Postdoc position (2 years) in data-driven life science: anonymizing data in precision medicine research

Umeå University

Application deadline

April 15, 2022

Postdoc position (2 years) in data-driven life science: anonymizing data in precision medicine research

The Integrated Science Lab (IceLab) jointly with the Departments of Computing Sciences, Physics, and Radiation Sciences, all dynamic and internationally successful environments at Umeå University, seek two postdocs, one to each of the following two multidisciplinary projects: (1) Anonymization of data in precision medicine research and (2) Fast low-distortion interactive visualization of precision medicine data.  

The positions are part of a joint collaboration between the two largest research programs in Sweden, the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) and the SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS), with the ultimate goal of solving ground-breaking research questions across disciplines.

Project description – Anonymization of data in precision medicine research
To promote biobank use and precision medicine research, the Faculty of Medicine at Umeå University has launched PREDICT, a broad overarching infrastructural project to understand the trajectory of diseases, identify biomarkers for early detection of disease and to investigate comorbidities. PREDICT is a precision medicine platform with ethical approval to help biobank donors with a renewed, modern informed consent for linking biobank data with medical records. The project will benefit PREDICT’s aim to contribute to improved health in our population.

Data generated from human biobank samples and medical records are sensitive personal data. The handling of sensitive personal data is governed by the general data protection regulation (GDPR), making it difficult to share and recycle biobank data. For optimal use of the biobank data, this project aims to develop machine-learning methods for data anonymization and evaluation of the anonymized biomedical data based on data quality and risk for re-identification, allowing data sharing and recycling unrestricted by GDPR. 

A person who has been awarded a doctorate or a foreign qualification deemed to be the equivalent of a doctorate qualifies for employment as a postdoctoral fellow. Priority should be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the appointment decision is made. A candidate who has completed their degree prior to this may be considered if special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances, and relevant duties/assignments within the subject area. Postdoctoral fellows who are to teach or supervise must have taken relevant courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

Successful candidates must hold a university degree equivalent to a European University PhD in medical sciences or similar or have a set date for their dissertation.
We are looking for a highly motivated and responsible candidate who is passionate about developing as an individual scientist as well as a research team member with:

· Background in computer science, physics, engineering, or a related technical field.
· Programming proficiency in at least one language such as Go, Rust, Python, R or Matlab.
· Research and practical experiences in data science, machine learning or relevant disciplines with   tools such as PyTorch or Tensorflow.
· Experience in privacy preservation or medical data analysis is an advantage.

The candidate must be fluent in both oral and written English. Personal qualities such as collaboration, communication, and analytical skills are essential. The candidate should have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research, must be highly motivated and have the ability to work independently and as a part of the research group.

About the position
The holder of the position will work together in IceLab with a twin postdoc, who will be working on the fast low-distortion interactive visualization of available datasets.

The appointment is full-time, fixed-term position for two years in accordance with the terms of contract for postdoctoral researcher. Start date is in May 2022 (exact date according to agreement).

The application should contain:
· A cover letter with a brief description of your research interests and why you are interested in the position (maximum two pages),
· Curriculum vitae,
· Publication list,
· Verified copy of PhD degree certificate, or if a degree has not yet been obtained, certificates of   approved dissertation, approved complete PhD courses, or the date for your planned dissertation,
· Contact information for two reference persons (name, affiliation, title, relation with the applicant,   email, phone number).
The application must be written in Swedish or English. The application must be completed using our e-recruitment system Varbi no later than April 15, 2022. 

At IceLab, we promote and facilitate transdisciplinary collaborations – with a focus on cutting-edge research that integrates theoretical, computational, and empirical work. We combine mathematical and computational modelling expertise with a deep interest in working with empirical researchers. Find more information on 

The Department of Radiation Sciences is a translational environment in diagnostic radiology, oncology, cognitive neuroscience, radiation physics and biomedical engineering as well as larger biobank and multi-omics analyses. Find more information on

The Department of Physics conducts strong research in areas including nonlinear physics, plasma physics, condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, biological physics, and complex networks. Find more information on 

The Department of Computing Science conducts research and research training across a broad spectrum of the computing science field, from AI and Autonomous Systems to Data Privacy, Machine Learning, Robotics, Design Optimization, and more. Find more information on

The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) is a 12 year initiative that focuses on datadriven research, within fields essential for improving peoples’ lives, detecting and treating diseases, protecting biodiversity and creating sustainability. The programme will train the next generation of life scientists and create a strong computational and data science base. The program aims to strengthen national collaborations between universities, bridge the research communities of life sciences and data sciences, and create partnerships with industry, healthcare and other national and international actors. Read more: 

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry. Read more: 

For more information about the employment, contact Beatrice Melin, or Martin Rosvall 

We look forward to receiving your application!

Last updated: 2022-03-11

Content Responsible: David Gotthold(