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Astellas Pharma Associate Director, Bio-informatics Engineer in Northbrook, Illinois

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at www.astellas.com .

Astellas is announcing a Asc Director Translational Science Data Strategy & Alliances opportunity. This position is based in Northbrook, Illinois. Remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas' Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose:

The Associate Director-level Bioinformatics Engineer is responsible for innovating software-based tools and workflows that enable translational science at Astellas, an organization focusing in emerging areas of discovery research including regenerative medicine, mitochondrial diseases, immuno-oncology, and cell & gene therapies. This role will work within a team of bioinformatics scientists and data scientists to create digital solutions that creatively package algorithms, data science workflows and data assets into digital experiences that serve Astellas R&D community and enable more efficient execution for projects in discovery through early development phases of the drug development life cycle. This role will leverage scientific, technical and analytical skillsets to innovate algorithms, methods, and workflows, translate them into re-usable software, and collaborate with other internal teams to scale and maintain these digital solutions.

This role will work closely with fellow TS-DSA team members, the Digital Research Solutions unit, the broader Advanced Informatics & Analytics (AIA) division, and the broader Astellas organization across the globe to innovate, develop, and deploy digital experiences that enhance translational science at Astellas.

This role will collaborate closely with discovery and early development functions within Astellas, therefore this role must be comfortable integrating with multidisciplinary teams and be technically & scientifically multi-lingual with expertise in software development, data science, bioinformatics, open source software tools and/or technology with a passion for biology and medicine in order to be successful. This role will work closely with the Astellas' discovery and early development research scientists, as well as with the bioinformaticians, data scientists, statisticians and broader core R&D teams, and will help develop digital solutions that help unlock Astellas' objectives to decipher the molecular & pathway underpinnings of disease in order identify targets, leveraging various drug modalities to design new molecular entities, identify rational therapeutic combinations, prioritize indications and subsegments of patient populations for treatment, and inform the design and conducting of clinical trials to increase success of the early POC studies.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Prototype, develop and deploy accurate, maintainable, and well-architected software tools and digital solutions that serve the needs of the R&D community at Astellas

  • Define requirements for new computational methods and software based on identified needs of internal and external stakeholders

  • Work collaboratively within a cross-disciplinary environment and serve as a software innovation SME to continuously enhance our digital experiences with an emphasis on quality, software-enabled automation

  • Collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders to prioritize and productize new analytical methods, dashboards, software tools, and workflows that enable efficiencies for the organization

  • Leverage computational biology, machine learning, and bioinformatics skillsets to support drug discovery and early development through data-driven and digital approaches

  • Work synergistically with the fellow leaders to manage the portfolio and set project priorities

  • Serve as a player-coach to lead and influence talent in a highly matrixed environment talent

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Support the Head of Translational Sciences Data Strategy & Alliances by designing and implementing a software development strategy using the TS-DSA and broader Digital Research Solution unit's project portfolio as input

  • Innovate and deliver prototypes that embed data and analytics into digital solutions that enable efficiencies throughout the organization, and help transition these prototypes into productization by collaborating with digital solutions teams within AIA and broader Astellas

  • Evaluate commercial and open source tools, incorporate them into our software strategy

  • Collaborate with data scientists and bioinformaticians to engineer and incorporate best-in-class algorithms

  • Collaborate with discovery, translational, and biomarker scientists to design effective solutions (e.g., search, visualization, analysis, interpretation, simulation) to facilitate their work with the outputs of our tools and platforms

  • Provide data, digital, and analytical support to discovery and early development projects to inform the data, digital, analytical roadmap for R&D

  • Assist the Head of TS-DSA to grow the portfolio of incoming projects by building strategic scientifically- and technically-aligned collaborations with Astellas colleagues, particularly USA-based research affiliates and early development functions, and external partners to advance TS-DSA initiatives as appropriate

  • Assist as a Subject Matter Expert in managing vendor relationships and influencing decision making in regards to those relationships

  • Mentor new employees and interns towards making impact and ensuring team & divisional annual objectives are on-track and/or accelerated

