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Associate Principal Data Scientist in functional genomics

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-120636 Date posted 23/12/2021

Associate Principal Data Scientist in functional genomics

Cambridge, UK

Competitive Salary + Benefits

Meaningful Impact. Make a more meaningful contribution Impact patients’ lives every day.

Make a more meaningful impact in your career, with greater ownership and accountability to make a contribution. And in return… we’re looking for people driven by making a difference to patients’ and society, dedicated to doing the right thing.

At AstraZeneca we believe in the potential of our people and you’ll develop beyond what you thought possible. We make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you to see what you can achieve no matter where you start with us.

Are you an experienced data scientist looking for an exciting new challenge? Join our Data Sciences & Quantitative Biology team in Cambridge, UK and you will play a key role in using data science to enable and support our external innovation activities.

You will demonstrate scientific leadership in improving how we (re-)position drugs to target disease and translating biological questions into data science problems and solutions, and performing high content and high throughput phenotypic screen to find novel drug targets.

You will benefit professionally as a member of a data science department while working closely with our Emerging Innovations Unit department.

The Emerging Innovations Unit (EIU) is a focused R&D group within AstraZeneca that takes an entrepreneurial approach delivering medicines to patients. 

The department achieves this primarily by purposing and repurposing internal AZ assets for new diseases, both inside and outside of core therapeutic areas, through a combination of internal programs and through pioneering “Open Innovation” partnerships with external investigators (refer to:

The EIU also identifies and oversees the “incubation” of novel technologies that could become next generation approaches to discover and/or develop innovative pharmaceuticals or assist in identifying patient populations that could benefit from our medicines.

There is a strong entrepreneurial culture both for developing your own projects and for mentoring internal and external collaborators. The EIU is a sub-function of the Discovery Sciences group within AstraZeneca BioPharmaceutical R&D, as is the Data Sciences & Quantitative Biology department.

The role:

Your main responsibilities will involve:

  • Collaborate effectively with multi-disciplinary colleagues and other data scientists (bioinformaticians, image analysts, statisticians) to manage and analyse data to generate insights relating to external innovation. Work may, for example, include performing data analysis from phenotypic screen, molecular analytical approaches to drug repositioning, and leveraging large-cohort genetic studies.

  • Contribute to target triaging analysis from high throughput and high content phenotypic screens, e.g. arrayed CRISPR screens.

  • Contribute to RNASeq data analysis, building pipelines and processes.

  • Contribute to derivation and prioritisation of hypotheses for new drug positioning opportunities

  • Communicate efficiently and effectively with biologists and other scientists to understand requirements and translate them into data science problems and solutions.

  • Ensure scientific excellence in software, processes and results as well as being efficient and well documented.

Minimum experience:

  • PhD in bioinformatics, statistics, computer science or a related computational subject area.

  • 5+ years academic or industrial R&D experiences in the molecular biology field following a PhD course.

  • A good understanding of biological concepts, data and information types – for example relating to diseases, preclinical assays, target identification and target validation, or drug repositioning.

  • Experience with relevant computational tools such as R/R Shiny, Python, cloud-based systems, software versioning tools (e.g. Git/Github).

  • Experience in analysing data from one or more “‘omics” platforms, e.g. NGS transcriptomics, MS-proteomics or cell imaging data.

  • Ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams.

  • Strong communication skills with technical and non-technical collaborators.


  • Demonstrated scientific leadership with high quality publications, delivered projects or other evidences.

  • Knowledge and experience in drug repositioning research.

  • Experience in analysing large or medium sized drug and/or target screens.

  • Knowledge and experience in mapping transcriptomics and proteomics data relationships, experiences with connectivity map and L1000 assay.

  • Experience in image analysis and deep learning methods.

Why we love it

If your passion is science and you want to be part of a team that makes a bigger impact on patients’ lives, then there’s no better place to be. Here we truly understand science and apply it every day to strengthen and grow our pipeline.

So, what’s next?

  • Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.

  • Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours.

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn

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AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

10001249 E DAIN R&D BioPharmaceuticals

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Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.