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Director, Bioinformatics

Southern Research
Birmingham, AL
Start date
Jun 3, 2024

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Information Technology, Bioinformatics, Science/R&D
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Job Details

Director of Bioinformatics 

General Summary

Southern Research (SR) is at a pivotal moment in its 82-year history. At the start of 2022, SR launched a new strategic plan focused on translational research in the life sciences. SR intends to invest over $150 million in this new strategy, including development of new facilities, platforms, and programs. We believe in the power of SR and our partners to unlock the immense potential of Alabama's biotech ecosystem to spur economic development, create jobs, and draw investment. Downtown Birmingham sees over $700M in extramural biomedical research every year, including over $300M from the NIH, in large part due to the contributions of Southern Research and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. We are on a mission to translate our R&D volume into investment, high-performance companies, and quality jobs in Alabama and in the Southeast United States.

The Director of Bioinformatics will report to the Chief Data Officer. In this role, you will be responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and maintenance of bioinformatics strategies and infrastructure to support cutting-edge research. You will work with external biobanks, clinical sequencing laboratories and clinical data health ecosystems to aggregate and assimilate molecular datasets and analysis pipelines in the cloud to support a bioinformatic research community. The Director of Bioinformatics will work internally with SR IT, Data Analytics, Medical Informatics, and product teams to develop a clinicogenomic database; and, externally with pharma sponsors to develop collaborative research projects in support of discovery and development programs.

Key Responsibilities

  • Leverage a cross-functional organization to support multiple bioinformatics projects and large clinicogenomics data sets.
  • Ensure all data aggregation reaches high quality standards.
  • Grow and implement bioinformatics initiatives, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and scientific objectives.
  • Guides research, creates, manipulates, and performs analytics on connected data sets within cloud-based computational resources.
  • Develop and maintain cloud applications and workflows for the management and analysis of data.
  • Manage the design and implementation of computational pipelines for the analysis, integration, and interpretation of diverse biological data, including genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data.
  • Serve as thought-partner by staying abreast of emerging bioinformatics tools, techniques, and best practices, and strategically incorporating them into SR's bioinformatics framework.
  • Ensure the timely delivery of high-quality bioinformatics results by administering quality control and validation procedures.
  • Create and maintain databases, data repositories, and analytical platforms to facilitate data integration, sharing, and access for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with IT team to optimize computational infrastructure, cloud computing, and database systems to support bioinformatics data storage, analysis, and visualization.
  • Verify compliance with relevant data protection regulations and ethics guidelines, promoting best practices for data management, privacy, and security.
  • Be a subject matter expert on bioinformatics, collaborating with internal stakeholders, external partners, and customers to provide technical expertise, foster collaborations, and contribute to the development of joint research projects.
  • Future opportunity to build a multi-layered bioinformatics and engineering team, responsible for team deadlines and quality by developing strategic plans.
  • Perform other duties as requested.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Biological Computational Sciences, or a related field. 
  • Extensive experience with AWS cloud computing infrastructure for bioinformatics primary, secondary, and tertiary analysis.
  • 10+ years of experience in Bioinformatics programming. 
  • Extensive knowledge of bioinformatics methodologies, algorithms, and tools commonly used in the analysis of biological data sets.
  • Proven experience in leading and managing a bioinformatics team, including strong interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Strong understanding of genomics, molecular biology, and related fields, with the ability to translate complex biological questions into computational approaches.
  • Experience with high-throughput data analysis (e.g., next-generation sequencing) and familiarity with relevant bioinformatics databases and resources.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the design and implementation of computational pipelines for data analysis, integration, and visualization.


Southern Research (SR) represents a bold vision for an enduring industry-university partnership that advances research and discovery in life sciences and engineering. As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we are making transformational decisions to reinvigorate the institute by focusing our efforts to attract, retain, and develop top talent, and ultimately create jobs through translating ideas into innovation, and innovation into economic opportunity.

