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Genomic Epidemiology: Human Cancer/Carcinogenic HPV Postdoctoral Fellowship

Work with Dr. Lisa Mirabello

Lisa Mirabello, senior investigator

Lisa Mirabello, Ph.D., M.S.

The Clinical Genetics Branch in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow interested in the genomic epidemiology of carcinogenic human papillomavirus (HPV). 

Virtually all cervical cancers, and a large proportion of several other anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers, are caused by persistent HPV infections. HPV infections are extremely common, but very few cause cancer. For unknown reasons, there is huge variability in risk conferred by different HPV types and, remarkably, strong differences even between closely related variant lineages within each type. We use high-throughput next-generation sequencing approaches to examine carcinogenic HPV genome-wide variation to investigate the molecular basis of HPV carcinogenicity. We have the largest collection of HPV specimens and HPV whole-genome sequence data in the world and evaluate HPV genome and human genome data in large case series, case-control and cohort studies.

A successful postdoctoral candidate will work on projects focused on viral genetic variants, haplotypes, genes, and host-viral interactions for cervical/anogenital/oral cancer risk in large studies. In the human host, studies of human genomic variation, ancestry, and HLA are underway/planned to determine possible interactions between human germline and HPV genetics. The postdoctoral fellow will apply bioinformatics, phylogenetics, and genetic epidemiologic analyses to analyze these data.

A specific focus of this work will be to evaluate under-studied human populations from around the world with a high burden of HPV-associated disease. The goal of this work is to diminish health disparities related to HPV and cancer. Several studies will be focused on individuals of African ancestry and will determine whether there are distinct HPV and/or human genetic variants associated with higher risk of disease in these populations. Integrative analyses of cervical cancer somatic mutations and evaluate how HIV contributes to cervical cancer risk particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

DCEG fellows have access to data from state-of-the-art studies in cancer genomics and work with highly committed and talented researchers with expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics, HPV, bioinformatics, and genomics. DCEG also offers extensive career development training through its Office of Education.


Applicants with a doctoral degree or background in genetics/genomics, genetic epidemiology, or related field, are encouraged to apply. Experience in analyses of large genomic datasets, next-generation sequencing, and/or bioinformatics methods is strongly preferred. A successful candidate will have experience using the statistical package R, excellent communication skills, be highly motivated and able to work in a large multidisciplinary team. Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience. Please note, we are not a wet laboratory. Read an overview of the fellowship experience.

Learn about other Clinical Genetics Fellowship Opportunities.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit their curriculum vitae, a cover letter containing a statement of research interests, and the names and contact information for three referees to: Lisa Mirabello, Ph.D., M.S., senior investigator, Clinical Genetics Branch. 

Find more details about the HPV Genomics Project.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. This position is subject to a background investigation, and is located in Rockville, Maryland.