AstraZeneca

Senior Scientist - Epigenomics, Translational Medicine, R&D

Location
England, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Salary
Negotiable
Posted
15 Feb 2021
Closes
15 Mar 2021
Ref
R-100531
Contact
AstraZeneca
Discipline
R & D
Hours
Full Time
Contract Type
Permanent
Experience Level
Experienced (non-manager)

We are seeking an experienced Senior Scientist to join our Translational Epigenomics team in Cambridge, UK. The successful candidate would be joining a world class centre for discovery and development of innovative cancer medicines. Based at the heart of the Cambridge UK biomedical research community you will play a key role in the delivery of data utilizing cutting edge epigenomics techniques! You will add value to an expanding epigenetics pipeline by delivering data on novel technologies that enables their use in our Translational Medicine clinical trials program. You will directly impact your Translational Medicine colleagues by engaging with them to understand the opportunities for novel epigenetic biomarker analysis that complements current genomic analyses and can reveal non-genetic causes of response and/or resistance.

The Translational Medicine Epigenomics Team is focused on identifying, evaluating and deploying the tools required for epigenome analysis of clinical samples in oncology projects. This new team has recently led the development and deployment of a Whole Genome Methylation Sequencing pipeline for discovery projects. Analysis of gene-specific and targeted-panel methylation requires internalisation of assays or identification of, and contracting with, academic or contract research lab 3rd parties. The successful applicant will also be involved in epigenome analysis of circulating tumour DNA for epigenomic liquid biopsy for use in response monitoring, MRD and early detection of cancer. The Translational Medicine Team generate data to help understand key cancer pathway alterations, guide rational drug combinations, provide disease linkage data to guide indication selection and targeted patient populations, and use serial sample analysis to understand the dynamics of response/resistance to therapies

Major Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

  • Work with Translational Medicine Leads to understand the epigenomic biomarker needs of their studies, develop biomarker plans exploiting the most appropriate technologies/assays, and help execute those plans; provide scientific troubleshooting on epigenomic biomarker assays as required with input from TMLs and technical specialists
  • Contribute to the development of our internal epigenomics capabilities and implementation of new epigenomic assays or technologies
  • Conceptualize, develop, and execute evaluations of new epigenomic platforms, vendors, and emerging technologies; lead evaluation, selection, due diligence and partnering with 3rd party laboratories for delivery of diagnostic assays
  • Provide technical advice and epigenomic biomarker consultation, internally and externally
  • Work with team members and aligned production informatics and bioinformatics specialists to support data analysis/QC, interpretation and communication back to project team
  • Draw up Statements of Work and work-plans to support new exploratory biomarker analyses on clinical trial samples
  • Work with commercial partners to plan, procure, deliver and analyse epigenomic data via external labs
  • Generate data in a modern genomics lab utilising Automation, DNA/RNA extraction, NGS, digital PCR, and other platforms
  • Utilise a sample management system, LIMS, and other software and communication tools to track samples, monitor progress, and record data
  • Maintain appropriate documentation, be aligned with all internal and external policies and legal requirements around use of clinical samples, consent, and privacy
  • Regularly publish in peer-reviewed journals, present internally and externally to maximise the impact of your work

Essential skills:

  • Degree in a relevant subject area (preferably PhD/DPhil)
  • Hands-on experience utilising advanced molecular biology techniques (academic or industrial setting); particularly in epigenomics
  • Experience of cancer genomics and analysis of oncology clinical specimens
  • Evidence of effective problem-solving / troubleshooting
  • Ability to manage a portfolio of work, prioritize, and deliver to agreed time and quality with meticulous attention to detail

Desirable skills:

  • Peer-reviewed publications in the epigenome/cancer biology/cancer genomics field
  • Working with DNA/RNA from human clinical materials such as formalin fixed paraffin-embedded tissues and plasma (circulating cell-free DNA/cfDNA).
  • Hands-on laboratory experience in genome technologies
  • Developing and running assays (e.g. mutation/copy number) using digital PCR
  • Conducting work to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) within a regulatory /quality framework (e.g. ISO 15189-, CAP-, CLIA-accredited lab environment).
  • Assay development for NGS platforms
  • Analysis and interpretation of NGS data

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