Diagnostic Bioinformatician

  • AstraZeneca
  • Melbourn, Royston SG8 6HB, UK
  • 23/06/2021
Full time Data Science Data Analytics Big Data Data Management Statistics Biostatistics

Job Description

Would you like to use your skills and experience within Bioinformatics to help impact the lives of many people across the world? If you would, please read on!

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, we are on a journey to become a data-led enterprise with a solid and ambitious investment in R&D. We’re capitalising like never before in our people, in growth, in pursuing excellent science and adopting new technologies.

The Diagnostic Science group within Precision Medicine & Biosamples researches and builds innovative software-based diagnostics to ensure that every patient receives the best treatment at the right time. We are a cross-functional group deeply focused in enabling digital, data-driven diagnostics, that match AstraZeneca’s business needs of today and of the future. This is an exciting opportunity for a talented and motivated Bioinformatician, eager to bring biological and clinical data together in novel ways, to join our group.

The postholder will be part of the multidisciplinary diagnostic science team comprising computational biologists, machine learning expert, software engineers, postdoctoral researchers, disease area specialists and clinician experts, contributing novel ideas and developing prototypes of algorithms and analytical approaches impacting current and future patient journeys. Strong candidates should display an excellent academic background, hands on experience of running NGS analysis pipelines, exceptional analytical skills and proven ability to communicate with key stakeholders.

In this role you will focus on delivering analyses of molecular diagnostic, clinical and real-world evidence data to guide companion diagnostic development, delivery and selection. You will work closely with the Precision Medicine & Biosamples teams to understand where bioinformatics and informatics approaches can best impact scientific and technical challenges.

You will automate the analyses of patient genomic and diagnostic data, especially from oncology clinical trials. Part of this task will be managing, analysing and delivering NGS data analyses to validate analyses by external vendors. You will support the management, exchange, processing, analysis, curation, annotation and sharing of scientific and clinical data with colleagues within Precision Medicine & Biosamples team and throughout AstraZeneca.

You will also design and apply innovative computational and statistical algorithms and visualisation to generate actionable biological insight from genomic data and support drug and diagnostic regulatory submissions. This will support the testing of precision medicine hypotheses for drug projects. You will proactively engage in knowledge sharing and peer support to build expertise in the tools critical to Precision Medicine & Biosamples. As part of this you will work with a team of technical diagnostic scientists and external diagnostic partners to manage diagnostic datasets with registrational intent.

Typical Accountabilities, what you will do:

  • Management of data exchange with collaborators, ingestion, annotation and making the genomics datasets analysis ready.
  • Development, deployment and support of Precision Medicine & Biosamples data analysis software and bioinformatic workflows and pipelines.
  • Management, analysis and delivery of NGS assays including rigorous quality control of results from clinical trials, and automated cross checking of multiple data sources to validate analyses by external vendors.
  • Contribution of data from analysis of genomics datasets to support regulatory submissions

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


  • Relevant PhD or MSc plus previous relevant experience working in the field of genetics / genomics / computational biology / biostatistics
  • Effective communication, stakeholder and influencing skills
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of NGS data analyses on Unix platforms
  • Experience with high performance computing, cloud-based bioinformatics and parallel processing.
  • Strong grasp of sequence variant level data manipulation (SNP, InDel, structural variation, copy number changes) and oncology/clinical variation databases (ClinVar, etc.)
  • Statistical analysis skills.
  • Coding expertise using Python and bash is essential.
  • Graphical visualisation and presentation of results to non-technical audiences
  • Strong publication record
  • Proven ability with experience in a similar role, ideally within pharmaceuticals, biotech or diagnostics industry but candidates with a relevant academic background would be considered


  • Experience in deploying technical solutions at scale, ideally in a regulated setting
  • R programming expertise (inc. use of Bioconductor and Shiny)
  • Significant database design experience (relational and/or NoSQL).
  • Experience working in cloud environments, for example with AWS services (S3, EC2).
  • Proficiency in collaborative development tools such as Github, Confluence and JIRA and proven contributions to open source projects
  • Well networked within external bioinformatics and oncology communities
  • Experience of FFPE and liquid biopsy patient sample sequence data analysis
  • Experience or good understanding of software containerization technologies
  • Experience of analysing and presenting data to support regulatory submissions

Location: Cambridge UK (preferred), Gothenburg Sweden, Gaithersburg or Waltham US

Salary: Competitive + Excellent Benefits

Closing Date: 16th July 2021

Role can be considered at career levels D or E depending on the experience and suitability of the successful candidate.

Push the boundaries of science every day with a fast-growing, reputable company that is energised by change. Take this opportunity to do something new, exciting and challenging. Impact science and the lives of many people across the world. If you’re inspired by the possibilities of science to make a difference and ready to discover what you can do – join us!

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