Career opportunities at LANL (long)

Una Smith una at LANL.GOV
Thu Jun 21 14:52:34 CDT 2001

Dear TAXACOMers,

A bold TAXACOM reader wrote to me privately to ask for career advice,
as in:  (1) how did an old TAXACOMer like me get a job at Los Alamos
National Laboratory, (2) what am I doing here, and (3) are there any
more opportunities here?

As it happens, there are *many* opportunities here at LANL, and I
would be delighted to connect fellow TAXACOMers with any of them.

LANL has several big bioinformatics research groups, in 2 divisions:
Theoretical and Biological.  The research is primarily on infectious
diseases, esp. highly contagious ones;  data is primarily molecular
or biophysical;  methods are primarily computational.  LANL curates
world repository databases of HIV, Influenza, and some other nasties.
LANL also has numerous informatics projects underway, including Web
document archives, new library service initiatives, environmental
monitoring databases and research, a huge epidemiological simulator
(talk about cool modeling!), biotechnology instrumentation groups,
and a simply awesome computing environment.  Salaries and benefits
are also excellent.

My PhD is in paleobotany and I am now a postdoc working on molecular
systematics of HIV.  My job is reconstructing the evolutionary and
biogeographic history of portions of the AIDS epidemic, and putting
dates on certain key phylogenetic branch-points.  My paleo training
plus computer skills got me this job, even though the job search was
targetted at molecular biologists and/or virologists.  (I was bold
too, and applied anyway.)  For me, HIV is just a new organism:  new
details to learn but no fundamental conceptual novelties.  On the
other hand, this job gives me experience in molecular systematics,
something very few paleontologists have!

Opportunities for paid Graduate Research Assistant and Postdoctoral
Fellowships are numerous.  There are a lot of visiting scientists
here too.  LANL never has enough highly skilled computing staff, so
there are many positions open to anyone with good skills.  LANL is
especially receptive to PhDs with computing skills.

To find out exactly who does what here, try a search on ISI/Science
Citation Index, using the institution field.  The research groups
here do have their own web sites, but those sites are hard to find.
Here are some URLs to get you started:

If you like the idea of working here, even if just for a summer, you
should check out the LANL websites below, and perhaps also e-mail me
your CV (for research jobs) or resume (for technical jobs).  Plain
text or PDF, please!  Or see me at a conference:  this summer I will
be at NAPC and BSA.


        Una Smith

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mailstop K-710, Los Alamos, NM  87545

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