and statistical analysis of large-scale datasets through the implementation of open-source and custom-developed analysis pipelines.  

Experience in developing R Shiny applications and creating intricate data visualizations utilizing popular R packages such as ggplot2.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Zhang.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae including a bibliography, and the names/contact information of three references to Dr. Zhang. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Applicants may be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or foreign nationals (visa requirements apply). Candidates are subject to a background investigation.

DHHS, NIH, and NCI are Equal Opportunity Employers and dedicated to building a diverse community in their training and employment programs.

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