VA MIRECC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Science Applications to Cognitive Aging and Brain Health

The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) is recruiting for an advanced two-year postdoctoral fellowship program in epidemiology with a focus on using data science and genetic approaches to solve new challenges in cognitive and brain health research. The fellowship is associated with the Sierra Pacific Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC; VISN 21) and affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The primary goal of the program is to train fellows with a doctoral degree in epidemiology, statistical genetics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, computer science, data science, or similar quantitative field to become skilled investigators for advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive aging. By applying cutting-edge statistical genetic and genetic epidemiological approaches to large genetic and phenotypic datasets, potential projects will focus on the causal pathways that underly the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and may include:

  1. identifying causal risk factors for ADRD using genetic correlations, polygenic risk scores and mendelian randomization
  2. understanding the role of mitochondrial genomics in ADRD pathogenesis
  3. evaluating ancestry-specific effects of AD genetic variants on AD endophenotypes

Fellows will have the opportunity to work on large-scale genomic and phenotypic datasets to address research questions and receive training in bioinformatic concepts and computational methods. They will be responsible for driving an original research agenda aligned with the lab’s overall research goals while also gaining skills and training to become an independent investigator.

Under the guidance of fellowship director Kristine Yaffe, MD, and co-director Shea Andrews, PhD, the candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate with investigators and participate in didactic sessions. Additional faculty mentors are affiliated with the SFVAHCS services for mental health, medicine, neurology, and radiology, the UCSF/SFVAMC Center for Population Brain Health, the UCSF Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Neurology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Precision Medicine, and Neuroscience, and the Global Brain Health Institute.

We are a team of multidisciplinary researchers, dedicated to advancing brain heath across the lifespan. We emphasize population-based research methods to identify risk and protective factors for dementia, cognitive aging, and brain health; and to optimize cognitive and emotional brain health in aging. The expertise of our faculty spans the fields of genetics, epidemiology, neurology, and psychiatry. Please see the faculty webpages linked below and the Center for Population Brain Health website for more details. The fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Academic Affiliation.

Program faculty

Application information

To apply, please email the following to administrative assistant Tina Hoang ([email protected]):

  1. Letter of interest detailing your research experience, interests, career goals, and proposed faculty mentor(s) from list above
  2. CV
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation

The application deadline is November 15, 2023. Applications submitted after that date may be considered until the position is filled.