Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History and Ethics of Genomics and Infectious Disease

Job Type: Postdoc

Application Deadline: January 31, 2017

The Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics and Institute of the History of Medicine invite applications for a joint two-year postdoctoral fellow position starting in September 2017. The fellow will be part of and is funded by the JHU Center for Bridging Infectious Disease, Genomics, and Society (BRIDGES), a National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Research. In addition, the fellow will be part of the Hecht-Levi Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Bioethics, whose main goal is to launch the careers of the next generation of bioethics scholars, in this case, one with disciplinary expertise in history.

Under the mentorship of history of medicine faculty Nathaniel Comfort and Graham Mooney, and working with other BRIDGES collaborators, the fellow will help build a historical perspective into the anticipation and examination of current and future ELSI issues at the intersection of infectious disease and genomics.

We invite applicants working on or interested in pursuing a variety of historical topics where infectious disease and genomics intersect, but are particularly interested in one or more of the following areas:

  • Hereditary resistance or susceptibility to infectious disease
  • Immunity, risk and surveillance
  • Infectious agents with genetic effects, such as viruses or prions
  • Precision medicine/precision public health
  • Metaphor and the evolution of scientific terminology related to infectious disease and genomics
  • Domestic and international laws and policies

The fellow will have the opportunity to pursue independent and collaborative work. In addition to pursuing an individual project, the fellow will be expected to help co-author articles for historical and bioethical audiences, conduct systematic reviews of relevant literatures, identify and research relevant archives, and gather oral histories with key stakeholders. The fellow will also help to organize a workshop on the history, policy, and ethics of genomics and infectious disease.

The ideal candidate will have deep knowledge of infectious disease and/or genomics, experience with archival research and oral history interviewing, strong interest in bioethics, and openness to working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment.

Benefits of the Hecht-Levi Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Bioethics include:

  • Weekly seminars, presentations and discussions with leading academic and policy makers;
  • Individualized research program;
  • Bioethics coursework through the Berman Institute’s Master of Bioethics program;
  • Post‐doctoral mentoring in bioethics;
  • Professional development training;
  • Participation in the Berman Institutes outreach efforts via social media;
  • Teaching opportunities (commensurate with experience and background);
  • A modest discretionary fund for travel to relevant conferences
  • $55,000 per year, plus health and other benefits

Please email a cover letter, CV, three letters of reference, copy of graduate transcript, a writing sample, and a personal statement proposing plans for research and demonstrating fit for the position to:

Angie Boyce ( Use subject line “BRIDGES Hecht-Levi application.”

Inquiries may be directed to Profs. Comfort ( and Mooney (

Application review will begin on January 16, 2017. The Johns Hopkins University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

Posted: January 09, 2017