Hoffman Lab: join the lab

The Hoffman Lab at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto seeks new members for our team. We develop machine learning techniques to better understand chromatin biology. These models and algorithms transform high-dimensional functional genomics data into interpretable patterns and lead to new biological insight. A key focus of the lab is to train a new generation of computational biologists.


Postdoctoral fellowships in computational biology and machine learning

We seek postdoctoral fellows for several projects in computational genomics and machine learning. Selected projects include:

  1. Integrating epigenomic and sequence data to better understand human gene regulation.
  2. Creating models of transcription factor binding that allow us to predict the effects of perturbations.
  3. Developing deep learning techniques to find novel behavior in multiple functional genomics datasets.

We also welcome your project ideas! The project should concern mammalian epigenomics. Cancer relevance preferred.

Required qualifications: Doctorate in computational biology, computer science, electrical engineering, statistics, or physics, obtained within the last five years. Submitted first-author or joint first-author papers in genomics or machine learning research. Experience in scientific programming in a Unix environment.

Not required, but preferred qualifications: Experience with epigenomics and graphical models. First-author papers published in peer-reviewed journals, refereed conference proceedings, or a preprint archive. Experience programming in Python, R, C, and C++.

Benefits: Includes extended medical insurance, dental insurance, maternity benefits (15 weeks), parental benefits (additional 35 weeks), child care program (fee applies), defined-benefit pension plan, and employment insurance. Flexible work hours.

To apply: We will accept applications until the positions are filled. Please submit your CV (as PDF), one representative paper (as PDF), and the URL of a web page containing a code sample written by you (for example, on Bitbucket or GitHub) to Do not email or cc any other addresses.

Graduate studentships in computational genomics and machine learning

Graduate students in the Hoffman Lab must be accepted in a graduate program at the University of Toronto. Please apply to the PhD or MSc programs of either the Department of Medical Biophysics.

Required qualifications: Admission to one of the graduate programs above. Experience in programming.

Not required, but preferred qualifications: Experience in computational biology research. Coursework in computational biology. Experience in Python, R, C, and C++. Experience in Unix environments.

Undergraduate positions in computational genomics and machine learning

We sometimes have computational biology projects that might work well for an undergraduate or co-op student. Please apply below if interested. If interested in working over a summer, it is best to contact us as early as October of the previous year. There are often still positions available as late as March, however.

We have found a common element in successful research terms is an initial term of full-time work for four months. We will consider periods as short as 10 weeks, but no shorter. This means an initial part-time engagement for course credit or as a volunteer is not possible.

We participate in the Medical Biophysics Summer Student Program, the Computer Science Undergraduate Project Portal, and the Faculty of Arts and Science Research Opportunity Program.

We participate in the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship for undergraduates from Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

We also supervise students for programs such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research Summer Studentship Award.

University of Toronto undergraduates can get credit for independent study in your college or department. See the Faculty of Arts and Science page, "Research — Current Students".

Required qualifications: Coursework in biology, computer science, electrical engineering, statistics, or physics. Experience in Python and Unix environments.

Availability to work full-time (Monday-Friday 9-5).

Permission to work or study in Canada. Generally this means Canadian nationality, permanent residency, work permit, or study permit. Mitacs will arrange for appropriate permission if you apply through them.

Not required, but preferred qualifications: Coursework in computational biology. Experience in R, C, and C++.

To apply: Please submit a CV (as PDF), an academic transcript (as PDF), and indicate your expected graduation date and the dates you are available for full-time work (Monday-Friday 9-5) to Do not email or cc any other addresses.

There are no programmer positions available at the moment.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a teaching hospital and research institute affiliated with the University of Toronto. It has the largest cancer research program in Canada. It is a component of the University Health Network, Canada's largest hospital.

The Hoffman Lab is part of a centre for cancer epigenomics at the Princess Margaret. There are ample opportunities for collaboration and scientific exchange with a large community of genomics, computational biology, and machine learning groups at the University of Toronto and associated institutions, such as The Hospital for Sick Children.

We emphasize the development of research skills for all lab members. Some skills we will help you train in: biological knowledge, machine learning techniques, programming, scientific project management, oral presentations, written communication, scientific publication, grant writing. Michael meets with lab members weekly to discuss research progress and training needs. Lab members receive a written evaluation three times annually.

We particularly encourage candidates who are women or members of underrepresented minorities.