Barton lab UCR Physics

Postdoctoral position

We have an open position for a postdoctoral researcher, with funding available for at least two years. This position will remain open until filled.

Our work is focused on understanding the evolutionary dynamics of human pathogens and immunology. New experimental methods are dramatically improving the quantity and resolution of data available to study such systems in both time and space, making this an exciting time for quantitative research. Our methods are often (but not always) inspired by statistical physics.

Projects depend on the applicant’s interests and strengths, but currently we’re particularly interested in

  • Developing and applying methods to infer realistic models of genetic evolution from time-series data
  • Construction of a theoretical model to understand self-nonself discrimination by components of the innate immune system

Research in the group typically involves some theory, some computation, and substantial contact with real biological data. There will be opportunities to collaborate with other theorists as well as experimental and clinical researchers. Our group is young and growing rapidly – we’re looking for someone who’s excited to push the boundaries with us.


The ideal candidate should have

  • Quantitative research experience in a related area such as physics, computational biology, or computer science
  • An open approach to research, ready to learn new methods from a variety of disciplines
  • Enthusiasm for deeply understanding a biological problem

Additionally, the experience with the following areas would be very helpful (but not required)

  • Methods of statistical inference
  • Strong coding skills, especially Python and C++
  • Background in immunology or genetics


Interested candidates should send an email to John with a CV, a description of your research interests and experience, and names and contact information for three references.

Have questions about the position, projects, UCR? Feel free to contact us for more information.


The University of California, Riverside is located in Riverside, California, about an hour’s drive east of Los Angeles. Riverside is a great area for families, with affordable housing and easy access to nature (beautiful beaches, snowy mountains, and the high desert are all within an hour or so of Riverside). Our group is part of the newly-established Interdisciplinary Center for Quantitative Modeling in Biology here at UCR, and we also benefit from strong regional research centers such as Cal Tech, UCLA, UCSD, and the Scripps Research Institute.

Going to California

This winter I’ll be moving from MIT, which has been my home for the past 5 years, to start my own research group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside. It’s an exciting time, and I can’t wait to get started.

I’m currently recruiting graduate (or undergraduate) students, and I have space for one postdoc as well. Check here for more information.