Undergraduate Co-op Positions - Wodak Lab

Apply and expand your knowledge and skills at the Wodak Lab at The Hospital for Sick Children, located in the Discovery District of downtown Toronto.

The lab's work environment is relaxed and casual, placing an emphasis on learning and academic growth. Our research combines the development of methods and software in the pursuit of important bioinformatic problems related to human health, including:

  • creating software to visualize and analyze biological networks.
  • simulating and modeling molecular interactions.
  • developing quantitative and integrative computational approaches for interactions, complexes and biochemical pathways.

As a student a the lab you will be working on software for the visualization and analysis of biochemical networks while at the same time extending your knowledge in a variety of disciplines such as:

  • bioinformatics
  • computation and programming
  • statistics
  • biochemistry
  • graph theory
  • biological databases
  • research processes and methods

You will also apply and gain technical experience in such areas as:

  • software design and object oriented programming
  • Java
  • web services
  • high performance computing facilities such as clusters
  • databases
  • open source libraries (Grails, Sping, JQuery)
  • applications (Eclipse IDE, R statistical software, Cytoscape, MySQL)

As a research facility the Wodak Lab will also give you many opportunities to see to work in the field through seminars and lectures from people ranging from graduate students to Nobel laureates. Students from the following fields are encouraged to apply:

  • bioinformatics
  • computer science
  • software engineering
  • applied mathematics
  • computational biochemistry

Students of the University of Waterloo should apply via the university's coop program.


Read what some of our previous co-op students had to say about their experiences at the Wodak Lab:

James Gleeson
Honours Computer Science — Specialization in Bioinformatics
University of Waterloo

I have had the freedom to explore industry-standard technologies in Bioinformatics, and become familiar with research by investigating scientific literature. Combine this experience with a group of talented researchers who foster the development of your communication skills through constructive criticism and encouragement, and you begin to have an idea of the potential in working at Wodak Lab.

Under the guidance of my supervisor Andrei Turinsky and everyone else at Wodak Lab, I independently researched recently published algorithms in disease-gene prediction and applied my constantly expanding technical toolset to develop software that implements and expands on these algorithms. As I implemented features in my software, I had the opportunity to share results they produced when run on real datasets obtained from popular biological databases such as the Human Protein Reference Database (HPRD). This gave me the opportunity to begin questioning the biological interpretation of these results, which is an experience rarely explored at the undergraduate level. Hence, for any student looking to take Bioinformatics beyond the classroom, Wodak Lab is an environment where this is a guarantee.

Zahrah Khalid
Honours Computer Science — Specialization in Bioinformatics
University of Waterloo

Joining the Wodak Lab as a Bioinformatics Research Trainee has exposed me to the many facets of research and academia that are often inaccessible to students at the undergraduate level. Not only have I been given the privilege of attending numerous conferences, symposiums and distinguished lectures related to my academic background and interests in biochemistry and bioinformatics, but more importantly, I have been given a chance to contribute my own research on metabolic pathways to the scientific community.

Working under the direct supervision of Dr. Shoshana Wodak, I have been encouraged to pose complex questions about the proteins that drive many of the biological processes organisms use to sustain life, and then further motivated to think critically about valid computational techniques that can be applied to solve them. It has been a pleasure to apply and make use of much of the theory I have absorbed in the classroom, ranging from molecular biology to statistical analysis and algorithms, to the real-world problems that arise in nature. Lastly, I believe that the independence of working on my own project has given me the confidence and experience that I think will prove to be invaluable assets to an aspiring graduate student such as myself.

Steve Constable
Faculty of Science — Computational Science/Biochemistry
University of Waterloo

My work at the Wodak Lab involved doing real science: predicting Gibbs free energy changes in biochemical reactions. I was responsible for the entirety of my project, from the bottom up. I got first hand experience working with open source software, including all of its benefits and shortcomings. After more than 4 months of hard work and several re-writes, my program is proudly generating all sorts of thermodynamic data.

Working for the Wodak Lab has been an extremely positive experience. Being in Toronto's Discovery district means there are innumerable opportunities to attend academic seminars and symposia, and I was actively encouraged to do so by my employers. Possibly the most important aspect of work here was the use of industry-standard tools, such as the Eclipse IDE, that we aren't exposed to at school. I currently look forward to returning to the Lab for a third consecutive work term, and the start of a new project.

Wodak Lab:
Undergraduate Co-op Positions