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Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Waltham, Massachusetts, United States
Job reference: R-048191
Posted date: Jun. 14, 2019

At AstraZeneca, we are united by a common purpose: to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines. Our work helps to make hearts healthier, helps people breathe easier, and helps more people survive cancer. Every single day, we make a difference by delivering potentially life-changing medicines to millions of people worldwide.  We have an exciting opportunity for someone passionate about the power of data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a catalyst for change.

A significant investment in state-of-the-art data science and AI is at the forefront of our recently launched AZ2025 innovation programme.  This will include assembly of teams to deliver a FAIR science data foundation, AI-augmented drug design, and data science led biological insights.  As part of this initiative you will support us in positioning AstraZeneca at the forefront of drug discovery, developing techniques to augment and transform how we discover and develop new medicines in future.

We are assembling a new team committed to building and analysing disease knowledge graphs, comprising data scientists, bioinformaticians, data wranglers, data engineers and graph engineers.  Data will include literature derived knowledge, public data sources, and proprietary clinical and pre-clinical multi-layered data (including screening, NGS, multi-omics, imaging, CRISPR, clinical and EHR) and reports.  This team will transform our ability to surface key biological insights improving our understanding of oncology, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, targets and drug response.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

As a bioinformatician in the team, you will apply innovative approaches to connect and interpret the biological significance in data to: validate assertions between drugs, targets and disease processes for incorporation into knowledge graphs; interrogate these graphs to reveal actionable biological insight impacting research and clinical practices including

  • Discovery of novel drug targets.
  • Pattern identification defining distinct patient groups and biomarkers.
  • Understanding drug mechanism of action and safety.
  • Building predictive models for precision medicine.

You will help the team educate the AZ scientific community to recognize opportunities for knowledge graph analytics and adopt a data-first culture, working alongside domain experts to design projects.  You will collaborate with the burgeoning Data Science community across AZ to benchmark and maximise impact, establishing best practices for knowledge graph and bioinformatics, sharing code and peer insight.  You will steer and improve best practices for future data generation, and influence IT and informatics groups to optimize underlying data infrastructure.

You will maintain awareness of state-of-the-art applications of knowledge graphs for drug discovery and influence strategic decision of the group.  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.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Education to graduate degree level (e.g. Masters, preferably PhD) combining life science (e.g. biology, medical) and a quantitative or computational discipline.  Positions are available for both new graduates, and for individuals with several years of applied experience.
  • Motivated to explore non-traditional approaches to find meaning in big data for health.
  • A deep understanding of the molecular drivers of human diseases, experience in drug discovery would be an advantage.
  • Expertise with biological/health data, especially NGS and other ‘omic technologies.
  • Broad expertise using a range of bioinformatics tools to uncover actionable insight, ideally skilled in network biology or causal inference techniques.
  • Experience modelling data and information for graph/network representation, inc. use of ontologies and dictionaries.
  • Skilled in effective communication of complex data and methods to a non-expert.
  • Impact recognised through publication.
  • Experience with relevant computational tools such as R/R Shiny, Python, Shell, SQL/NoSQL databasing, networked and cloud-based systems, software versioning tools (e.g. Git/Github), concept maps.
  • Strong network and effective collaborations involving cross-disciplinary and global teams.

Apply today to be part of something extraordinary.

Location: Cambridge, UK or Waltham, US

Salary: Competitive + Excellent Benefits

Closing Date: Friday 12th July 2019

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.


Bioinformatician, AstraZeneca R&D, Disease Knowledge Graph Team
Information Technology

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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