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Associate Director / Director, Oncology Bioinformatics

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-063835 Date posted 10/23/2019


  • There is an exciting opportunity for a scientist who is innovative with technical skills and extensive experience in bioinformatics to lead the Oncology Bioinformatics team at AstraZeneca’s US headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD.
  • AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven, integrated biopharmaceutical company.  We are dedicated to discovering, developing, and delivering innovative, meaningful medicines and healthcare solutions that enrich the lives of patients.  The vision of AstraZeneca Oncology is to redefine canmorcer, redefine our solutions to cancer, and restore patients' lives.  Toward this goal AstraZeneca have a rich portfolio spanning immuno-oncology, DNA repair, tumor driver and epigenetic mechanisms.
  • Oncology Bioinformatics currently comprise 3 teams totalling >30 full time positions plus post-doctoral roles, spanning UK (Cambridge) and US (Boston and Gaithersburg).  The teams sit within a larger Computational Oncology community spanning end-to-end skills from production informatics to data science and modelling.
  • Oncology Bioinformatics support drug projects through Research, Early Development, Late Development and marketed Brands .  Bioinformaticians sit within drug project teams directly impacting discovery, translational medicine and clinical successes.


  • Line manage a team of 10 project-aligned Bioinformaticians, recruiting, retaining and developing key talent.
  • Take a position on the Translational Medicine and Computational Oncology leadership teams to define priorities, project alignment and strategic direction for the group.
  • Contribute to the science of oncology drug development.
  • Influence investment in data generation and bioinformatic projects, via articulation of the vision and impact on the drug R&D pipeline to senior stakeholders.
  • Direct strategy and proactively implement innovative bioinformatic solutions with a primary focus on immune-oncology and local drug portfolio support.
    • Work closely with local drug project teams and leadership to ensure maximum impact to drug project transitions.
  • Ensure a high level of data, technical and statistical standards are upheld by the team.
  • Advance bioinformatic capabilities in key strategic growth areas such as multi-omics, disease networks and integrative biology, and drive innovations to high impact publication.
  • Educate AstraZeneca scientists and influence adoption of cutting-edge approaches.
  • Identify and lead internal and external collaborative relationships with relevant expert groups.
  • Act in accordance with all AstraZeneca policies.

Experience and skillset:


  • A degree plus PhD (or equivalent) plus at least 5 years relevant applied experience combining:
    • A relevant field of human biomedical science or genetics/genomics.
    • Bioinformatics / computational biology / biostatistics / data science.
  • Experience working in drug discovery and/or oncology research (experience in the pharmaceutical industry would be a plus).
  • Experienced people-manager.
    • Proven ability to lead and motivate teams, directly and indirectly.
    • Comfort supervising work in cross-disciplinary project environments.
    • Proven ability to develop talent and realize potential.
  • Comfortable communicating science and influencing strategic decisions at all levels.
  • Experience leading productive collaborative relationships, including remotely and across cultures.
  • Expert in R, Python and multiple bioinformatic or data science toolkits.
  • Expert in multiple ‘omic data platforms and emerging technologies.
  • A proven track record delivering impactful science through bioinformatic innovation.
  • An excellent publication track record.
  • Well networked across relevant bioinformatic and scientific communities.
  • A deep understanding of the drivers of human disease (expertise in immune-oncology and biomarker development would be a plus).

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.

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