Research Fellow of Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics
University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science

Institute of Computer Science


Duties and responsibilities
  • Systematically identify genetic variants with distal (‘trans-eQTL’) effects on gene expression across a range of cell types and tissues present in the eQTL Catalogue and other external datasets.
  • Meta-analysis and fine mapping of novel and existing gene expression and genotype datasets.
  • Benchmarking and evaluation of computational approaches for inferring signatures of cellular processes from gene expression datasets.
  • Regular presentation of results at internal meetings and scientific conferences.
  • Collaboration with other team members to improve software and scientific workflows developed internally.
  • Supervising bachelor, master's and doctoral students.
  • Participation in the work of the university’s decision-making bodies is recommended. 
Required qualifications
PhD degree or an equivalent qualification in statistical genetics, bioinformatics or a related field.
Required experience
  • Experience in working with large genomic and/or transcriptomic datasets.
  • Experience in a high performance compute environment and with modern statistical software (R or similar) and programming languages (Python or similar).
  • The ability to summarise and visualise large datasets to identify patterns, signals and potential biases.
  • Experience with modern scientific workflow languages (Nextflow, Snakemake, WDL, etc) is a plus.
  • Internationally recognised professional research, the volume of which so far is equivalent to that of at least one doctoral thesis.
  • Experience in the supervision of master’s and doctoral students is recommended.
Required language skills
Excellent command of English. Estonian is an advantage.

Starting at
01.04.2021, temporary contract to 31.03.2024
Competitive salary starting from 2500 euros (gross) per month. The total annual payroll starts from 40 000 euros, which includes employer taxes.
Additional info
We are seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to join the Dr. Kaur 
Alasoo lab at the Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu. The lab focuses on building tools and datasets to systematically interpret genetic variants associated with complex traits.
Funded by Open Targets, we have developed the eQTL Catalogue ( – the largest and most comprehensive database of genetic variants associated with gene expression in the world. The eQTL Catalogue contains over 30,000 samples from over 6,000 individuals and covers more than 70 distinct cell types and tissues. This project will build upon the success of the eQTL Catalogue and aims to identify molecular and cellular processes perturbed by disease-associated genetic variants. As a proof of concept, we have recently demonstrated that the signatures of such biological processes and their genetic determinants can be identified from gene expression data (Kolberg et al, eLife 2020). The large collection of harmonised data at the eQTL Catalogue will enable the scaling of this and similar approaches to many additional cell types and tissues.
The research fellow will fulfill the tasks in the frame of Open Targets cooperation project "Identifying causal cellular processes to enable genetic dose-response modelling (OTAR2069)".
In case of questions about this position, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kaur Alasoo, Research Fellow of Bioinformatics, kaur.alasoo [ät]

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