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Current Opportunities

Senior Analyst, Ontario Tumour Bank - Toronto, Ontario

Position: Senior Analyst, Ontario Tumour Bank
Site: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Ontario Tumour Bank
Reports To: Director, Ontario Tumour Bank
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Status: Full-time Permanent

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Senior Analyst to coordinate all aspects relating to the Ontario Tumour Bank’s data.  The Ontario Tumour Bank (OTB) is a world-class biorepository, which carefully collects cancer specimens for use in high-impact research.  OTB has consented over 20,000 donors and has shared over 35,000 specimens with researchers all around the world. To do this, OTB is partnered with four hospitals around the province to collect, preserve, store, and distribute high-quality biospecimens and derivatives, comprehensively annotated with de-identified clinical data for research.  Learn more here: www.ontariotumourbank.ca.

Who are you:  You are quality focused, driven to follow best practice, and think creatively about solutions to problems.  Challenges are fun. You can create an SQL query to dig for the information you need, and then find joy in making it look great and make sense for the rest of the team.  You understand the fundamentals of relational databases especially with respect to managing clinical data.  You like working on your own and with a team.  You are comfortable communicating between different groups and stakeholders, inside and outside of the organization, and fostering positive relationships.  You care about cancer research and making a difference in patient’s lives. 

Why should you be here:  OTB has an excellent reputation globally as a top-notch biobank. It makes a difference in cancer research and has directly supported nearly 300 research projects, not just in Ontario, but world-wide.  OTB is considered to be a thought-leader and collaborates with other biobank leaders to develop the sub-sector further. There is a lot of opportunity to learn and develop new skills. The team locally at OICR is small but mighty – we accomplish a lot and make a big impact. 


Manage and coordinate technical support for the development, deployment and ongoing improvement of the OTB's software application and website:

  • Manage relationship and efforts of a software vendor who provides a distributed database and a single, central data repository (BIMS, e.g., TissueMetrix). Escalate issues, and influence software enhancements to meet OTB and end-user requirements. Provide functional requirements, testing and user training.
  • Manage the functional relationship between the software vendor, the hosting institution and the four participating hospitals to coordinate ongoing maintenance, upgrades and enhancements to the IT infrastructure.
  • Receive and resolve technical issues referred by OICR and collection centre staff. Ensure issues are identified, tracked, reported on and resolved in a timely manner.  Escalate issues to the vendor or hosting institution, as required.
  • Analyze current system design in light of current and future program requirements, and make recommendations and coordinate the implementation of approved solutions.
  • Perform application testing, approve new builds and versions, coordinate change requests, coordinate upgrades, train users on changes and new features and update documentation and training material.
  • Coordinate with internal OICR groups to maintain and enhance the OTB program website and monitor website usage.

Provide analysis and reporting services to support sample and data distribution, program operations, management decision-making and external reporting:

  • Design, develop and maintain complex queries and reports for sample searches and clinical data reports.
  • Implement data de-identification guidelines that are compliant with PHIPA and current best practices. Ensure all data disclosures are compliant with OTB and OICR policies.
  • Generate and customize database reports for performance indicators (e.g., monthly inventory/distribution graphs, board and ministry reporting)
  • Develop ad hoc queries and reports as required to support program operations and decision-making.

Manage a comprehensive data repository, overseeing the collection of data from participating hospitals and potential integration of linked data from additional sources (e.g., Cancer Care Ontario), ensuring the high quality and completeness of data, and leading data management policy development and implementation to ensure all activities are compliant with privacy legislation (PHIPA) and OICR and OTB policies:

  • Develop and maintain user manuals, training materials and SOPs for software application and data collection.
  • Train and support all OTB staff on the software application and on data collection standards (on-site training with new users, and ongoing support in person/email/phone).
  • Maintain and enhance a peer-review data audit program including SOP and related documentation. Coordinate and oversee the annual audit, summarize and respond to audit reports, identify potential quality issues and schedule follow up activities as required (data correction, re-audit, additional training, software changes, updates to training materials).
  • Plan and facilitate provincial data collection training meetings (identify training requirements, create agenda, develop training materials and exercises, facilitate meeting, circulate minutes, update training materials and coordinate software modifications as required).
  • Analyse, make recommendations and implement changes to data elements collected to increase efficiency and quality while maintaining a comprehensive data set that will maximize the value and use of samples and data.

Lead the development of OTB's informatics by managing informatics and data-related projects including planning, implementation and ongoing maintenance. Current projects/processes include:

  • Developing a process for capturing biomarker information in the database.
  • Gather and document requirements, develop, manage and monitor project plans, schedules, status reports and budgets.
  • Key contact for and coordinate the efforts of all participating vendors and groups.
  • Manage the implementation, transition to operations and ongoing maintenance of new solutions and applications.
  • Participate and contribute to the ongoing growth and development of the program and provide key leadership relating to the IT development of the program.
  • Potentially creating a linked database with other databases, or enabling automated data collection from EHRs.

Coordinate the PHIPA compliance activities:

  • Conduct regular privacy audits to ensure compliance to policy.
  • Ensure all logs and records are complete and archived.
  • Trigger annual privacy and security re-training for the team.
  • Coordinate the Triennial IPC Reviews and work closely with the Privacy Officer to prepare the submission.

Other duties:

  • Other duties may include those needed for the ongoing growth, development and execution of the Ontario Tumour Bank program.
  • There will be some overlap in duties and skills expected with the Ontario Tumour Bank Snr. Client Coordinator including: Completing sample search reports and data reports for client researchers; Communicating with client researchers to fulfil their project requirements.


  • Three (3) to five (5) years of work experience in health care or science-related field preferred; familiarity with clinical field of oncology and/or molecular genetic techniques, while not essential, would be a definite asset.
  • Undergraduate degree in Health Informatics (or similar), required
  • Understanding of relational database design (required)
  • Advanced SQL querying (e.g., Crystal Reports) (required)
  • Strong ability to manipulate data with spreadsheet, database, and other analytical software (required)
  • Ability to use Microsoft Office Suite (high-proficiency), MS SharePoint, and MS Access.
  • Familiarity with Biobanking Information Management systems (BIMS) or other data management software (e.g., LIMS) (asset, not required)
  • Knowledge of clinical oncology and medical terminology, experience working with hospital and cancer registry data. (major asset)
  • Knowledge of project management methodology. Project management training and/or certification. (asset)
  • Business analysis training and/or certification. (requirements gathering, user acceptance testing) (asset)
  • Experience with software troubleshooting and support, vendor relationship management, implementing upgrades and new software. (asset)
  • Working knowledge of PHIPA and current privacy and information security best practices. In-depth knowledge of current data de-identification best practices (preferred)
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills with the ability to systematically analyze situations/issues, identify options, draw logical conclusions and determine/recommend practical courses of action.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, technical writing, and training skills.
  • Excellent customer relations and client service oriented; superb analytical, problem recognition and problem solving skills.
  • Must be very diligent with excellent attention to detail and a keen ability to catch errors.
  • Must be compliance focused to adhere to privacy regulation, ethics standards, biobanking Best Practices, and internal policies/procedures.
  • Must have outstanding record keeping skills.

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 Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

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

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.

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume and cover letter 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 .pdf or .doc file.