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Senior Scientist of Applied Mathematics and Statistics/Senior Scientist of Machine Learning and AI, Early Computational Oncology

Location Waltham, Massachusetts, United States Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-139853 Date posted 21/09/2022

Senior Scientist of Applied Mathematics and Statistics/Senior Scientist of Machine learning and AI, Early Computational Oncology

This role offers the flexibility to be based at either our Waltham, US or Gaithersburg, US locations.

Do you have a strong background in Machine Learning, statistics, applied mathematics or computer science? Are you passionate about bringing data science to patient benefit? If so, this unique opportunity may present your next career move!

We have an exciting opportunity for someone passionate about the power of data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/stats as a catalyst for change in healthcare.


At AstraZeneca, we put patients first and strive to meet their unmet needs worldwide. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person!

At AstraZeneca, we are united by a common purpose: to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines. Every single day, we make a difference by delivering potentially life-changing medicines to millions of people worldwide. A significant investment in innovative data science and AI is at the forefront of our drive to make hearts healthier, help people breathe easier, and ensure more people survive cancer.

Business Area

The Early Computational Oncology group delivers data-driven, useful insights through the application of computational science to all areas of AstraZeneca’s Oncology portfolio and has a unique role to play in leading the adoption of computational/data driven approaches to the drug discovery process. The group has substantial expertise and a renowned track record in bioinformatics and data science, undertaking both portfolio applied informatics research and the development of cutting edge capabilities.

Within the Early Computational Oncology group, we have a strong and diverse group of data scientists, algorithm developers and applied mathematicians working together with computational biologists, bioinformaticians and software engineers to deliver the next drug, next biomarker and next insights to the benefit of cancer patients.

The Data Science and AI group in Early Oncology is growing to meet the strategic challenges in AZ Oncology and the huge increase in data availability across preclinical and clinical domains. Advanced analytical techniques and effective presentation skills will be essential to fully harness the high dimensionality and size of these data and translating these to the clinical practice. Recent advances in AI and representation of biological data offer huge promises, capturing prior knowledge and constraints within a machine learning/stats framework to derive smarter and more interpretable predictions.

We are looking for a talented and established scientist with a strong quantitative background in applied math, stats and ML/AI capable to think creatively and able to explain complex mathematical ideas in simple ways. You will work in a dynamic and multi-disciplinary environment on multitude of data rich projects in all stages of the value chain in big pharma. All projects are patient centric – your work will impact patient’s life. This is a great opportunity to take a technical leadership role in shaping AZ’s oncology portfolio with data science and AI, work in the computational hub of Oncology R&D, and be exposed to a wide spectrum of technologies, data sets, trials, treatments, and drug development projects.

You will focus on leading and developing new algorithms in ML/AI or applied math/stats to enhance our capabilities to inform early and late clinical trials. You will use a wide range of AI platforms and tools we have established in the group as a baseline to bring new methodologies to the table, as well extending and improving them.

Key responsibilities include:

Use ML/AI, bio/statistics and applied math to design and develop new algorithms to solve problems and enhance computational techniques in drug discovery and translational medicine in Oncology (e.g. patient stratification, biomarker discovery, omics AI, target prioritization). Work together with computational biologists, bioinformaticians, engineers and biologists to understand the needs and communicate results and tools to the organization and in conferences and scientific journals. Work in a dynamic and multidisciplinary research environment, adapt quickly to new technologies and methods. Advise on best practices of statistical analysis and applied math techniques.

Essential requirements:

  • BA/BS and an advanced degree (MSc or PhD) in applied math/statistics with excellent academic record.
  • Demonstrated strong technical skills in problem solving, applied math, machine learning and AI – a must.
  • Additional degree in biology, computational biology, or an MD preferred with at least two years of experience in bioinformatics/computational biology.
  • Extensive experience in biopharma/biotech/high tech industry in data science and AI is preferred.
  • Extensive experience in applied math/stats (e.g. Bayesian statistics and/or survival analysis) and standard ML techniques (e.g. RF and GBM) to solve real world problems and bring insights.
  • Experience in applying/developing deep learning for data science problems (Tensor flow and/or Pytorch) preferred.
  • Excellent coding skills in R or Python.
  • Excellent Data Wrangling skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.

We have the flexibility to consider varying levels of experience for this position and offer at a Senior Scientist OR Associate Director level.

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognizing their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organization to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

Site Location: This position is located in Waltham, US (but also has the flexibility to be located in Gaithersburg, US)

About AstraZeneca in Waltham, MA The Waltham R&D site focuses on our small-molecule oncology research in North America, and is situated within a biopharma cluster of research institutions, medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and startups. The Boston region is consistently ranked #1 globally for research, investment, talent recruitment and lab space. The campus, also known as the Boston BioHub, is one of the largest and most dynamic life-science research hubs in the region. It is home to more than 800 scientists working in nine different pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The site is also home to the AstraZeneca Incubator, a program that helps emerging companies advance novel and innovative healthcare solutions to meet the needs of patients. Plenty of free parking, with charging stations now available for electric vehicles, and shuttle service to local transportation hubs.

So, what’s next!

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

Don’t hesitate in submitting an application today, or get in touch with our Talent Acquisition Partner – Suzanne Bellomo, to arrange a confidential discussion to explore this opportunity further.

Where can I find out more?

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 authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.

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