Oncology IMI Bioinformatician Post Doctoral

Business Area Innovative Medicines
Specialism Oncology
Department Oncology iMed
Location UK based
Closing date for applications 31 May 2013


At AstraZeneca, we’re constantly striving to make new discoveries that will make a meaningful difference to health globally. We already have an exceptional product pipeline, and everyone here has a part to play in making sure that pipeline fulfils its potential. This is your opportunity to join them – and to fulfil your own.

The role:

We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced computational biologist with a keen interest in next generation sequencing, genetics and drug discovery to join our Oncology Bioinformatics Group, currently a global team of eleven (6 UK & 5 US based). The position is aligned to support the EU Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) Oncotrack program http://www.oncotrack.eu/, an academic and industrial partnership aiming to identify and qualify biomarkers that may be used to guide patient therapy in colorectal cancer.

The successful applicant will be a key member of a cross pharmaceutical-academic inter-disciplinary team focusing on translational and enabling/foundation informatics. The primary goal is to apply and develop integrative informatics solutions to analyse the transcriptional, proteomic, genetic and epigenetic regulation of colon cancer patients and their matched animal and cell models, and correlate these to pharmacological response data.

The role holder will also develop a close working relationship with AZ Oncology Project and Disease Teams and have the opportunity to experience first hand the multidisciplinary interactions required for successful drug discovery whilst supported by the AZ global informatics community and respected academic advisors.

This role will be primarily located based in the UK with opportunities for short term placements in Max Plank (Germany) based on requirements.

This position is for a fixed term of 2 years with opportunity to extend to 3 years subject to satisfactory project progression


·         Lead and deliver key bioinformatics activities to support:
o    ’Oncotrack’ Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) consortium, with critical alignment to the informatics collaborators at Max Planck and Alacris (Berlin).
o    Cross platform ’omic profiling analysis (inc. next generation sequencing) of clinical and animal model data, in particular RNA-Seq, MeDIP-Seq, Exome and WGS and protein arrays.
o    Essential NGS capability build focused on extracting biological value and interpretation.
o    Integrative informatics solutions to address multi-biomarker platform deliveries.
o    Reactive toolkit build to enhance access to ’omic data by science teams including involvement in the tranSMART translational informatics platform.
·         Work collaboratively with informatics specialists to deliver scientific information platforms, processes, tools and techniques to solve scientific problems.
·         Build expertise in and develop novel statistical/ computational methods and software tools for analyzing next-generation sequencing and high-throughput functional genomic data, including RNA-seq, DNA-seq, and large volumes of data in public repositories such TCGA/GEO/ICGC.
Publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at conferences/scientific meetings

Minimum Requirements - Education and Experience

  • PhD level in a computational biology, bioinformatics, computer science or equivalent subject
  • Advanced expertise in the application, analysis and interpretation of sequencing data e.g. RNA-Seq, DNA-Seq, Meth-Seq, Exome sequencing
  • Familiarity with Unix/Linux operating systems
  • Highly competent in one or more of Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, C++, R programming languages · Excellent communication and facilitation skills including delivery of appropriate formal or informal presentations to different scientific audiences
  • Ability to work effectively within a team to achieve collaboration objectives by contributing to discussions and disseminating knowledge and information
  • Passion for application of bioinformatics to drug discovery and delivering therapies for patients.
  • Good track record of publishing scientific research

  •  Interdisciplinary background in bioinformatics/computational biology and cancer genomics
  •  Advanced knowledge of statistical and machine learning methods
  •  Bachelors degree or MSc in a Life Science, Computer Science or equivalent experience
  •  Disease area and/or domain knowledge in Biological Sciences or similar
  •  Experience in “big data” analysis including integration of diverse data types such as mutation, copy number and expression

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