Junior Ontologist - Data Integration and Standardization

9420 Athena Cir, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA Req #126
Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Peters Lab at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology is currently looking for someone with a strong background in biology and an eye for detail to join their team. This new position will be remote, with the aim of bringing the role on-site when normal working conditions resume.


In this entry-level role, you will ensure that data is annotated in a consistent manner to allow for cross-dataset integration across multiple projects. These projects include several within infectious disease research, namely:



For each of these projects, we want to utilize a consistent vocabulary to represent the data within the project and beyond. To ensure these vocabularies meet our needs, we have contributed to the development of community-based ontologies developed under the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontology (OBO) umbrella, such as Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI), the Cell Ontology and Disease Ontology. Each of these provides a hierarchical, logically defined set of terms that can be used to annotate data in a semantic-web format that allows for graph-based queries, consistency checking, and inference.


The tasks for this position are to:

  • Join project team meetings and identify needs for term requests and modifications
  • Submit and shepherd term requests to OBO ontologies using Github issue trackers that require reading and condensing biomedical literature
  • Familiarize and master existing tools for ontology engineering, such as ROBOT, to perform advanced ontology manipulation, quality control, and inconsistency detection
  • Use the annotated datasets to perform cross-dataset queries and advanced analysis to derive new biological hypothesis



  • Joy in paying attention to detail and scientific accuracy
  • An interest in the development of biological ontologies to standardize language and terminology across projects
  • Background in biomedical research, and the ability to read and grasp literature from a new knowledge domain quickly
  • Comfortable with creating, running and modifying python and R scripts to perform data analysis, as well as running scripts in a Linux, command line environment


How to apply:

Interested candidates, please upload your cover letter and resume in a single document here. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.


Related Principle Investigator Publications: Dr. Bjoern Peters & IEDB on Google Scholar

LJI provides Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) to all employees and applicants regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, veteran status, sexual orientation, or pregnancy. This applies to all personnel practices, including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfers, educational assistance, and social and recreational programs.

Other details

  • Job Function RA
  • Pay Type Salary
  • 9420 Athena Cir, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA