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Royston, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-036182
Posted date: Jan. 02, 2019

Opportunity:      Principal / Senior / Genomics Software Scientist

Location:            Cambridge, UK

Salary:                Competitive & Excellent Benefits Package

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.

AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research (CGR) is now looking for an experienced genomics software scientist to support the growing genome analytics and informatics requirements of the Centre. This is an exciting opportunity to enable large-scale genomic studies among AstraZeneca’s core therapeutic areas of oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

In this role, you will design, implement and deploy scientific software and bioinformatic pipelines and workflows to support all aspects of genomics analysis done at the Centre. Recent technical experience working on genome informatics solutions will be invaluable. The Centre’s informatics capabilities are cloud-based and will handle the analysis of large-scale genomics data in an unprecedented genomics initiative, involving the analysis of up to 2 million genomes. This role will also include optimising existing capabilities and identifying opportunities, both internally and through an extensive network of partners, vendors and open source tools, to build and maintain efficient, robust and scalable solutions at the leading edge of genomics development in the field.

The successful applicant will be part of a dynamic team in CGR’s multidisciplinary genomics research environment comprising of computational biologists, genome scientists, software engineers, statistical geneticists, postdoctoral researchers, disease area specialists and clinician experts. Applicants with experience working with large volumes of genomics data in locally and/or cloud-deployed genomics solutions are highly encouraged to apply.

AstraZeneca is a science-led, global biopharmaceutical company, with a focused portfolio in core therapies. We are committed to improving the health and lives of people across the globe, through our broad research and development platform, and a growing late-stage pipeline. Working in over 100 countries, we have strength in emerging markets, and our medicines are used by millions of patients and clinicians worldwide.


  • Design, development and deployment of genomics data analysis software and bioinformatic workflows and pipelines
  • Integrating 3rd party software (commercial and open-source) with bespoke components to build end-to-end genome analytic and informatic software solutions
  • Automating processes to improve efficiency of the Centre’s interaction with genomics data
  • Assessing future scalability needs; contribute to demand planning and prioritisation
  • Developing methods of visualising, exploring and mining genomics data
  • Ensuring the high quality of the code and adherence to industry standards and best practices for all stages of software lifecycle
  • Ensuring own work, and work of team, is compliant with Good Laboratory Practice, Safety, Health and Environment standards and all other internal AstraZeneca standards and external regulations

Qualifications, Skills and Experience Required:


  • Java or Python authority.
  • Proficiency with UNIX / Linux environment including shell scripting
  • Experience working in cloud environments, for example with AWS services (RDS, S3, Glacier, Batch)
  • Knowledge of genomics community algorithms and solutions. Interest in the potential of genomics to impact drug discovery
  • Ability to prioritize, problem-solve and perform difficult tasks while working to potentially conflicting deadlines.
  • Ability to proficiently communicate with team members and non-experts, both verbally and through documentation
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and willingness to work within a team in a quickly evolving environment
  • Detailed knowledge of core computer science concepts (e.g. object-oriented design, memory management, algorithm implementation) and practices (e.g. version control, agile development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery)
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent experience) in a computational field of research, including but not limited to: computer science, bioinformatics, information systems, computational genomics or other computationally extensive scientific field.


  • Experience with modern JS framework applied to building interactive scientific visualisations, ability to create UI components and build web user interfaces
  • Comfortable using of high performance computing clusters (e.g., Slurm)
  • Proficiency in collaborative development tools such as Github, Confluence and JIRA
  • Demonstrable experience in delivering robust solutions for large-scale genomics research
  • Experience developing and deploying data analytics and informatics solutions in pharmaceutical environment
  • Experience of all phases of software development for large-scale analytical pipelines, including analytical programming, scripting and code review
  • Previous involvement in public, industry or academic genomics initiatives
  • Strong relationships with open-source communities
  • Experience with high performance computing, cloud-based bioinformatics and parallel processing
  • Demonstrable knowledge of cloud architecture and design best practices (or other distributed processing platforms)
  • Knowledge of project management and software development life cycle
  • Hands-on experience with SQL or/and non-SQL databases
  • Familiarity with database architecture, distributed computing, and high-scale back-end services such as Amazon Web Service or Google Cloud Platform
  • Experience with application of advanced analytics, including AI, in genomics.

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.

Principal / Senior / Genomics Software Scientist
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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  • Information Technology, Royston, England, United KingdomRemove