Research Assistant / Associate (Data Scientist) job with NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY

The role
We are seeking a dynamic data scientist / bioinformatician to develop bioinformatics pipelines to identify biomarkers and risk profiles using large, well-annotated clinical trial datasets including patient-level data that has been collected by the ‘HARMONY alliance (https: //www.harmony-alliance .UE /). The HARMONY alliance is a big data project funded by the European Initiative for Innovative Medicines (IMI) aimed at turning high-quality data into meaningful evidence that will improve outcomes for patients with various blood cancers. This is a rare opportunity to work on a cutting edge project that will produce high quality clinically relevant information.

The HARMONY alliance has collected data on more than 36,000 patients, including more than 11,000 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Successful candidates will join Professor Moorman and his team who have led the ALL project within HARMONY since its inception. You will be able to prove that you have successfully completed bioinformatics projects in a research environment (confirmed by publications and / or experience in a previous role) and preferably have a solid background in the field of cancer . Most importantly, you need to show intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm to apply a wide range of bioinformatics tools to understand the genetics of leukemia.

The work will involve bioinformatics support for a range of integrative analyzes and the establishment of bioinformatics pipelines. You should be a graduate in a relevant discipline eg data science, statistics, computer science, medical science or engineering, masters or doctorate degree and an interest in research would be an advantage. You should have demonstrable computer and / or data science experience and familiarity with privacy protection approaches. An understanding of data standardization and how to structure the data for future analysis would be beneficial. You will have experience in managing and analyzing data of various sizes and formats, as well as knowledge and commitment to using best practices in software development, including documentation and version control . You will work in collaboration with the principal investigators and research groups of the University of Newcastle and other HARMONY partners across Europe.

As part of our commitment to career development for fellow researchers, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles. These profiles set out on the one hand the generic skills and responsibilities expected of job holders at each level and on the other hand the general qualifications and experience necessary to access a particular level.

The position is initially funded until June 30, 2023, but we are actively seeking additional funds to continue the position beyond that date.

Main responsibilities

• Lead the development and implementation of bioinformatics pipelines to analyze patient level data stored on the HARMONY platform.
• Contribute to the analysis of HARMONY datasets using statistical, machine learning and artificial intelligence methodologies.
• Develop and maintain a suite of tools and instruments to allow other project members to query these datasets.
• Liaise with other data scientists in HARMONY to facilitate cross-cutting projects and analyzes
• Liaise with project partners to advise and implement data analysis projects and to advise / assist in data management of patient cohorts.
• Liaise with principal investigators, project managers, clinicians and industrial colleagues to provide advice and guidance on data accessibility and prepare reports for project committees and, if necessary, present these reports .
• Work both autonomously and collaboratively.
• Maintain a keen interest in research developments in data standardization and share knowledge and experience with colleagues to give direction to the project and introduce innovative methods of data harmonization.
• Access and monitor the quality of the annotated dataset;
• Work closely with less experienced members of the team and support their training and development in the design of genetic projects and bioinformatics analyzes;
• Contribute to the writing of scientific articles and seek opportunities for first author publications.
• Play a leading role in promoting the results of this research within the consortium, at medical conferences and to the general public.
• Contribute to the supervision of undergraduate and master’s student projects.

Sean N. Ayres