Cardiac Proteomics and Signalling Laboratory

Open Student Positions

Are you a student searching for an opportunity to do independent research (199), a rotation project, or a summer internship? Please get in contact with us!

Positions are open starting Spring 2020.

High School Students: David Liem, MD, PhD ( - see additional information below.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Harry Caufield, PhD ( 

We are particularly interested in students with interests or experience in medicine, biological science, data science, and/or computer science. You do not need experience in all areas to be eligible for a research project.

Current research interests in our group with project opportunities include:

  1. Massive Information Extraction and Deep Analysis of Text Data: Implementing machine learning (ML)-supported information extraction approaches, adapting advanced data structures (e.g., knowledge graphs), and leveraging clinical coding systems (e.g., ICD-11) to extract relationships among clinical observations and disease diagnoses from clinical text documents. (Caufield, Zhou, & Garlid et al., 2018; Caufield et al., 2018; Liem & Maruli et al., 2018; and Ping et al., 2017)
  2. Harmonizing Knowledge and New Discovery of Therapeutics in Cardiovascular Medicine: Applying data science strategies to uncover hidden relationships among cardiovascular drugs, their molecular targets, and potential adverse effects in the setting of the pathogenesis of heart disease. (Caufield, Zhou, & Garlid et al., 2018; Ping et al., 2017; see rotation project by Samir Akre)
  3. ML-supported Omics Phenotyping of Human Diseases: Developing technological platforms and computational tools for in-depth analysis of integrated omics data to elucidate protein temporal dynamics, post-translational modifications, and metabolic responses during cardiac remodeling and disease progression. (Chung & Mirza et al., 2019; Wang & Choi et al., 2018; Lau et al., 2018; Perez-Riverol & Bai et al., 2017; Lam et al., 2016; and Lau et al., 2016)

Examples of recent rotation projects include “Evaluating Disease Normalization Methods on Biomedical Text” (Henry Zheng, Fall 2019) and “Developing Knowledge Graphs relating Cardiovascular Disease and Oxidative Stress”, (Samir Akre, Fall 2019).


The Ping research group has had a history of promoting high-quality research, advocating for integration between omics and data science, and receiving recognition from the international scientific community. Understanding cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology has been a long-term goal of Dr. Ping’s research program. Her research also seeks to adapt emerging data science, natural language processing, machine learning, and information extraction techniques to solving relevant questions in cardiovascular medicine. Providing education and training to the next generation of investigators is a major mission of our laboratory. Dr. Ping has had 20 years of experience in mentoring students; 17 of her former trainees currently hold positions in academic institutions, including UCLA, UC Davis, University of Colorado, University of Heidelberg, and Fudan University. In parallel, 41 students trained in her laboratory hold positions in industry, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Intel.


We request that interested students please provide a cover letter describing their research interests and a resume/CV.


We believe a diverse team will come up with the most creative solutions. We encourage applications from people with a diverse set of backgrounds.

High School Student Summer Internship

Program Description: The high school summer internship program offers stipend support for two high school students annually. Each awarded recipient will receive financial support for up to four weeks. The award may be used for travel, lodging, and living allowance, as we do NOT provide housing. Participants in the high school sum­mer internship pro­gram are expec­ted to work under instructors’ supervision on an assigned project. A report is required at the end of the internship, including an essay describing a specific topic, a slide presentation concisely visualizing key points, and an oral presentation showing communication/public speaking skills. An eva­lua­tion from the pro­ject super­vi­sor and Dr. Ping will be provided. Pre­vious reci­pients of this sum­mer internship award were all accep­ted by pro­mi­nent uni­ver­si­ties inc­lu­ding UCLA, UC Berkeley, Har­vard, Duke, and Stan­ford. Requests for recommendation letters from the project supervisor and Dr. Ping must be received 6-8 weeks prior to their due date.

Internship positions are available for Summer 2020!

For applicants of the 2020 summer internship, please submit the following materials in a single email to Dr. David Liem ( 

Letters of recommendation can be sent separately.

Postdoctoral Research Positions in Cardiovascular Data Science

NIH-supported Postdoctoral Fellowships are available in the Cardiovascular Data Science Program at UCLA in the Westwood Campus, Los Angeles, California.

Successful applicants will have an exciting opportunity to work with a group of highly talented and creative investigators on projects focusing on one of the following of these two areas of Data Science: 1) machine learning, specifically text mining both biomedical literature and electronic health records; and 2) the development of analytics and data sharing platforms on proteomic data. Salaries are commensurate with experience.

Qualifications: Candidates should have or be very close to obtaining a PhD, MD, MD/PhD, or equivalent doctoral degree. Applicants must have a strong background in quantitative biology or a related field. Experience in computation is highly desirable, but not required. It is essential that applicants have previously demonstrated a passionate work ethic, strong enthusiasm for Big Data research, and a propensity for scientific achievement. Please note NIH requirements for trainees.
All Applications should include the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae;
  2. Contact information of at least three references;
  3. Brief description of past research experience and accomplishments, current and future research interests, and expected availability date.

Please send inquiries to Dr. Dominic Ng: and specify the position to which you are applying. Applications will be reviewed immediately as received. Start dates are flexible.

The University of California, Los Angeles is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence.