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Principal, Senior, Bioinformatics Scientist

Location Royston, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-062904 Date posted 10/08/2019

Principal, Senior, Bioinformatics/Informatics Scientist

Location: Cambridge (Melbourn Science Park)

Competitive Salary & Benefits

AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research (CGR) is looking for an experienced genomics software scientist to support the growing genome analytics and informatics requirements of the Centre. This is an exciting opportunity to enable large-scale genomic studies among AstraZeneca’s core therapeutic areas of oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

In this role, you will design, implement and deploy scientific software and bioinformatics pipelines and workflows to support all aspects of genomics analysis done at the Centre. Recent technical experience working on genome informatics solutions will be invaluable. The Centre’s informatics capabilities are Cloud-based and are handling the analysis of large-scale genomics data in an unprecedented genomics initiative, involving the analysis of up to 2 million genomes. This role will also include optimising existing capabilities and identifying opportunities, both internally and through an extensive network of partners, vendors and open source tools, to build and maintain efficient, robust and scalable solutions at the leading edge of genomics development in the field.

The successful applicant will be part of a dynamic team in CGR’s multidisciplinary genomics research environment comprising of computational biologists, genome scientists, software engineers, statistical geneticists, postdoctoral researchers, disease area specialists and clinician experts. Applicants with experience working with large volumes of research data in locally and/or cloud-deployed storage and analysis solutions are highly encouraged to apply.

You will be considered for roles as Bioinformatics Scientist, Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, or Principal Bioinformatics Scientist dependent on relevant skills and experience. Applicants without significant bioinformatics experience but relevant experience in associated biomedical research fields (particularly automating research workflows, metadata-based approaches and clinical research datasets) may be considered for Informatics Scientist roles.

Responsibilities (all roles):

  • Development, deployment and support of genomics data analysis software and bioinformatic workflows and pipelines.
  • Integrating 3rd party software (commercial and open-source) with bespoke components to build end-to-end genome analytic and informatic software solutions.
  • Automating processes to improve efficiency of the Centre’s interaction with genomics data.
  • Developing methods of visualising, exploring and mining genomics data.
  • Ensuring the high quality of the code and adherence to industry standards and best practices for all stages of software lifecycle.
  • Ensuring own work, and work of team, is compliant with Good Laboratory Practice, Safety, Health and Environment standards and all other internal AstraZeneca standards and external regulations as they apply.

Responsibilities (Senior/Principal roles):

  • Design of software, workflows and pipelines.
  • Assessing future scalability needs; contribution to demand planning and prioritisation.
  • Ensuring work of team members and contractors is compliant with Good Laboratory Practice, Safety, Health and Environment standards and all other internal AstraZeneca standards and external regulations as they apply.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience Required:

Essential (all roles):

  • Significant Java or Python programming experience.
  • Significant database implementation experience (relational and/or NoSQL).
  • Proficiency with UNIX / Linux environment including shell scripting.
  • Knowledge of genomics community algorithms and solutions. Interest in the potential of genomics to impact drug discovery or significant relevant experience in scientific computing to support research workflows with automation, model-driven approaches, and dealing with sensitive research data.
  • Ability to prioritize, problem-solve and perform difficult tasks while working to potentially conflicting deadlines.
  • Ability to proficiently communicate with team members and non-experts, both verbally and through documentation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and willingness to work within a team in a quickly evolving environment.
  • Detailed knowledge of core computer science concepts (e.g. object-oriented design, memory management, algorithm implementation) and practices (e.g. version control, agile development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery).
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent experience) in a computational field of research, including but not limited to: computer science, bioinformatics, information systems, computational genomics or other computationally intensive scientific field.

Desirable (all roles), Essential (Senior/Principal Roles):

  • Java or Python authority.
  • Significant database design experience (relational and/or NoSQL).
  • Experience working in cloud environments, for example with AWS services (S3, Glacier, Batch).
  • Experience with modern JS framework applied to building interactive scientific visualisations, ability to create UI components and build web user interfaces.
  • Proficiency in collaborative development tools such as Github, Confluence and JIRA.
  • Experience of all phases of software development for large-scale analytical pipelines, including analytical programming, scripting and code review
  • Experience with high performance computing, cloud-based bioinformatics and parallel processing.
  • Knowledge of project management and software development life cycle.

  • Desirable (all roles), Essential (Principal Roles):
  • Significant experience in the application of cloud architecture and design best practices.
  • Significant experience in the design of high performance computing based solutions including performance and scalability optimisation.
  • Demonstrable experience in delivering robust solutions for large-scale genomics research.
  • Experience developing and deploying data analytics and informatics solutions in pharmaceutical environment.

Desirable (all roles):

  • Experience with application of advanced analytics, including AI, in genomics.
  • Previous involvement in public, industry or academic genomics initiatives.
  • Strong relationships with open-source communities.

If you are interested in these positions, please apply by submitting your CV as soon as possible.



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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