Connect passion with purpose. The Georgia Department of Public Health is the lead agency entrusted by the people of Georgia to proudly protect lives and promote healthy lifestyles in diverse communities statewide. We are committed to the health of the entire population as our work impacts past, present and future generations.

What we offer. Enjoy a generous benefits package that includes a flexible work schedule, unique training opportunities, engaging worksite wellness events, wellness breaks, lactation rooms, employee retirement plan, deferred compensation, 13 paid holidays, vacation & sick leave, dental, vision, long term care, and life insurance; in addition to telework opportunities depending upon the position.

Make your mark in public service. As an accredited public health department, we’re seeking a highly qualified candidate for the position of Bioinformatics Data Specialist to join the Division of Medical-Clinical Services, Public Health Laboratory located in Decatur, GA.

Won’t you join us?

Bioinformatics Data Specialist in the Division of Microbiology support outbreak investigations and surveillance activities for pathogens of public health concern in the State of Georgia. The selected candidate will report to Director of Microbiology Services and work closely with AMD Bioinformatician to develop, evaluate, and apply bioinformatics computational software for the analysis of sequencing datasets associated with high-risk pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2.  The Data Specialist will also track, review, and submit sequence data to national and international data repositories, will interface with government and academic partners to perform quality analysis and support data visualizations for genomic surveillance activities. The candidate will also provide quality assurance and quality monitoring of bioinformatics applications, supporting bioinformatics operations and training GPHL laboratory scientists in data management and processing.

This is a GRANT FUNDED position and is subject to available grant funds.

Job Responsibilities:

1. Performs job responsibilities with minimal supervision

  • Maintain quality assurance/control of data generated by Georgia Public Health Laboratory to ensure reproducibility, sensibility and accuracy of the downstream bioinformatics analyses. This includes the verification of the overall quality score of the sequencing reads, presence of adaptors, carry-over and contamination.

2. Serves as job expert or organization resource in assigned areasConduct bioinformatics analysis of data using community-accepted or independently verified bioinformatics tools and development of pipelines for high throughput analysis.

  • Uses established guidelines to perform complicated and/or advanced data analytics procedures.
  • Monitors various quality assurance indicators; determines reasons for unacceptable test and/or quality control results and corrects problems; refers unresolved problems to supervisor.
  • Participates in special project assignments.
  • Assists in developing procedures for a segment of the work of assigned laboratory, such as a segment of the quality assurance program.

3. May supervise lower level staffEducate, train and provide guidance to in-house staff on the interpretation of results.

  • Works with Establishes validity of test results, performing required quality control procedures to ensure accuracy of analyses.

4. Analyzes laboratory findings to check the accuracy of the resultsUse best practices for code development and documentation.
Accurately recognizes and documents issues.

  • Initiates corrective action procedures and notifies appropriate personnel of instrument problems.

5. Interprets and issues report on results of analysis or testingSummarize and communicate results in a comprehensive way for clinical staff, scientific meetings and journal publication.

6. Develops, standardizes, evaluates, and modifies procedures, techniques and tests used in the analysis and experimentsGuide the development of policies and procedures for clinical test implementation that require bioinformatics analysis.

  • Establishes goals and objectives consistent with the organization’s mission.
  • Assists staff in resolving problems encountered in work assignments.

7.  Complies with State and Federal laboratory licensure requirementsAttends internal and external educational programs and professional meetings as available for continuing professional education.

  • Attends regular meetings of available and applicable professional organizations.
  • Reads and evaluates professional literature on continual basis.
  • Incorporates knowledge of pertinent new trends and developments into section policies and procedures and makes recommendations for any related changes.

8. Adheres to and observes principles, rules, regulations and safety precautions

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree with coursework in Computer Science or Management Information Systems.

*Academic transcripts are required* Please upload a copy of all relevant transcripts to this application. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Considerable knowledge of the theory and application of molecular biology, human genomics, and the bioinformatics analysis of genomes.
  • Advanced Degree (M.S., Ph.D.) in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Microbial Genetics, Bioinformatics, or related field.
  • Knowledge and experience with computerized laboratory information management systems (LIMS).
  • Ability to compile and formulate data, draw conclusions, and provide interpretations of data.
  • Proficiency in at least one scripting language (Perl, Python, etc.) and Unix operating systems.
  • Capable of developing, testing, and implementing complex bioinformatics solutions.
  • Able to troubleshoot and resolve issues associated with databases and bioinformatics pipelines.
  • Experience with the development and validation of new methods.
  • Good project management skills and capacity to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Work successfully in a team environment.
  • Experience serving as a team leader with the ability to prioritize, schedule and coordinate the work of others.
  • Knowledge and experience with CLIA regulations and audits.

About Georgia Department of Public Health

Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner and leaders encourages all employees to engage in regular wellness activities and to make lifestyle choices that promote health and well-being.

The use of wellness breaks during the workday is authorized to support this philosophy and assist employees in meeting their wellness goals. A maximum of 30 minutes in a given workday may be used to engage in wellness activities, generally in the form of two 15-minute breaks or one 30-minute break.

Employment Information

Current State employees are subject to State Personnel Board rules regarding salary.

DPH accepts educational credential recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and/or the US Department of Education (DOE) will be considered. DPH will contact educational institutions to verify degree, diploma, licensure, etc.

The candidate selected for this position may be subject to pre-employment drug screening and a criminal background check.

As an employee of DPH, in the event of an identified emergency you may be required, as a term and condition of employment, to assist in meeting the emergency responsibilities of the department.

If you require accommodations under the American Disability Act (ADA), email request by the closing date of this announcement to: DPH-HR@dph.ga.gov.

DPH is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to provide information on application status by phone or e-mail. All qualified applicants will be considered, but may not necessarily receive an interview. Selected applicants will be contacted by the hiring agency for next steps in the selection process. Applicants who are not selected will not receive notification.

This position is subject to close at any time once a satisfactory applicant pool has been identified.

TO APPLY: In order to successfully apply for a position; the hiring agency requires interested applicants to complete the GA Department of Public Health’s Online Employment Application.

This job application can be found at www.dph.georgia.gov. Click on "About DPH" and then “Careers” and locate this position, click “Apply” and begin your application.