Senior Bioinformatician / Bioinformatics Analyst

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is looking for a Senior Bioinformatician/Bioinformatics Analyst to contribute to the development of a world-class bioinformatics platforms in cancer genomics. As a successful candidate, you will work closely with its product owners and software engineers to deliver an ambitious roadmap, building the new Kids First Data Portal ( and enhancing our existing projects such as the International Cancer Genome Consortium Data Portal ( or the Genomics Data Common Data Portal ( These high-profile data portals provide the research community with advanced and innovative computational tools to access, mine, and visualize the largest cancer genomic datasets produced by DNA sequencing centers worldwide to ultimately cure cancer.

This full-time position is primarily focused on implementation of a variety of projects, including software development, bioinformatics support, enterprise architecture and process re-engineering.

Having a strong understanding of the data, the candidate must be able to understand how to translate it into features meaningful to our users, and prepare specification for our software development team. This position is the cornerstone of our implementation team, “Jack of all trades”, a successful candidate must have expertise in Bioinformatics, Business Analysis and Software Development, ultimately closing the loop, starting from a feature request, moving towards specifications ready to be worked on by software developers.

For example, if requested to implement new online visualization tools for some genomic features (e.g. alternative splicing), the candidate must be able to:

  • Already be familiar or quickly gain a good understanding of its meaning;
  • Understand source data and its location;
  • Understand which type of data transformation is necessary (i.e. modification of the ETL pipeline);
  • Implement a PoC or directly supervise a software developer to implement a PoC (depending of the feature scale);
  • Produce dummy data to be used by our software developers during initial stages;
  • Demonstrate and explain the feature to the team (technical) and stakeholders (high-level);
  • Prepare technical specifications and wireframes for software developers.

We are looking for a talented individual with a passion for big data, data mining and visualization. If you are passionate about the field and want to become part of a team building complex environments from the ground up, just get in touch. Want to learn more about our team and projects ? Check out:

If selected for a phone/in-person interview, technical (whiteboard) questions will be asked based on your profile.


  • Provide technical support to project members with data related topic;
  • Develop technical plan and implement tools/workflows for data quality control, data validation and reporting;
  • Explore public biological databases and open source bioinformatics tools, suggest integration approaches and build prototype to evaluate/fine-tune integration plan;
  • Analyze, document requirements and prepare functional/non-functional specifications such that appropriate solutions can be implemented;
  • Participate to software testing and quality assurance;
  • Participate in the design and integration of new data types and novel visualization tools.


  • BSc or MSc. in bioinformatics, computational biology or computer sciences with significant bioinformatics experience;
  • Experience with bioinformatics resources, databases, tools and common standard formats;
  • Demonstrated programming skills using Python or Java in large-scale projects;
  • Knowledge of XML, JSON and relational database modeling;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Be highly proactive, self-motivated and detail-oriented.


  • Experience with user support;
  • Experience in software development;
  • Working experience in analysing large genomics datasets (raw sequencing data, gene expression, germline and somatic mutational events, copy number variants, methylation, etc.);
  • Experience in designing relational database schema and good knowledge of big data solutions (e.g. ElasticSearch, MongoDB, Apache Spark etc).

OICR is an innovative cancer research institute located in the MaRS Centre in the Discovery District in downtown Toronto. OICR is addressing significant challenges in cancer research with multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional teams. New discoveries to prevent, detect and treat cancer will be moved from the bench to practical applications in patients. The OICR team is growing quickly. We are innovative, dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals interested in being part of a culture of excellence that will result in Ontario being recognized internationally as a leading jurisdiction for cancer research.

Launched in December 2005, OICR is an independent institute funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at

POSTED DATE: August 29, 2017
CLOSING DATE: Until Filled

OICR is an inclusive employer dedicated to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and will accommodate applicants’ needs throughout all stages of the recruitment and selection process. Please advise the Recruiter to ensure your accessibility needs are accommodated throughout this process. Information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted.