Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cancer Data Science

Job Details

Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cancer Data Science
University of California Los Angeles

Requisition Number: JPF07220

The newly formed Cancer Data Sciences group at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Jonsson Cancer Centre is seeking a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cancer Data Science: Algorithm Development. The successful candidate will have a PhD in computational biology, statistics, computer science or an equivalent quantitative discipline. They will be working with a broad team of quantitative analysts, including Statisticians, Data Scientists, Clinical and Basic Science trainees, and a broad range of collaborators. They will drive the development and application of new quantitative strategies to improve our understanding and ability to treat cancer, working with cutting edge molecular and imaging datasets. They will be passionate about generating high-quality results, linking development of new methods directly to cutting-edge datasets ranging from DNA, RNA and protein sequencing to clinical data, digital pathology and radiomics. They will have a track-record of success with peer-reviewed research demonstrating a careful approach that identifies potential confounders and sources of bias, and reproducible analyses with high-quality source-code. They will apply their skills to projects that will be customized to the technical, personal and career aspirations of the candidate, but can range from biomarker development to new technologies to systems biology to machine-learning. Our team works with a broad range of approaches ranging from convolutional neural networks through to statistical modeling and systems biology approaches. The methods developed will be executed at scale in robust computational pipelines to analyze patient cohorts ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of individuals on both local HPC and cloud-based computing environments. This will entail working closely with others, including Bioinformaticians to ensure reproducibility and generalizability. Our datasets comprise petabytes, and are growing rapidly, linked to key clinical endpoints and covering almost all tumour types. While a strong background in biology or cancer biology is beneficial, for this role very strong quantitative skills are essential. Strong scientific communication skills, orally and in writing as well as in designing high-quality scientific data-visualizations, are very valuable, and significant training and support will be given in this area. The successful candidate will be helping us perform research that will transform the lives of cancer patients.

Your responsibilities will be to use your biological and data science skills to analyze large datasets, including identification of key features using established or new pipelines, statistical and machine-learning analyses, data visualization, and written & oral reporting to translational, biologic, translational and clinical teams. Your work may focus on a single tumour type, or may cover a broad range, focusing on a subset of data types. You may work with molecular (WGS, panel-sequencing, RNA-Seq, proteomic) and/or imaging (digital pathology, radiomic) data, and practical experience in one of these two areas is a major asset. You will typically have one to two major and potentially some minor projects at any point in time. We are in a rapid growth-phase, and the successful candidate will be involved in hiring of new team members, and supporting their training and on-boarding. Beyond your strong inter-personal skills and computer science background, you will have experience with implementation skills at least one of C/C++, R, Perl or Python. You will be comfortable in UNIX/Linux environments and producing well-documented code. A core background in statistics is key, and supplementation with advanced understanding of time-to-event analyses, Bayesian statistics or machine-learning is beneficial. Experience with cloud-computing or HPC is a major asset. Recent publications from previous trainees in this team have included:

Sinha A et al. (2019) “The Proteogenomic Landscape of Curable Prostate Cancer” Cancer Cell (PMID: 30889379)
Chen S et al. (2019) “Widespread and Functional RNA Circularization in Localized Prostate Cancer” Cell (PMID: 30735634)
Bhandari V et al. (2019) “Molecular Landmarks of Tumour Hypoxia” Nature Genetics (PMID: 30643250)
Haider S et al. (2018) “Pathway-Based Biomarkers Enable Cross-Disease Biomarker Discovery” Nature Communications (PMID: 30420699)
Espiritu SMG et al. (2018) “The Evolutionary Landscape of Localized Prostate Cancers Drives Clinical Aggression” Cell (PMID: 29681457)
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The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy,


Working at University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1919 and is the second oldest of the ten campuses affiliated with the University of California system. UCLA offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines and enrolls about 26,000 undergraduate and about 12,000 graduate students from the United States and around the world every year.

UCLA features the College of Letters and Science, seven general campus professional schools, and four professional schools for the health sciences. The UCLA College of Letters and Science has 34 academic departments and 900 faculty, and houses the majority of UCLA's 129 undergraduate majors as well as the students in the Graduate Division of Letters and Sciences. The UCLA College Honors Program is also housed in the College. The College of Letters and Science's programs are divided into five academic divisions: humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and the International Institute. UCLA also offers certificate programs, undergraduate degree-credit and continuing education credits for non-full-time students through its UCLA Extension education program.

The 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked UCLA as the 24th best university in the nation and 32nd best in the world. In the 2007 edition of U.S. News and World Report, UCLA Medical Center was ranked best in the West, as well as one of the top 3 hospitals in the United States alongside Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 15 of the 16 medical specialty areas examined, UCLA Medical Center ranked in the top 20.

The campus' location in Los Angeles makes excursions to local museums, theaters, or other entertainment venues relatively quick and easy.

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