Postdoc positions at HHMI in Virginia

The Branson Lab at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus is seeking outstanding Postdoctoral Researchers to develop new algorithms for video-based analysis of animal behavior. In particular, we are looking for computer scientists with expertise in machine vision and learning interested in developing both novel algorithms and robust systems usable in cutting-edge biology research.

The application of machine vision and learning to biology is a growing field enabling important discoveries in neuroscience, genetics, drug discovery, and development. Possible projects include:

   • Articulated model-based tracking for high-resolution video of behaving animals.
   • Semi-supervised mining of behavioral structure from large data sets using a "human-in-the-loop" learning paradigm.
   • Behavior detection using a combination of spatiotemporal features and pose tracking.

The successful candidate for this position will have:

   • The creativity to develop new algorithms and interactive learning paradigms for using machine learning and vision for scientific discovery.
   • Practical knowledge of the current state-of-the-art in machine vision and learning.
   • The commitment and dedication to develop robust, working systems.
   • Interest in biology applications of computer science and the new discoveries they enable.
   • A PhD in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related field.
   • Strong programming expertise in MATLAB and C++.

In the Branson Lab, the researcher will work closely with other researchers at Janelia to progress toward the following goals:

Developing video-based tools for quantitatively analyzing animal behavior that can be used to greatly advance our knowledge of neuroscience, genetics, and their connection to ethology.

   • Developing new methods for non-computer scientists to use machine learning and vision tools for scientific discovery.
   • Discovering the vocabulary of fruit-fly behavior, and relating it to the structure and function of the animal's nervous system and genetics.
   • Understanding the mathematical structure of behavior, and developing tools and heuristics to extract this structure which can eventually be applied to human behavior.

HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus is a pioneering research center near Washington, D.C., where scientists from many disciplines develop and use emerging and innovative technologies to pursue science’s most challenging problems. In paricular, Janelia is focused on technologies for biological imaging and understanding neural circuits and how they give rise to behavior. Established in 2006, Janelia was modeled after institutes like Bell Labs, with small groups collaborating on high-risk, high-reward, innovative science.

For more information on the Branson Lab, please visit:

For information on Janelia, please visit:

Applicants should email a CV and cover letter summarizing their research experience and interests to Kristin Branson at