Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioinformatics & Cancer Research

Job type: 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Date Posted: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016

About us: The OICR is a top-ranking translational cancer research institute located in the Discovery District of downtown Toronto, one of the top three biotechnology hubs in North America and an exceptionally collaborative environment. As part of international cancer research teams, the ICGC (International Cancer Genome Consortium) and TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas), we have early access to large and diverse cancer datasets that will become the standard reference set for cancer genomics studies in the coming years. These datasets provide exciting challenges for interpretation, and many opportunities to make new discoveries and to develop innovative computational tools. In particular, we are leading several aspects of the ICGC Pan-Cancer Analysis Working Group (PCAWG), a collaboration of hundreds of experts to analyse whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data across more than 2,800 donors and 50 types of cancer. The recently launched next-generation project ICGCmed will advance precision treatment strategies by linking cancer genomes of >200,000 individuals to high-quality clinical information. Our analyses are performed on cutting-edge IT infrastructure including a multi-petabyte storage system and a >8,000-core compute farm.

About the position: We seek a talented and highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to contribute to the development of a world-class bioinformatics platform in cancer genomics with the Integrative Network Biology lab ( The research questions that drive our lab include the following: How to identify cancer driver mutations and their mechanistic impact using whole-genome sequencing data and other -omics information? How are biological pathways and molecular interaction networks altered by mutations, gene regulation, epigenetic modifications and DNA rearrangements? Which genes are promising targets for future drugs, and how can we repurpose existing drugs to treat cancer? How to build computational models, bioinformatics software and novel visualisations to integrate complex multi-dimensional datasets and discover new knowledge?

As a successful candidate, you will have extensive interest in large-data problems, excellent quantitative analysis skills and in-depth knowledge of cancer genomics. You will lead the analysis of diverse -omics datasets of pediatric and adult brain cancer (whole genome sequencing, RNA-sequencing, copy number variation, epigenomic data, clinical information, and other types of data) to explore the basic biology of brain cancer, its driver mechanisms, genetic and functional heterogeneity, molecular biomarkers and personalised therapies. In the process, you are likely to develop novel computational tools and algorithms that become valuable components of a genome analyst’s toolbox in the future. You will work closely with the Principal Investigator and a network of collaborators of basic, translational, and clinical researchers at the OICR, in the excellent research community of Toronto and internationally. Your tasks will include:

Integrative analysis of multi-dimensional cancer genomics datasets using statistical and machine learning approaches;
Development of innovative computational methods and open-source bioinformatics software;
Visualization and interpretation of –omics data with pathway and network information.


Highest graduate degree (PhD or equivalent) in bioinformatics, computational biology, statistics, computer science or related field required
Strong scientific publication record in peer-reviewed journals on bioinformatics and/or cancer research;
Strong understanding and interest in molecular biology, genomics, and cancer;
Practical knowledge of basic statistics; machine learning skills are a definite plus;
Familiarity with the Linux or MacOSX environment, shell scripting and system tools; experience with high performance computing is an asset;
Minimum 3 years of experience with programming and data analysis in R, Python, Perl, Matlab or similar;
Minimum 3 years of experience with bioinformatics resources, databases, tools and common standard formats;
Minimum 3 years of experience in analysing next-generation sequencing and/or microarray data;
Ability to work independently as well as part of a fast-paced and collaborative team;
Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, December 1, 2017
Position open until filled