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Date: Wed Nov 6 04:36:25 2019
Subject: 19.11.06 Postdoc in machine learning for drug discovery, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
A three-year postdoctoral research fellow position is available at the Western Norway 
University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Faculty of Engineering and Science. 
Application deadline November 24th, 2019.

The position is associated with the RESPOND3 project "Towards better computational approaches 
and responsible innovation strategies in early drug discovery: application to antibiotics and 
COPD". RESPOND3 is part of the Centre for Digital Live Norway ( 
and is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between research groups at the Centre for Advanced 
studies in Biomedical Innovation Law at the University of Copenhagen, the Department of 
Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the Western Norway 
University of Applied Sciences as well as the Department of Biomedicine and the Department of 
Chemistry at University of Bergen.

The main focus of RESPOND3 will be hit and lead optimization for targets for antibiotics 
(SAM riboswitch) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (proteinase 3) guided by the 
use of computational methods as well as the development of new scoring functions using 
machine learning. The entire project is embedded in a responsible research and innovation 

The RESPOND3 research team will eventually consist of four postdocs, three PhD students and 
five principle investigators, covering medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and 
biology, structural biology, computer science, mathematics, and law. In addition to working 
with the RESPOND3 team, the postdoctoral fellow will be part of the vibrant research community 
at the recently established Mohn Medical Imaging and Visualization Center (MMIV,, 
Haukeland University Hospital, with access to world-class computing infrastructure and to top 
expertise in life sciences, machine learning and computation. The researcher will also be 
associated with the ICT-oriented strategic research programme in computer science at 
HVL ( which spans the areas of software engineering, sensor networks, 
machine learning, and engineering computing.

The announced postdoc position will focus on applications of machine learning in drug discovery 
and development. The exact direction of research will depend on the background and interests of 
the successful candidate. Potential research areas and directions include

- Development of new scoring functions for protein-ligand interactions using both in-house data and 
  publicly available data sets
- Attempts at combatting the tendency for scoring functions to exploit uninteresting features in 
  the training data (data leakage) using e.g. various debiasing techniques. The improved scoring 
  functions will be evaluated prospectively.
- Investigation of the potential for machine learning methods in de novo structure generation 
  (e.g. using variants of generative adversarial networks)

In addition, the successful candidate will

- Assist in the supervision of MSc students and PhD candidates.
- Contribute to the development of joint project applications for external funding in collaboration 
  with permanent research staff members at HVL, MMIV and UiB

Qualifications and requirements:
- The candidate must hold a PhD degree or have submitted their doctoral dissertation for evaluation 
  within the closing date of the application. It is a condition of employment that the dissertation 
  is approved prior to undertaking interviews. The PhD degree should be within computer science/machine 
  learning, cheminformatics, bioinformatics, computational biology, or a related discipline involving 
- The candidate must have solid research experience in machine learning or statistical modelling applied 
  to biological systems. Experience from similar research projects will be considered favorable.
- Good software engineering skills is a requirement. You are encouraged to include a link to your GitHub 
  profile or similar documentation of programming experience in your application.
- In your application letter you must point out why you are especially motivated and qualified for this 
- Personal skills will be emphasized. The candidate should be able to work independently and interactively 
  in a team setting, be motivated and responsible, and have a great work capacity and enthusiasm for 
  research, including writing manuscripts and preferentially also grant applications
- In addition, the following will be evaluated: publication track record and quality of publications, 
  quality and relevance of the PhD thesis, and experience with writing funding applications.

More details about this position and information on how to apply can be found here: 
Deadline November 24th, 2019.

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