  • Assist in managing relevant contract and/or professional services resources to ensure project execution to stakeholder satisfaction

Quantitative Dimensions:

The Associate Director, Bioinformatics Engineer supports the use of data, digital, and advanced analytical techniques to address key discovery and development questions across the life cycle of drug development. They are responsible for designing and developing software tools and platforms that enhance the productivity of broader Astellas functions to conduct target & disease identification, data-driven prioritization based on quantification, mechanistic insights, patient characterization, identification of key patient segments within a disease area based on symptoms, comorbidities and underlying molecular patterns, etc.). They are responsible for collaborating with TS-DSA team members and AIA colleagues to implement software solutions that address prioritized requirements. The digital innovations produced by the Associate Director must be well documented, able to produce reproducible results, and are subject to internal and external inspections.

Organizational Context:

Associate Director, Bioinformatics Engineer reports directly to the TS-DSA Head initially as an individual contributor. Once the role is established, the objective is to eventually build a small team to support strategic plans and shared objectives that impact discovery to early stage drug development across Astellas' primary focus areas. They will collaborate closely with multiple project teams across Astellas functions, geographies and therapeutic areas. The role will collaborate with the colleagues across the Astellas value chain, with an emphasis on discovery and early development functions:

  • Various Research Hubs reporting into Astellas' Chief Scientific Officer

  • Strategic functions: Primary Focus Leaders and their staff reporting into Astellas' Chief Strategy Officer

  • Various Translational Sciences functions within Astellas' Discovery Hubs and Early Development functions

  • External: Astellas partners, Vendors, Key Opinion Leaders

Qualifications:

Required:

  • S. in computer science, engineering, bioinformatics, mathematics, or related field with 5+ years of experience.

  • Ability to work well within a cross-functional, multi-disciplinary team within a highly-matrixed environment

  • Expert ability in at least one programming language (e.g., Python, R) and proficiency in others and willingness to adapt/learn new languages as needed

  • Experience in developing new digital experiences that impact data analysis (e.g., workflow automation, data visualization, API development)

  • Software Development skills to enable transition of prototype code into production-ready code

  • High competency with cloud development and deployment

  • High competency with version control systems

  • A software founder/innovator personality with a passion for taking on new challenges and motivated to advance data, digital, and advanced analytics in a drug development environment and ultimately deliver value to patients

  • Effectively communication skills

  • Excellent organizational, people, project and time management skills

  • Solid oral, written, and presentation communication skills

Preferred:

  • Graduate degree (MS/PhD) in computer science, engineering, bioinformatics, mathematics, or related field with 7+ years of experience

  • Experience in working with software toolkits and technologies enbling machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, computational biology, and/or bioinformatics, or related disciplines to be deployed into digital experiences with proven track record (e.g., publications, conference presence, patents, awards, etc.)

  • Experience working in one or more therapeutic areas including oncology, immuno-oncology, auto-immune diseases, respiratory, endocrine, or rare diseases

  • Experience working with various types of pre-clinical data and patient-level RWD data sources including large clinical registries, insurance claims, electronic medical records, laboratory results, genetic markers, gene expression data, mutation data, and potential digital assets that may be derived from biobank specimens

  • Advanced Bioinformatics experiences working with data from major -omics sources, i.e. NCBI, EGA, or dbGap

  • Experience working with a variety of patient data modalities (e.g., IHC, radiology, single cell genomics, proteomics, digital pathology, patient reported, wearable)

  • Experience in working with clinical coding systems including ICD9/10, LOINC, MEDRA, SNOMED, RxNorm, OMOP, CDISC, MESH, etc

  • Experience working with vendor data platforms

  • Experience with Open Data and Analysis projects such as OHDSI, GA4GH, etc.

  • Demonstrated experiences working with, building and contributing open source software

  • Start-up experience serving as a software prototyper and product manager particularly related to data platforms and infrastructure that support data analyses

Benefits:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program

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Category Advanced Informatics & Analytics

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans

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