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Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-048194
Posted date: Apr. 01, 2019

Informatician, AstraZeneca R&D, Disease Knowledge Graph Team


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.  This team will transform our ability to surface key biological insights improving our understanding of oncology, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, targets and drug response.  Goals will include assembling and leveraging knowledge graphs to:

  • 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.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

As an informatician in the team, you will apply innovative approaches and develop software and automated pipelines to wrangle, connect, QC, assemble and annotate research data.   You will collaborate with domain experts to iterate, standardize and agree processes enabling efficient assembly and interrogation of knowledge graphs.  Data will include literature derived knowledge, public databases, and proprietary clinical and pre-clinical multi-layered data (including screening, NGS, multi-omics, imaging, CRISPR, clinical and EHR) in structured and unstructured forms. 

You will work alongside experimentalists to steer and improve best practices for future data collection.  You will influence Data Engineers and IT groups to optimize underlying data infrastructure.  In addition, you will help the team educate the AZ scientific community to recognize opportunities for knowledge graph analytics and adopt a data-first culture.  You will collaborate with the burgeoning Data Science community across AZ to benchmark and maximise impact, establishing best practices ensuring scientific excellence in software, processes and results.  You will be efficient and well documented to enable sharing of code, data and peer insight.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Education, ideally to graduate degree level, in a computational discipline (Computational Sciences, Engineering, Bioinformatics or similar).  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.
  • Demonstrable experience in the core competency areas:
    • FAIR data practices
    • Labelled property graph database technologies and query languages
    • RDF, SPARQL and triple/quad stores
    • Use of ontologies and dictionaries
    • Modelling data and information in graph format
    • Strong data wrangling and processing skills.
  • Experience with relevant computational tools such as Python, Shell, Javascript, HTML, C/C++, SQL/NoSQL databasing, networked and cloud-based systems, software versioning tools (e.g. Git/Github), concept maps.
  • Experience in biological research concepts, and data and information types (e.g. biological relationships, NextGen sequencing, genetics data) would be an advantage.
  • Effective collaborations involving cross-disciplinary and global teams.

Apply today to be part of something extraordinary.

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.

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

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