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Assistant Professor in the Genetics/Epigenetics of Biobehavioral Risk Factors of Cancer

Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania
Closing date
Dec 6, 2023

Assistant Professor in the Genetics/Epigenetics of Biobehavioral Risk Factors of Cancer

The Pennsylvania State University, (HHD), and (BBH), in partnership with the (PSCI), invite applications for a tenure-track assistant professor. The position could start as early as Fall 2024 with BBH, located on the University Park campus, serving as the home department. The candidate will focus on advancing the understanding of genetic/genomic and/or epigenetic/epigenomic factors that interact with environmental exposures and/or behaviors associated with cancer risk and related outcomes. Research in this area could include obesity, metabolism, energetics, physical activity, environmental exposures, stress, use of tobacco or alcohol, or other factors linked to cancer. Programs of research that can incorporate social determinants of health and advance understanding of rural health and/or health disparities will be viewed as a strength. We welcome applicants who use novel and integrative approaches across a range of biological, computational, socio-cultural, community-based, psychological, prevention science, behavioral, and/or innovative statistical methods. Any of these areas could utilize high-dimensional data.

About the College

The offers eight interdisciplinary programs that share one common goal: enriching the lives of others. We continually examine contemporary issues people face in today's changing times and develop cutting-edge solutions for addressing them. Our impact extends from our classrooms, across communities and industries, and around the globe.

About the Department/Hiring Unit

The is a uniquely multi-faceted program that examines the space where biological, psychological, environmental, cultural, and global factors converge to affect health and wellness across the entire human lifespan. We are particularly interested in individuals whose research fits within the department's interdisciplinary focus on integrating biological, environmental, psychosocial, and contextual processes.

Although the tenure home of the position is BBH, this faculty position will be co-funded by the (PSCI). The PSCI is committed to fighting cancer on every front: through education and prevention, early detection and diagnosis, effective treatment, and survivorship programs. PSCI has three research programs focused on Population Health and Cancer Control, Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis, and Experimental Therapeutics. The successful candidate should be a collaborative researcher promoting and enhancing excellence and innovation in interdisciplinary research between BBH and PSCI.

The ideal candidate will have the potential to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations within the social, behavioral, or medical/biological sciences. Numerous University-wide units, such as the, the,, and the, offer intellectual hubs to build interdisciplinary teams and internal funding opportunities. Other relevant resources include multiple core facilities, including the,,, and ln addition to salary and a start-up package, Penn State offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, and tuition benefits.

Primary Job Responsibilities

Applicants must demonstrate excellence in research, a strong publication record, interest in collaboration across disciplines, commitment to mentoring students or early career researchers, and a track record of or strong potential for external grant funding, with excellent potential to carry such research and funding forward. Responsibilities of this position include continuing a fundable line of interdisciplinary biobehavioral health research, teaching graduate undergraduate courses, supervising and mentoring student researchers, and providing service to the Department, College, University, and profession.


Candidates must possess a Ph.D., Sc.D., or other terminal degree at the time of hire or a degree that is equivalent to a Ph.D. or terminal degree in the U.S. A degree in psychology, biology, human genetics, sociology, public health, or a closely related field is preferred.

Diversity Statement

Penn State University, the College of Health and Human Development (HHD), BBH, and the Cancer Institute strongly encourage applicants who would enrich the diversity of our academic community to apply. To learn more about Penn State University's commitment to diversity and inclusion, see the University's Statement on Diversity, Equity, and lnclusion at As an institution, we embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission. ln HHD enriching the lives of others is our mission. We believe in the power of human capacity for growth and live that mission by meeting challenges, both big and small, with excitement and energy every day. As a part of this, we enthusiastically support both broad and specific diversity initiatives with varied strategies (including via Penn State's offices for and and HHD's office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) to maximize the chance that persons with unique abilities, interests, strengths, and needs can thrive at Penn State.

Our campuses are located on the original homelands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Monongahela, Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, and Oklahoma), Susquehannock, and Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations. As a land grant institution, we acknowledge and honor the traditional caretakers of these lands and strive to understand and model their responsible stewardship. We also acknowledge the longer history of these lands and our place in that history.

Application Instructions

To be considered for the position, applicants must complete an online application and upload: 1) a cover letter (3 pages maximum) that specifically addresses the job requirements and outlines qualifications of the applicant, current and future research interests, teaching philosophy, and a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) three reprints or preprints that convey research interests and expertise, and 4) the names of four professional references who will be providing letters. We will request reference letters, with a short timeframe for response, only for applicants undergoing further consideration.

Review of applicants will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Questions about this position may be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. Helen Kamens, at

Located in Centre County, Pennsylvania, employment at Penn State offers an incredible opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the central Pennsylvania outdoors combined with the culture, sports, and entertainment available in a large university community. More information on the area and its amenities can be found here:

Apply online at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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