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Computational Biologist

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Jan 31, 2022

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Computational Biologist

Job Details

Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Clinical Research

Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
PTL Remote: 2-3 days remote/wk


Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute seeks an Computational Biologist, under the Van Allen lab (http://(see application details) to work as a data scientist on the analysis of new datasets generated in the context of multiple clinically oriented cancer sequencing projects in order help advance efforts for precision cancer medicine.

The qualified candidate will develop and support data processing and analysis tools, create new algorithms for emerging clinically focused needs with an emphasis on bulk and single cell tumor analysis, maintain datasets and databases, integrate tools and databases into existing high-throughput pipelines, and facilitate the display and the distribution of processed data.


Related projects and responsibilities will include:
  • Single cell analysis of tumor samples
  • Studies of resistance to existing and emerging cancer therapies using patient-derived data
  • Studies of patient samples for tumor behavior and clinical outcomes
  • Studies of cancer immunotherapies to develop predictors of response

These projects are collaborative efforts between the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Broad Institute, and multiple other institutions. The goals of this initiative consist of analyzing sequencing data to determine the effects of genomic alterations and expression changes on clinical behavior, both retrospectively and prospectively.

These new data could help identify novel approaches for personalized care in oncology. In addition, this data may provide support for new methods in clinical decision-making, biomarkers for rational drug development, and new insights into tumor biology through innovative analyses. The person hired for this position will join the team in this effort, and will participate in the design and implementation of algorithms to analyze the data and integrate with other data sets including clinical outcomes data.

This person will also help with the generation of tools needed for manipulating and preparing data for display; transferring data to external collaborators and data repositories; and will also help maintain, support, and document shared tools, code base, and data sets. As the software infrastructure evolves, this position is likely to present diverse and flexible opportunities - from deeper and more complex software design problems, to becoming more involved in the bioinformatic and analytic aspects of predictive modeling.


  • A B.S. or M.S. in bioinformatics, mathematical, physical, or computer science, or comparable research experience, together with significant experience in computer programming and computational biological applications.
  • A strong background in statistics and biology. Experience managing and curating large datasets and with machine learning techniques desired.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to perform both self-directed and guided research are required.
  • Must demonstrate outstanding personal initiative and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and efficiently multitask is a must.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate across a range of individuals with different comfort toward computational biology, including oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to seek out mentorship and assistance as needed, while also being a mentor to other members of the community.

  • Cancer biology background
  • Experience in R and/or Python is preferred
  • Experience with cloud computing
  • Willingness to learn new languages and tools as the field grows


This position will involve co-mentoring of students joining the group as described above, with opportunities for growth in developing multi-disciplinary teams that are project oriented.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong. As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff. Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.
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