Brandeis GPS Blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Month: June 2015

SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: Bioinformatician/Microbiologist at IHRC, Inc.

vintage theatre spot light on black curtain with smoke


Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Title:  Bioinformatician/Microbiologist, Full Time–assigned to the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB) within the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Where:  IHRC, Inc.– 2 Ravinia Drive-Suite 1750, Atlanta, GA 30346

About:   IHRC, Inc. provides scientific, information management and administrative program support to various Centers, Institutes and Offices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under several contracts.



•Work very closely with EDLB Bioinformaticians to process raw sequence data produced by Sanger and NGS, to identify, characterize and annotate genes found in sequence data, perform evolutionary and phylogenetic studies of sequence data, identify unique regions of pathogen genomes for use as targets in molecular diagnostic assays, and design oligonucleotide primers/probes for use in sequencing projects and foodborne bacteria pathogen detection assays.

•Analyze genetic sequencing data utilizing new methodologies or existing techniques that have been properly revised and validated.

•Develop, evaluate, and validate bioinformatics tools to establish correlations between unique genetic markers (extracted from whole genome sequences) and the species/serotype of foodborne bacterial pathogens.

•Perform standard molecular biology techniques, including but not limited to, manual and automated nucleic acid extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Sanger sequencing, and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to develop and validate schemes to rapidly identify and subtype bacterial pathogens from complex matrices.

•Evaluate novel approaches to address human and commensal bacterial DNA in disease state stool, including clutter mitigation.

•Assist with the establishment of procedures for Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) of sequence data analysis in the context of this project.

•Assist in implementation of the developed assays by training laboratorians from state, county and local public health laboratories.

•Prepare reports, charts, graphs, and presentations as required.


   Minimum Qualifications and Technical Requirements:

•Must have successfully completed a full 4-years course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s and a higher degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) with at least 24 semester hours in mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics, or informatics and 24 semester hours molecular biology, microbiology, or genetics.

•The successful candidate will have a 2-3 years demonstrated experience with bioinformatics, bioinformatics analytical tools, microbiology, and molecular biology laboratory techniques.

•Be proficient in the use of various whole genome sequence laboratory procedures.

•Be proficient in the analysis, assembly, and annotation of genomic data from a variety of sequencing platforms such as Illumina and PacBio.

•Have strong interpersonal skills since the work is to occur in a multidisciplinary team environment and extensive interaction with people across CDC and external partners is required.

•Have strong written and oral presentation skills.

•Be capable of developing and executing research tasks independently.

•REQUIRED experience with Illumina sequencing technology, molecular biology assay design, UNIX (BASH scripting) and cluster computing (SGE); experience with coding in PERL and/or PYTHON; experience with relational databases (i.e. MySQL, Microsoft SQL server), Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word.

•DESIRABLE experience with Microsoft Access, SAS, experience with metagenomics databases such as Kraken and MetaPhlAn, prior work with bacterial genome sequencing and analysis.

•The candidate must possess excellent oral and written communication


Contact Person for Job Opportunity:

Michael Astwood



To apply for this position visit . If already on the IHRC website, click on the job you are interested in and click on the apply button at the bottom of the page.

IHRC, Inc. is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of IHRC, Inc. to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran or disability status and to take affirmative action in accordance with applicable laws and Executive Orders.

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Adapting Design to the User

Written by: Kelsey Whitaker, A Senior at Brandeis University

The way in which people experience design is a vital factor in the success of any creation. There is currently a growing movement of designers who search to implement technologies that adapt to the user. This is where the newest Master of Science program at Brandeis GPS in User-Centered design comes in. User-centered design covers fields including Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction, and User Experience. Human factors deal with the physical factors of interaction as well as the psychological and social factors of design. Human computer interaction is concerned with the interfaces between humans and computers and how these factors influence user experience. User experience deals with the usability issues of design. In addition to providing students with an advanced understandingUCDGraph of these areas, the program at Brandeis GPS will provide students with the leadership skills necessary to implement and advocate for design thinking.

Currently, the field of User-centered design is in high demand and expected to grow significantly over the next ten years. CNN Money recently voted the profession as the #14 best job in America. It was also featured in Glassdoor’s list of “25 Highest Paying Jobs with the Most Openings Right Now.” “User experience has caught on so much, both as something that people enjoy doing and something that is more and more widely recognized as being valuable to a growing number of companies,” says user experience designer Louisa Armbrust. The applications of user-centered design are broad and specialization can be found in fields such as information architecture, web designing, engineering, interactive media, and technology. Leading organizations that are currently hiring user-centered designers include Amazon, IBM, Disney, Apple, and several more.


