The Griffith Lab is an interdisciplinary team of biologists, bioinformaticians, computer scientists, software developers and software engineers. Each member of the lab is trained to use computational biology approaches to address research questions relating to cancer biology and precision cancer medicine. We train students and post-docs with a biology background that would like to develop bioinformatics skills. We are equally interested in trainees with a computer science background that would like to apply these skills to studying cancer biology and improving patient outcomes.

Trainees interested in joining the lab may find the following suggestions/resources useful:

  • Use It contains many posts with suggestions of books, websites, and courses focused on bioinformatics.
  • Learn R. For those focused on the analysis/translation end of bioinformatics, this is the single most powerful tool.
  • Learn at least one scripting language (e.g., Python or Perl). Code Academy has a good Python intro.
  • Learn some Ruby/Rails and/or Javascript. We are increasingly creating web resources such as, and
  • Take at least some formal computer science training (one or two introductory computer science courses).
  • Learn at least basics of good software development practices: for example, using software version control and code repositories (e.g., github).
  • Develop key skills such as statistics (classic stats and Monte Carlo methods), machine learning, data wrangling, and other big data techniques.
  • Have at least some hands-on familiarity with wet lab molecular biology (sequencing protocols, tissue culture, PCR, etc.).

PhD and MSTP student

Note that if you wish to join the Griffith Lab as a PhD or MSTP student, you must normally first gain acceptance to the Washington University graduate program, choose a program within DBBS, and rotate through 2-4 labs (one of which would be the Griffith Lab). After that, we can discuss the possibility of joining the lab. We cannot accept students directly prior to acceptance to WashU. We are affiliated with the following DBBS programs: Computational and Systems Biology (CSB), Human Statistal Genetics (HSG), Molecular Genetics and Genomics (MGG), and Molecular Cell Biology (MCB). We can take students from other programs if the student is a good fit for the Griffith Lab.

Bioinformatics staff

We are currently seeking to hire at least one bioinformatician. If you are interested to learn more please contact us for details Application Link.

Position summary Assists in developing and conducting research projects, including experimental design, data analysis, and documentation of experiment results. The primary focus of this position will be the analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data from patients with various types of cancer, the creation of new computational approaches for cancer genomics and immunogenomics, and the development of tools to support these activities. Responsibilities include use of existing bioinformatics tools to process sequence data (alignment, variant calling, etc.), producing visualizations that aid interpretation of large data sets, working with software developers to release open access bioinformatics tools, and contributing to publications and educational workshops.

Primary duties and responsibilities

  1. Designs, develops, and implements:
    • Algorithms and computer software for analyzing high-throughput, massively parallel genomic data sets;
    • Relational databases to store, disseminate and analyze data, including verification of data submitted and recommendations for analyses;
    • Web interfaces and queries to access relational databases; maintains web server;
    • Independent research projects, including design of research protocols and development of procedures for the collection, verification, and management of data.
  2. Performs complex systems analysis of data and writes interpretative reports.
  3. Evaluates commercial and academic bioinformatics software.
  4. Trains other researchers on the everyday use of analysis software and research databases.
  5. Assists with grant preparation and reporting of methods, data, and results.
  6. Solves practical problems relating to difficulties with equipment or test subjects; suggests technical or procedural improvements in testing methods.

Computer scientist and engineering staff

While we do not currently have official positions open for software engineers, we are often aware of such positions. Please feel free to contact us if you are a computer scientist or engineer with a strong interest in application of these skills to basic and translational cancer research.