Ph.D. Assistantship in the Genetics and Developmental Biology Program at West Virginia University Funding is available at the Plant and Soil Sciences Division, West Virginia University, to support one highly qualified Ph.D. student starting in Spring 2023. 

The Ph.D. student will work on a project to characterize genetic and metabolic networks involved in the biosynthesis of pharmaceutically relevant sesquiterpene lactones and other related terpenoids by applying artificial intelligence to -omics data.

The research activities will include:

– Manage an Artemisia annua germplasm collection.
– Design and carry out plant physiology and genetic experiments to generate -omics and phenotypic datasets for analyses.
– Optimize a genetic transformation protocol for Artemisia annua.
– Develop bioinformatics pipelines to analyze genomic and metabolomic data
Develop AI algorithms to integrate -omics datasets to uncover patterns within the data.

The student will work closely with Prof. Vagner Benedito, Prof. Michael Gutensohn, and AI experts at WVU and Carnegie Mellon University to develop innovative analysis pipelines to integrate and analyze diverse types of -omics data.

Questions should be sent to Prof. Vagner Benedito ( or Prof. Michael Gutensohn (

Assistantship: An annual stipend ($25,631 plus benefits) paid in 12 monthly installments and a full tuition waiver (up to 9 credits per semester) will be provided. Operating funds for conducting research and travel are available.


– Major in biology, biochemistry, genetics, data sciences, plant sciences, or related fields with demonstrated research experience related to the project theme. A Master’s degree is preferred.
– Laboratory skills (wet lab) are needed; a record of scientific publication is highly desired.
– Coding skills in R and/or Python (at least at an intermediary level).
– Strong statistics background and knowledge of quantitative genetics.
– Ability to work independently, plan and carry out complex tasks.
– Excellent written and verbal communication proficiency, along with interpersonal and multicultural skills.
  A GRE score is necessary but used only as a reference. International students must have acceptable TOEFL scores.

How to apply: Interested candidates should send a copy of their statement of research interest, CV, contact information of three references, transcripts, and TOEFL/GRE scores (if currently available) to Prof. Vagner Benedito at The successful candidate will be invited to officially apply to the GDB program.

Deadline:31 August 2022

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