The Brandeis GPS user-centered design degree program is geared towards individuals who are currently working in fields such as information technology, computer science, information architecture, web design, and other related areas, who are looking to extend their expertise in human factors of design. The Brandeis GPS program is unique because there are few online master’s degree programs in this field, none of which are geared towards developing leadership. In addition to a focus on leadership development, the available electives will create possibilities for students to graduate with skills in user interface design. This is an altogether different field than user-centered design, however, employers generally search for individuals with skills in both. The 30 credit program consists of 7 required courses and 3 electives.

Interested in the User-centered design program at Brandeis GPS? Apply now! To learn more about the program, contact 781-736-8787 or


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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: SVP Corporate Security Director at Eastern Bank

vintage theatre spot light on black curtain with smoke


Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.



Title:           SVP Corporate Security Director, Full-Time/Regular

Where:      Eastern Bank- 195 Market Street, Lynn, MA 

When you join Eastern Bank, you join the largest and oldest mutual bank in the country. We pride ourselves in having knowledgeable and experienced professionals that can provide the expertise, personal attention and service our customers deserve. As the fourth-largest full-service commercial bank in Greater Boston, we are able to offer you unique opportunities for career growth throughout the organization, as well as a competitive compensation and benefits program. As an inclusive company, we work to ensure that our valued employees are treated fairly, recognized for their individuality, and encouraged to reach their fullest potential. These values have earned us a reputation as a great place to work and provide a strong reason why you should consider a career with us.


General Responsibilities:

  • Overall responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of all Eastern’s personnel, facilities, and for all fraud and loss prevention and investigations.
  • Work with law enforcement, internal departments and clients to prevent or minimize company and client losses.
  • Serve as the Corporate Security leader responsible for the development, implementation and management of the organization’s corporate security vision, strategy and programs as they align with overall corporate goals.
  • Provide oversight and direction to staff in identifying, developing, implementing and maintaining security processes across the organization to reduce risks, respond to incidents, and limit exposure to liability in all areas of financial, physical, and personnel risk; and direct the establishment and implementation of policies and procedures related to physical security and fraud detection, prevention, and investigations.
  • Ensure professional training, competencies and required skill sets are available and maintained across all specialized departments.
  • Provide assurance that all pertinent regulatory and legal requirements are adhered to.
  • Incumbent must be able to function at a very high professional level, confidently make decisions, and effectively contribute and interface with all levels of management.
  • Strategic in thinking and persuasive in both verbal and written presentations
  • Ability to independently make decisions based on sound analysis, judgement and, understanding of impact in order to pro-actively ensure escalation of events when necessary.


Major position specific responsibilities:

  • Directly responsible for Eastern’s enterprise fraud strategy and annual roadmap of initiatives related to minimizing exposure, detecting and preventing losses.  Provides leadership, organization and management to the various investigative efforts.
  • Assumes overall responsibility for the physical protection and safety of Eastern Bank personnel and assets, aimed at reducing risks, costs and exposure.  Proactively identifies opportunities for improvement in all areas of physical security and manages the physical security program, incident response,
  • Works closely with Eastern Bank management in the areas of compliance, operational risk, information securitydata and network security, internal audit, legal and business lines on matters of mutual interest. Mitigates risk and works to prevent losses.  Serves as subject matter expert and  a resource on the Incident Response Team, under the Customer Breach program and on project teams as appropriate.
  • Participates in professional forums and maintains informed and knowledgeable of trends and developments in the Security field.  Maintains relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement and other related government agencies, as appropriate.
  • In accordance with established practices, defines and manages metrics based program performance measurements that will provide a means to analyze and address ongoing and emerging trends, demonstrate performance in core competencies and provide for accurate staffing analysis.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate necessary training efforts relating to security, loss prevention, risk, and overdraft management. Work with outside consultants as appropriate for independent security audits.
  • Control the purchase and installation of physical security hardware, access systems, case management and fraud detection software for all of Eastern Bank.
  • Research and implement applicable regulatory requirements and best practices; and identify new/needed skills, processes, or methods for continued quality improvement within Corporate Security.
  • Must be able to work flexible hours, and be available “on-call” as a point of escalation to respond to security related events as may be necessary.


Education and Experience

  • College degree or equivalent experience of 10+ years working in a security leadership role
  • 8-10 years of fraud investigation / case management /security experience.
  • Professional Security Certifications such as ACFE or ACAMS preferred.



Must be an intelligent, articulate and persuasive leader who can serve as an effective member of the senior management team and who is able to communicate security-related concepts to a broad range of technical and non-technical staff.

