Overview

Description/Summary of position:

Human genome studies are providing important new insights into chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This provides novel opportunities for translation of research findings into clinical and community settings, enabling disease prevention and health promotion.  There is a need for genetic epidemiologists who can design and implement multidisciplinary genetic epidemiology research, particularly in underserved communities most in need.  We are, therefore, looking for an individual with the skills to develop and apply innovative approaches combining technological advances in genome measurement with cutting-edge statistical tools, and to advance understanding of the genomic basis of traits and associated diseases in the most-burdened minority populations. This search for a genetic epidemiologist responds to these research gaps by recruiting faculty who can provide interdisciplinary, integrated, and comprehensive research in genetic epidemiology.

This position would allow collaboration with our outstanding team of geneticists, physicians, and epidemiologists who have expertise spanning genetic epidemiology; computation/methods; `omics; as well as culture, diversity, and disparities. We are offering one or two faculty positions to engage in the genetic epidemiology of chronic disease traits and gene expression in a unique, highly phenotyped, longitudinal Latino border cohort. We strive to create and sustain a spirit of diversity, inclusion and enrichment to foster research, the generation of new knowledge, public service, and increase the number of underrepresented minorities in public health research. The Brownsville Campus of the UT Health SPH is host to one of the largest longitudinal cohorts of Latin American origin individuals in the United States. The Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC) is comprised of ~5,000 participants aged 8 years and older, recruited since 2004, from randomly selected households with the purpose of longitudinal study of health conditions in our community. The CCHC continues today with follow up and new enrollments by a very experienced staff of local people in a well-equipped Clinical Research Unit, with excellent clinical and laboratory support.  The rich database comprises extensive phenotyping, clinical laboratory data, imaging data (hepatic, cardiovascular, body composition and retinal), complete genotyping, extensive exome sequencing, a growing gene expression database, a lipidomics database, and potential for studies involving longitudinal gene expression, methylation and metabolomics.  The Brownsville campus is also participating in a range of pre- and post-infection COVID-19 related clinical and genomic studies based on the CCHC.

The long-term goal of this faculty recruitment is to delve deeply into the genomics of this population to create a path to precision medicine related to chronic disease. This unique opportunity involves collaboration among others with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, MD Anderson, the Epidemiology and Human Genetics program at the UT Health School of Public Health in Houston, and The Diabetes and Obesity Institute of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).  There are also opportunities to work with faculty at the recently initiated UTRGV School of Medicine as well as the recently approved PhD educational program of UTRGV.

The faculty member(s) will participate with senior faculty mentors, other faculty and peers in the research group authoring publications, making presentations at scientific and/or professional meetings, and developing grant support.

Successful candidates are expected to contribute to the school’s teaching, research and service missions. We encourage applications from the diverse areas of public and population health and medicine.

·         We seek individuals with strong scholarly credentials, including research publications and an appropriate record of external research funding from diverse sources including federal programs.

·         Appointment will be at a rank commensurate with academic accomplishments and experience with competitive salaries, benefits and startup packages.

Educational Requirements:

A doctoral degree (PhD) in Epidemiology, Human Genetics, Biostatistics, Bioinformatics or related field or an MD, DDS, or DVM degree combined with training in human genetics at the PhD or Master’s levels (or equivalent) is/are required.

Qualifications and Experience:

A curriculum vitae reflecting scientific productivity in epidemiology, human genetics, chronic disease phenotypes and/or biomedical sciences is required.

•       Must be conducting research in one of three chronic disease training dimensions: genetic epidemiology; ‘OMICs; and computation/methods.

•       The individual must be a US citizen or have a valid VISA allowing work in the US.

Why Brownsville, Texas?

Brownsville Texas is located in of the Rio Grande Valley. It is in the heart of a large Mexican American population with high levels of chronic disease, particularly obesity, diabetes, heart disease and liver disease.  Brownsville is located in the southern tip of Texas on the Mexico border, and it is a few miles from the Gulf coast town of South Padre Island, but is within easy reach of Houston, Dallas and other major academic centers with which the campus collaborates extensively. Brownsville has a tropical climate with a new university and medical school, and now hosts Space X as a new and exciting component of the community.  It is a vibrant and young community with a low cost of living.  The opportunities for cutting edge research in this very underserved and understudied population are substantial and collaborations with expertise in genetic epidemiology is already robust.

Application Process

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. Candidates should submit a letter describing their qualifications and interests, along with a curriculum vita, and contact information for three professional references to: UTHealth Careers – Careers – UTHealth; direct link: http://p.rfer.us/UTHbocBiV.

Candidates with further questions are encouraged to contact the search committee co-chairs at: (Please copy both on correspondence).

Dr. Melissa Valerio-Shewmaker

Melissa.A.Valerio@uth.tmc.edu
&
Dr. Harold Kohl

Harold.W.Kohl@uth.tmc.edu

UTHealth is committed to providing equal opportunity in all employment-related activities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law or university policy.  Reasonable accommodation, based on disability or religious observances, will be considered in accordance with the applicable law and UTHealth policy.  The University maintains affirmative action programs with respect to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and eligible veterans in accordance with applicable law.  This is a security-sensitive position and thereby subject to Texas Education code §51.215. A background check will be required for the final candidate.