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Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-025307
Posted date: Dec. 13, 2018

Associate Principal Data Scientist, Lead for Artificial Intelligence

Oncology IMED Biotech Unit

Cambridge, UK

At AstraZeneca we turn ideas into life changing medicines. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality.

The vision of AstraZeneca Oncology is to redefine cancer, redefine our solutions to cancer, and restore patients' lives.  To achieve this, we have an exciting and diverse portfolio combining agents targeting tumor cell drivers/dependencies and the tumor microenvironment and immune response.  We are generating clinical and pre-clinical multi-omic data sets to advance precision medicine and drive a new generation of cancer targets. 

The Oncology Bioinformatics group work within cross-disciplinary drug project teams throughout the discovery and translational pipeline, driving new target discovery, pre-clinical and clinical research.  The global group, currently 14 full time positions plus graduates and post-docs, spans the UK and US.  

Excitingly the group is continuing to expand and diversify.  We are opening a new branch of “disease and data science”, dedicated to disease centric pan-portfolio projects, and harnessing Artificial Intelligence and deep mathematical techniques within our research.  We have a fantastic opportunity for a talented and motivated individual to become technical leader of this space and drive innovation in our portfolio, working alongside the resident domain expertise in bioinformatics and genomics.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

You will interact with drug project bioscience and translational science teams to understand their data and scientific challenges and identify new areas to impactfully apply data science, and design and drive project delivery.  To achieve this you will educate the AZ Oncology community to recognize opportunities for AI and adopt a data-first culture, work alongside domain experts to design projects, and collaborate with informaticians to optimize underlying data infrastructure.

As the lead Data Scientist in oncology research you will maintain awareness of stat-of-the-art applications of AI and engage leadership to design and influence strategic decisions.  You will identify and lead external interactions with opinion leaders in the field, and grow our external reputation by publishing innovative methodologies and scientific discoveries.

You will be supervising and mentoring 2 or more data scientists, directing their day-to-day scientific and technical delivery, as well as influencing and training all members of the bioinformatics team to effectively use AI.  You will be firmly engaged with the burgeoning Data Science community across AZ to both learn from and establish best practices for AI, sharing code and peer insight.

Alongside technical leadership of AI, you will also lead disease centric research and pan-portfolio projects from the team, including:

  • Integrating multi-layered patient and disease model data to identify molecularly and phenotypically distinct tumor segments.
  • Discovery and validation of new drug targets.
  • Discovery and characterisation of multi-model drug combination opportunities.

Minimum Requirements:

Minimum Requirements:

  • An enthusiasm to explore non-traditional approaches to bring big data together in meaningful ways.
  • Training to PhD (or equivalent) level in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science or similar; plus some postdoctoral or applied experience.
  • An excellent communicator of complex data and methods to a non-expert, with a strong network and effective collaboration.
  • Experience solving data problems with machine learning and AI to reveal actionable insight, with deep expertise in at least one of:
    • Deep learning.
    • Transfer and reinforcement learning.
    • Natural language processing.
  • Broad expertise with mathematical and statistical techniques for analysis of big data.  Experience with Bayesian methods (probabilistic programming, Gaussian processes) would be a plus.
  • Research impact recognised through publication.
  • Experience working with biological/health data e.g. genomics, tissue imaging, health records or scientific reports.
  • Programming proficiency, ideally with Python, R and MATLAB, version control (Git/Bitbucket), and databases (SQL as well as NoSQL).
  • Working in a Linux environment, with experience of cluster or cloud computing (e.g. AWS or Azure) and machine/deep learning platforms and frameworks.

Next Steps – Apply today!

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, gender or gender orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

Associate Principal Data Scientist, Lead for Artificial Intelligence

AstraZeneca in the UK

Our 6,700-strong UK workforce is based across seven sites in the UK, including our new research facilities and global corporate headquarters in Cambridge. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) is globally renowned as a leading centre of research, education and patient care. For AstraZeneca, the campus is the perfect environment in which to foster a vibrant culture of open innovation and collaboration.

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