April 18, 2016

Join the lab

Ver: Vacante para estancia de investigación en el Grupo de Genómica Evolutiva y de Poblaciones del LIIGH

Students: Undergrad to PhD

What the Population and Evolutionary Genomics (PEG) lab is looking for:

I’m recruiting students to take part in either of the two research lines at the PEG lab. Both projects require the involvement of highly motivated and creative students. The desired background is in computational genomics with basic programming skills (e.g. perl, python, R) and basic molecular lab experience. Candidates with a background in anthropology and/or archaeology with wet lab experience are also encouraged to apply. In principle both projects contemplate the involvement of one PhD student each, however it is possible to assign short (6 months – 1 year) mini-projects to undergrad students with programming skills. For undergraduate dissertation projects a one-year commitment is desired.

What will students learn at the PEG lab:

PhD students will have an interdisciplinary training that will turn around Paleogenomics research. Students will be trained in laboratory techniques to process ancient human samples (bone and teeth mainly) for next-generation sequencing (NGS) under the strict conditions of a clean room facility. It is expected for students to be in charge of the analysis of their own generated data; therefore they will be trained in the most up-to date methods to analyze NGS as well as genetic variants data from population-scale projects and are expected to develop their own data-processing tools. This will be accompanied by a solid training in population and evolutionary genetics theory. Throughout their projects students will interact with anthropologists, archaeologists and historians, therefore it is also expected that they will be able to contextualize their projects with knowledge from these three disciplines.

PhD students will be constantly exposed to an international environment as it is promoted by LIIGH. It is expected for students to participate in national and international scientific meetings as well as to spend time at the laboratory of some of our collaborators (Andres Moreno at LANGEBIO, Carlos Bustamante at Stanford U, Tom Gilbert at U. Copenhagen, and Anna Sapfo-Malaspinas at U. Bern).

At the end of their PhD, students are expected to be able to integrate the acquired knowledge and conceive a research project from start to end, that uses ancient and/or modern genome data to answer a relevant question in the context of human evolutionary genomics.

For undergrad students the expectations will be discussed on a case-to-case basis depending on the time that will be devoted to the project and the undergrad’s own expectations. However, the learning opportunities are aligned with those described for the PhD students.

As a young lab, I will devote plenty of time and will provide constant feedback to the students, however they are still expected to have their own initiatives, and will be encouraged to pursue their own original research ideas.


Postdocs are expected to bring their own ideas in the context of the current lab research lines, and take advantage of the infrastructure at LIIGH as well as of the network and experience of the PI, to develop a research project. Applicants should have a strong background on bioinformatics and genome-wide data analysis (genotype and NGS) along with a publication record on areas related to the research carried out at the PEG lab. Successful candidates will lead their own research with the advice of the PI and continuous support from the LIIGH’s community.


PhD students should be admitted to one of UNAM’s graduate programs (e.g. biomedical or biological sciences graduate programs). The application involves a research proposal which is prepared jointly between the applicant and the PI. Once admitted, the student is granted a scholarship by CONACYT. Funding for Postdocs should be obtained also through CONACYT, there are regularly two calls per year.

If interested in joining the lab please contact María Ávila. Ideal times to contact are January and early August due to CONACYT’s calendar for doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, but inquiries are welcome throughout the year.