Research Officer – Bioinformatics of Speech Disorders

Research Officer – Bioinformatics of Speech Disorders

Application closing date: 
Fri, 01/03/2019 - 5:00pm

An opportunity exists for a Research Officer specialising in the genetics of speech disorders to join the Bahlo laboratory. The successful candidate will join an international collaboration between speech pathologists, geneticists, imaging and bioinformatics experts.

The Institute has one of the largest computational biology research groups in Australia, with a reputation for developing statistical and computational methodology that has become widely used around the world. The Bahlo laboratory has developed methods for the analysis of familial genetic data, including next generation sequencing data, that has led to the discovery of over ten novel genes, including several epilepsy genes (Berkovic et al, 2008 AJHG, Corbett et al, 2010 AJHG, Corbett et al, 2011 AJHG, Arsov et al, 2011 AJHG, Smith et al, 2012 AJHG, Smith et al, 2013 HMG). We have already made genetic discoveries in speech genetics (Turner et al, 2013 Am J Med Genet, Liegois et al, Sci Rep 2016, Eising et al 2018, Mol Psych) and resolved several families with genetic speech disorders.

About the position

The appointee will undertake bioinformatics analyses of genetic data generated for family and cohort studies in speech disorders, interacting with genetic, clinical and imaging experts involved in understanding the speech phenotypes in the patients. The data will be primarily next generation sequencing data from whole-exome, whole-genome sequencing or targeted sequencing of cohort and family-based studies. The research officer will oversee several exciting studies, analysing data, analysing and managing the research outcomes from these projects. The research officer will also integrate with other work in the Bahlo laboratory to apply novel methods for prioritisation of putative speech disorder candidate genes, which can be assessed in large national and international cohorts. The work is highly likely to lead to high-impact publications with the expectation of presentations at national and international conferences. The research officer will use advanced bioinformatics tools developed at the WEHI and elsewhere and will have access to high quality computing facilities.

Selection Criteria

Applicants with a PhD in a relevant discipline are welcome to apply. Relevant disciplines include computer science, mathematics, statistics, computational biology or genetics. Applicants need to have extensive experience in the analysis of next generation sequencing data and a good understanding of genetics with a proven research track record of publications. Experience in speech disorder genetic research is desirable, but not essential. The position requires high-level project-management skills, strong programming and data analysis skills and, in particular strong communication skills to ensure excellent communication as a key person working between the two laboratories.

Terms of appointment

The positions will be for 2 years in the first instance. Salary is dependent upon qualifications and experience. Up to 17% superannuation and attractive salary packaging options are available.

A position description is available.

General enquiries should be directed to Professor Melanie Bahlo.

How to apply

Please email your application including cover letter, CV and a letter addressing the key selection criteria in pdf format to, quoting reference WEHI/CAMBT19 in the subject line.



The Institute is highly supportive of women scientists. A new Early Learning Centre opened in late 2018. Attractive awards including a childcare fellowship (Craven and Shearer Award) and additional technical assistance (Page Betheras Award) during and after parental leave. Mentoring programs and a strong postdoctoral association contribute to an outstanding career opportunity for an ambitious junior postdoc. 


At the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, we strive to ensure our staff and students enjoy a great working environment. We value diversity and gender equity in our workforce and promote flexible working arrangements for staff to balance working requirements and personal needs.