Bioinformatics Research Associate-Boyce Thompson Institute


Working from a sincere interest in issues of social justice, William Boyce Thompson founded the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) in 1924, believing that basic plant research could lead to real societal benefit. Over the almost 100 years since its founding, BTI has evolved to become a premier life sciences research institution, with scientists conducting investigations into fundamental plant and life sciences research with the goals of increasing food security, improving environmental sustainability in agriculture and making basic discoveries that will enhance human health. BTI, located in Ithaca, New York on the Cornell University campus, employs 150 staff, with scientists from over 40 countries around the world, and has twice been named as one of the Best Companies in New York State.



A Research Associate position with project management duties is open in the Mueller lab at the BTI in the field of bioinformatics, with a focus on databases.



Lab overview

The Mueller lab at the Boyce Thompson Institute (, which maintains several advanced databases, including the Solgenomics (, Cassavabase ( and (, has an open position for a Research Associate in the field of bioinformatics, genomic and breeding databases,omics analysis, and genome sequencing and annotation. The genomics databases (e.g. and contain genomics, marker, phenotype and transcriptomics information and also comprise genome browsers, an expression atlas, and a pathway database. The main goal of the project is to support the research community in the search of treatments for the citrusgreening disease as well as other diseases. 



Major responsibilities will include leading genomics and transcriptomics analysis, genome annotation, code development and maintenance of genomics databases and websites. Proficiency in Perl, BioPerl, shell scripting , JavaScript, jQuery and a good working knowledge of Linux (Debian), git, PostgreSQL, ontologies and web servers (Catalyst, apache2, nginx) is desired. Experience with genome and transcriptome assembly, manual gene annotation using Apollo and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students will be a plus.


Essential Job Functions:

·       Develop an increasingly independent research program in the context of the lab

·       Interact closely with collaborators for Citrusgreening HLB therapy, ACP genome annotation and AgriVectors projects and the respective research communities

·       Conduct and document research; interpret results and design new lines of bioinformatics analysis and potential experimental inquiry

·       Author publications and presentations

·       Contribute to securing extramural funding for the laboratory’s research program

·       Participate and present in group meetings, institute seminars, national and international research conferences



Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) or equivalent in a related scientific field. A background in programming, databases and computational biology with strong interests in plant and insect/ vector biology is desired.


Experience and Knowledge

3-5 years of relevant experience, generally as a Postdoctoral Scientist. Ability to work independently.


Supervisory Responsibilities

Supervision and mentoring of undergraduate student workers, graduate students, and/or research assistants as required


Communication Skills

Effective written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills required. Ability to maintain accurate and thorough documentation. Ability to draft manuscripts and develop presentation materials. Ability to write protocols for bioinformatics analysis. Ability to present information to groups internal and external to the Institute.



Occasional travel to off-site meetings or conferences. Occasional fieldwork may be required.


Physical Demands and Working Conditions

Some physical exertion may be required such as long periods of standing, recurring bending and occasional lifting. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds. The work is conducted in a laboratory setting with regular use of chemicals or equipment/materials requiring use of personnel protective equipment and routine precautions. May require occasional early morning, evening or weekend work.


This job description does not list all the duties of the job. You may be asked to perform other duties. BTI has the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description is not a contract for employment.


To prevent the infection and spread of COVID-19, and as an integral part of its public health and safety measures, BTI requires that all successful applicants shall be required to show proof of full vaccination by an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine before beginning employment, unless an exemption from this policy has been granted as an accommodation or otherwise. Applicants believing, they need an accommodation of this policy because of a disability, sincerely-held religious belief, or otherwise should inform Human Resources after an offer of employment is extended; please do not include any medical, genetic, or religious information on your application materials.


The Boyce Thompson Institute provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type in regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to send a request for assistance to BTI prides itself on family-friendly policies and is committed to helping its staff achieve career success with an appropriate work-life balance.

Location: Ithaca, NY

Send Application to:

Name: BTI Human Resources
Organization: Boyce Thompson Institute
Address: 533 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-254-4713