Job Specifics Behaviors

Strategic Decisionmaker – Obtains information and identifies key issues relevant to achieving a long-range goal; commits to a course of action after developing alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, constraints, and resources.

Strategic Relationship Builder – Uses appropriate interpersonal styles to work effectively with others to meet mutual goals and objectives; understands the role & interrelationships of each organizational function; possesses skill in managing across functional and organizational lines.

Mission and Community Driven – Has an authentic desire to help steward Southern Research's culture, guard of our values, and champion our mission of innovation-driven economic development through translation of excellent scientific research.

Impactful Communicator - Expresses thoughts and ideas effectively in individual and group situations; adjusts language to the needs of the audience.

Results Oriented – Establishes stretch goals and manages to focus outcomes; demands excellence and demonstrates a strong commitment to organizational success; works to do what is best for all stakeholders.

Coaches / Develops Others – Uses appropriate interpersonal style to guide direct reports to action, create a sense of ownership, and encourage individuals to stretch beyond their own capabilities.

Inclusive – Holds a strong conviction that inclusion and innovation go together.

Highly collaborative – Cares less about who did it than how it got done; takes pride in shared outcomes and believes the whole is greater than the sum of the parts when it comes to team efforts.

Deeply curious – Recognizes that “innovation requires not knowing long enough to learn new things” and that “being actively open-minded involves searching for reasons why we might be wrong—not for reasons why we must be right—and revising our views based on what we learn.”

Action oriented – Translates goals and objectives into actionable, metrics focused priorities and work streams for the team to execute.

Process Refiner – Observes details to continuously improve processes, looks for opportunities to create regular feedback loops to refine, and loves measuring what matters; strongly believes that “getting it right is more important than being right.”

Core Values

Cultivating human connection – putting people first.  We know that every individual makes a difference and that no one can do it alone.  We believe the world's most powerful resource is human potential.  We are an inclusive and courageous team where innovation and diversity of though go hand in hand.  We understand that relationships move at the speed of trust.

Operating with precise execution – measuring what matters and owning results as a team.  We leverage data to drive decisions that advance science.  We recognize the importance of a stable foundation coupled with an agile mindset.  We hold ourselves accountable and take pride in our work.  We give and receive candid feedback as a gift that keeps us growing.

Harnessing relentless curiosity – our unstoppable, innovative force.  We are driven to ask sharp questions and push the boundaries of knowledge.  We use creativity and critical thinking as catalysts for finding solutions that change lives.  We learn by doing, consistently striving to improve our relationships, training, methodologies, questions, and results.

Stewarding a healthy community – implementing sustainable operations for a safe, engaging environment.  We don't compromise on safety and health for our employees, customers, or community.  We believe a healthy community begins with inclusive economic opportunities.  We respect the dignity of the patients we ultimately serve.  We are motivated to serve communities that are underserved and markets that are overlooked.

Physical Demands

  • Ability to work in an office setting using a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time.
  • Some travel required.


MOVING SCIENCE. Our experts turn what couldn't be done into what we can't live without. By translating research into innovation, we act as catalysts that save lives and cultivate Birmingham's biotech scene. We are conduits between Science and Society. With precision, we transform ideas into discoveries. We see possibilities before they exist and activate scientific progress that is purposeful. We move science, because the promise of a brighter future moves us. We work with more than 150 industry and academic partners to drive scientific discoveries. From drug discovery to development, to carbon capture and environmental health sciences, every layer of our scientific and professional teams serve a fundamental role in moving science. We're making Birmingham the biotech hub of the southeast. Coming in 2024, our new biotech center will feature 60,000 sq. ft. of commercial wet labs, A/BSL-3 space and data science facilities. Our team will grow 125 scientific jobs and help shape the future of biotech in Alabama. We're investing in renovations of 40,000 sq. ft. of facilities including vivarium space and launching a new clinical diagnostics lab.

Company info
(205) 581-2000
2000 9th Avenue South

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