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Research Associate - Toronto, Ontario

Position:  Research Associate – Production Bioinformatics
Site:   MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department:  Informatics & Bio-computing 
Reports To:  Manager, Sequencing Production Bioinformatics
Salary:  Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 Hrs/week
Status:  Full-time, Permanent 

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Production Bioinformatician for the Sequencing Production Bioinformatics team. The Bioinformatician functions in an intermediate technical role that requires an individual with proven skills in both biology and computing, and who is dedicated to supporting a mulitdisciplinary team of scientists, laboratory technicians, and informatics professionals.

The Production Bioinformatician will provide support for the management and analysis of next-generation sequencing data and the operation of a high-throughput production sequencing data analysis pipelines in OICR’s 5600+ core HPC computing environment.

The responsibilities include:

  • Ensure the NG sequencing software pipeline is consistently, reliably, efficiently and correctly processing data;
  • Develop scalable processes that optimize the flow, management, and resource utilization of NG sequencing data throughout the data lifecycle;
  • Ensure that data is managed efficiently, securely, and without loss or corruption through its lifecycle;
  • Perform initial stage analysis on next-generation sequencing data transforming data from sequence to information meaningful for biologists;
  • Automate data management and analysis processes;
  • Ensure the production LIMS, Seqware, and other production information systems are operational and meeting the day to day needs of the research laboratory team;
  • Provide bioinformatics support and training to end-users (research laboratory staff, remotely located collaborative users);
  • Responsible for researching, planning, implementing, and testing bioinformatics software tools that meet the analysis needs for specific collaborative projects
  • Expected to interact with collaborative research groups to explain next-generation sequencing capabilities and limitations, advise on experimental design, and present findings tools, techniques
  • Work with 3rd party software vendors to characterize and resolve problems with production software systems;
  • Responsible for documenting and communicating pipeline processes and building the team knowledge base.


  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in related discipline, with demonstrated experience in the skill set;
  • Must have advanced skills in Unix shell programming environment;
  • Proficiency with some Unix based scripting language (Perl, Python etc.) required;
  • Competence with general purpose software development languages such as C, C++, Java preferred;
  • Must have excellent communications and interpersonal skills;
  • Willingness to be accessible and respond to production pipeline issues outside of normal working hours;
  • Experience supporting a high availability production software environment; 
  • Experience providing end-user software support, diagnosing and resolving end-user issues;
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary team environment;
  • Experience with the Illumina HiSeq and MiSeq, Life Technologies Ion Torrent and Ion Proton, or Pacific Biosciences RS sequencing platforms is highly desirable.

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 and Innovation.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

POSTED DATE:   September 11, 2014
CLOSING DATE:  Posted until filled

OICR has a diverse workforce and is an equal opportunity employer.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted. 
Resume Format:  If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume so that you can cut and paste it into the application box provided. Before you submit the completed application, you will be asked to attach one or two files to your application.  Please attach your resume as a .doc file.

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