  • Should have experience with strategic planning, loss prevention, auditing, and Risk Management, as well as contract and vendor negotiation.
  • Must have strong relationships with and working knowledge of pertinent law and the law enforcement communities.
  • Must have a solid understanding of fraud detection and prevention solutions and the ability to leverage up to date knowledge of emerging technologies.
  • Highly organized and experienced in management of multiple related projects with multiple customers.
  • Focused personality, with a demonstrated ability to take initiative, successfully handle and prioritize multiple competing assignments and effectively manage deadlines while maintaining meticulous attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to exercise judgment and discretion in developing, applying and interpreting internal policies and procedures.
  • Proven track record of complex problem solving and decision-making
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills.
  • Proactive engagement and the ability to successfully implement security programs and promote security awareness.
  • Proven self-starter, requiring little supervision to take initiative and execute above responsibilities

Interested candidates should apply directly to the Eastern Bank website here.  (Candidates can use Requisition ID #00569 to find position).




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An Educational Journey

Written by: Sivasankar Veerabhadran, May 2015 graduate from Brandeis GPS‘ M.S. in Information Security and Consultant Solutions Engineer at EMC

Twenty-five years ago, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from a university in India. Ever since graduating I wanted to pursue my Master’s degree from a highly regarded university in the United States. My dream finally came true this spring as a result of the commitment to continuing education for working professionals (like myself)from both EMC Corporation & Brandeis University.

Working in Information Technology, it is extremely important to keep up-to-date with the technology and skills needed to excel in the current global market. I strongly felt that I should not invest my time and effort on education at this stage of my life just to get another degree. Instead, my education should guide me and give me the confidence to take my career to the next level. In addition, if it is SankarBlog2in one of the relevant technical fields like Information Security from a highly regarded university like Brandeis, it is a huge plus.

Some of the following courses offered as  part of my Master’s degree program are my favorite ones. In addition to learning from the professors, text books, and related materials, I learned a lot from fellow students and their real world working experiences, who all are professionals with extensive knowledge in their respective fields.

I have to say this, while looking for the options to continue my education at various universities, the integration of Brandeis GPS courses with our internal Educational Services portal at EMC, and the related approval work flow model was one of the reasons I have decided to start and continue my professional studies with Brandeis University. The process was as easy as signing up for any internal training courses.


Sankar & his student advisor, Janice

I really would like to express my thanks and appreciation to our student advisor Janice Steinberg for all the advice provided to me during the entire program. I really thought that after all these years getting the “Education Credential Evaluation” done for all my old school diplomas and college degrees completed in India must be a huge process.  Janice helped me with the whole process and made it so simple  that I could apply for the actual program after a long break with 4 courses.

Along with my wife, kids, family, and parents, my manager Charlie Dellacona also motivated me a lot to complete this degree. He always insisted on the importance of education along with experience for professionals like us to advance our career to the next level. A bit of his advice, “Sankar, education is the best investment you can make for yourself and also for your family, which is always  yours no matter where life takes you,” this was the greatest motivational factor.

As per my professor’s advice, I am currently working on  getting “Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) “ & Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications. I am looking forward to contribute a lot to Cloud security based initiatives.

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Attention GPS Alumni: Meet Your New Liaison!

Below is the first of blog post from our new Alumni Liaison, Amy Lee. If you are an alumni and would like to stay further connected, do not hesitate to reach out to Amy!

Amy LeeMy name is Amy Lee. I’ve been working with Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies since 1999. I have a new role in GPS as the Director of Operations, External and Alumni Outreach. One of my responsibilities is to pay attention to our alumni, the growing group of people who have graduated with master’s degrees and graduate certificates from GPS. My virtual door is open to all GPS alumni and I am waiting to hear from you.

Did you know that GPS now has over 1400 alumni?  This year we introduced a new event on campus, the Connect with GPS networking event.  Our next Connect with GPS event is scheduled for Thursday, October 15th. Join Brandeis GPS staff, faculty, advisory board members, corporate partners, students and alumni for a networking and socializing. Admission is free and includes 2 drink tickets and passed appetizers!

GPS also held our first ever Analytics 360 Symposium, on April 8, 2015 on Brandeis campus. We had over 100 attendees. We’re currently planning our next symposium for 2016 and we’re open to topic suggestions.

This fall we’re launching a new Graduate Certificate in Learning Analytics and two new master’s degrees , M.S. in Digital Marketing and Design and M.S. in User-Centered Design.

You can read about some of our impressive alumni through this blog on our Student Testimonials page. Make sure you don’t miss any job postings, testimonials or industry relevant posts by subscribing to our blog! Additionally, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear the latest on new degree programs and industry events.

If you’re an alumni, we want to make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information for you. We know physical and email addresses change so rapidly that they could already be out of date! Please supply your most up to date information via this very brief form.

If you have an idea for our next symposium topic or just want to be in touch, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you!


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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: Stem Cell Bioinformatics Faculty Search

Welcome to the first


Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here. To stay in touch and receive further SPOTLIGHTS, make sure to subscribe to our blog

Title: Assistant Professor in the University Tenure Line (UTL)

Where: Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Stanford University, to be identified as the optimal home department of the successful candidate.

Qualifications: Interested in candidates who have a doctoral degree in computer science, electrical engineering, bioinformatics or related field and who have research interests in clinical or translational informatics, bioinformatics, or related subdisciplines, and who have or will develop an independent research program in the computational sciences. The predominant criterion for appointment in the University Tenure Line is a major commitment to research and teaching. The successful candidate will conduct a vigorous, independent research program, teach in the classroom, and advise students in any of a number of graduate programs in computational sciences. Faculty members appointed as Assistant Professors will have completed one or two years of postdoctoral research experience. Their accomplishments during graduate and postgraduate training should already have stamped them as creative and promising investigators. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience in developing novel analytical tools to analyze the cellular composition of organs and/or tissues and who can complement and enhance existing strengths in stem cell biology, cancer biology, developmental biology, bioinformatics, and bioengineering within the Institute and the University.

We expect the successful candidate to establish an innovative research program studying fundamental stem cell biology. Responsibilities include teaching graduate students and research-oriented medical students in an area that would complement the Institute’s existing strengths.

The activities of the Division/Department are diverse and include basic, translational and clinical applications in embryonic stem cells, reprogramming, cancer stem cells and adult stem cells. The stem cell biology and regenerative medicine activities offer unique opportunities for the successful candidate to build a strong program of independent research complemented by collaborative efforts across different departments.

How to Apply: Interested candidates should send a copy of their curriculum vitae, a brief letter outlining their interests and the names of three references to:

Dr. Michael F. Clarke
Chair, Stem Cell Computation Search Committee
Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, Room G2021A
265 Campus Drive West
Stanford, CA 94305-5461

Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty. It welcomes nominations of and applications from women, members of minority groups, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities, as well as from others who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research, teaching and clinical missions.

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Brandeis GPS Commencement Wrap-Up

Written by: Kelsey Whitaker, A Senior at Brandeis University


Amyntrah Maxwell & Rabb VP Karen Muncaster

On May 17th, to the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance”, the Rabb School of Graduate Professional Studies‘ class of 2015 donned their caps and gowns and received their diplomas. The ceremony awarded Master’s degrees in various fields  including: Bioinformatics, Health and Medical Informatics, Information SecurityIT ManagementProject & Program Management and Software Engineering. Students sat proudly and  enjoyed the student and main commencement speaker’s words of wisdom for their future.   As working professionals in their respective fields, each degree recipient juggled work, school, and personal  matters in order to earn their master’s degree.


Student speaker, Louis Rosa III

The student speaker for the day was Louis Rosa III, who earned his Doctor of Medicine from Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and has over 30 years of experience in the fields of neurosurgery and radiation therapy. However, the day of commencement Rosa walked out with a newly earned diploma in Health and Medical Informatics. After all of his experience, why did Rosa pursue his degree from Brandeis GPS? “No matter how many patients I saw, I couldn’t have enough of an impact,” Rosa explained. Rosa went on to explain the impact his new degree would have on his career and his life.

The main Commencement speaker, Curtis H. Tearte, is a 1973 Brandeis graduate and also a  current Board of Trustees member. Tearte has vast experience in technology and business as former director, vice president and general manager of IBM “My experience at Brandeis exponentially changed the arc of my life,” he explained to the graduates. Tearte is also the founder of Tearte Associates, a firm dedicated to seeking out students with academic potential to become Tearte Scholars through his Family Foundation. His advice to the graduates was, “Keep putting out good and it will come back to us tenfold in unexpected ways.”

Commencement speaker, Curtis H. Tearte

In addition to the speakers, the Outstanding Teacher Award Recipient was presented to Leanne Bateman. Teaching at Brandeis since 2007, Bateman serves as Academic Program Chair and a faculty member for Project and Program Management and Strategic Analytics. Congrats, Leanne!

Congratulations to the 2015 graduates! You did it! Good luck in all your future plans and endeavors.

Want to see the live stream of commencement? You’re in luck! Watch it here.

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