Senior Director, Head of Bioinformatics (TDE) - Oncology R&D

AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

At AstraZeneca, we are committed to advancing the science of oncology to deliver life-changing medicines to patients most in need. With a combination-focused pipeline that exploits the power of six scientific platforms (Immuno-Oncology, Tumor Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response, Antibody-drug Conjugates, Cell Therapy and Epigenetics) to help address unmet clinical needs in a host of cancers, we are motivated by a dedication to the scientific discovery and collaboration that will one day help eliminate cancer as a cause of death. We currently have nearly 100 Phase 1, 2, 3 and Lifecycle Management Oncology projects in our robust pipeline. We deliver the Research & Development for Oncology through our Oncology R&D Unit. This unit has responsibility for the value chain from discovery through to late-stage development, enabling rapid acceleration of promising early-stage assets and life-cycle management programs. 

The Oncology Data Science group delivers data-driven, impactful insights to enable decision making through the application of innovative computational science to all areas of AstraZeneca’s Oncology portfolio. The group has substantial and broad expertise and a world-class track record in bioinformatics and data science, undertaking both portfolio applied informatics research and the development of cutting edge and field-leading capabilities. This group has a unique role to play in the adoption of computational/data driven approaches to the drug discovery process. If this sounds like an environment you are passionate about, AstraZeneca might be the one for you.  

This role could be located in either Cambridge UK, Waltham MA, or Gaithersburg MD, US. 

The Oncology Data Science team is growing to meet the strategic challenges pursued by Oncology R&D. There exists an opportunity for a hardworking and motivated scientist to take on leadership of the bioinformatics team focused on our pipeline of new medicines in the tumour drivers, DNA damage & repair and Epigenetics (TDE) and Haematology portfolio. This post is essential to the effective advancement of our portfolio and will directly contribute to the delivery of new medicines that impact patients lives. To do this you will: 


  • Lead a group of ~20 bioinformaticians across our 4 sites (Cambridge UK, Boston MA, Gaithersburg MD & Barcelona Spain)  

  • Use your expertise in cancer biology/drug discovery and bioinformatics to guide the team to deliver critical, robust, actionable insight into target biology, drug mechanism of action/resistance and patient selection strategies. 

  • Develop & maintain exceptionally close partnerships with the TDE & Haems Discovery, Functional Genomics and Translational Medicine groups, shaping the data science strategy accordingly. 

  • Partner across the Oncology Data Science department to realise the potential of data science & AI in drug discovery, championing the need and application of novel technologies to portfolio science. 

  • Be an active member of the leadership team, defining multi-year strategy and delivering our people & development initiatives to make Oncology Data Science a great place to work. 

  • Form effective collaborations with industry and academic partners, publish your work in high impact journals, and lead across the AZ data science community to develop best practice in bioinformatics.  


Essential for the role  

  • Relevant PhD (or equivalent graduate degree plus proven applied experience), combining technical expertise in bioinformatics, computational biology or a closely related field with significant applied experience and expertise in cancer biology and drug discovery. 

Leadership -

  • A proven track record of :
  • Building and leading interdisciplinary teams, fostering collaboration between bioinformaticians, biologists, clinicians, AI scientists, and other stakeholders to achieve integrated solutions. 

  • Engaging with senior executives, cross-functional teams and external partners, effectively communicating complex data to drive decision making. 

  • Driving innovation in bioinformatics methodologies, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, and leading teams to develop novel approaches for complex biological challenges. 

  • Developing and communicating a strategic vision for bioinformatics research, aligning with overall organisation goals and industry trends. 


  • Significant experience in leading global bioinformatics teams, understanding cultural nuances, and managing diverse talent across regions, fostering a collaborative and inclusive global bioinformatics community. 

  • Strong commitment to mentorship and talent development, nurturing the skills and capabilities of team members, and fostering a culture of learning and growth within the bioinformatics team. 

  • Experience of resource allocation & optimisation to ensure efficient execution on team priorities. 

  • An established reputation as a thought leader in bioinformatics, contributing to the advancement of the field through research publications, patents, and participation in industry forums. 

  • A deep understanding of the biological basis of cancer, the oncology drug discovery process, and the competitive landscape. 

  • Familiarity with the latest approaches in AI, data science, mathematical modelling and their application in drug development.

So, what’s next?

Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you!

Competitive salary and benefits package on offer.

The successful candidate will have access to a flexible employee benefits fund, including holiday purchase and flexible time off, pension contributions, Share Save plans, A performance recognition scheme and a competitive, generous remuneration package.

Where can I find out more?

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AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.

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