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Senior Scientist / Scientist – Translational Genomics, Translational Medicine, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca - 14 month FTC

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


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Senior Scientist / Scientist – Translational Genomics, Translational Medicine, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca - 14 month FTC

We are seeking a Scientist / Senior Scientist to join our Translational Genomics team (Cambridge, U.K.) on a fixed term basis. 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 genomics techniques. You will deliver high quality biomarker data from human clinical samples and have the opportunity to impact an exciting and industry-leading portfolio of programs from inception through to life cycle management.

The Translational Medicine Genomics Lab focuses on the exploratory analysis of clinical samples using the best available solutions to maximize value for oncology projects. Our work includes the analysis of fixed and frozen tissues, liquid biopsy material, and single cell and spatial genomics. We provide support via a mix of in-house lab analyses, external providers, and collaborators. We generate data to help understand key cancer pathway alterations, guide drug combinations, provide disease linkage data to guide indication selection and targeted patient populations and understand the dynamics of response and resistance to therapies.

This role will have a strong focus on hands-on laboratory work, though you may also work with external partners to deliver data on clinical samples. You will be responsible for the planning, design, and execution of high quality experimental work and documenting, interpreting, and communicating results to appropriate stakeholders and partners. You will be able to work independently but also as a key member of our growing global team of genomics and data science experts.

Major Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  • Work with UK and Global genomics colleagues, Project Managers and Translational Medicine Leads (TMLs) to understand the genomic biomarker needs of clinical studies.
  • Plan, prioritise, and execute work to deliver to biomarker plans exploiting the most appropriate technologies/assays to deliver high quality data on time and to budget.
  • Work with Translational , Clinical, Biosamples colleagues, and CRO partners, to access the right samples at the right time
  • Lead from the bench to generate data in a modern genomics lab utilising Automation, DNA/RNA extraction, NGS, digital PCR, single cell, and other platforms
  • Utilise a sample management system, LIMS, and other software and communication tools to track samples, monitor progress, and record data
  • Work with team members and aligned production informatics and bioinformatics experts to support data analysis/QC, interpretation and communication back to TML, project team and other stakeholders
  • Contribute to maintenance and development of our internal genomics capabilities and development & implementation of new genomic/epigenomic assays or related technologies
  • Support colleagues to train in existing and new SOPs
  • When required, work with commercial partners to plan, procure, deliver and analyse genomic data via external labs
  • Conceptualize, develop, and execute evaluations of methods, platforms, vendors, and emerging technologies of clinical and translational utility and apply to address relevant needs
  • Provide technical advice and genomic biomarker consultation to internal and external partners
  • Record and communicate your data accurately, clearly and concisely
  • Maintain appropriate documentation, be compliant with all internal and external policies and legal requirements around use of clinical samples, consent, and privacy

As a Scientist / Senior scientist in the translational genomics group your skills and qualifications should include:


  • SCIENTIST: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline plus at least 2 years post-degree experience utilising advanced molecular biology techniques (academic or industrial setting); Recent/current experience greatly preferred
  • SENIOR SCIENTIST: Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (preferably PhD) and at least 4 years post-doctoral experience (or equivalent) utilising advanced molecular biology techniques (academic or industrial setting); Recent/current experience greatly preferred

At either level:

  • Experience of cancer genomics and analysis of oncology clinical specimens
  • Strong current laboratory and analytical skills
  • Evidence of effective problem-solving, method development and optimisation
  • Ability to understand and work to detailed SOPs and to author and troubleshoot new SOPs
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, able to document work clearly, concisely, and understand and describe its importance to others
  • Good organisational and planning skills, ability to manage a portfolio of work, prioritize, and deliver to agreed time and quality
  • Good interpersonal skills – able to work effectively with colleagues/collaborators from diverse backgrounds, levels of seniority, and territories
  • Meticulous attention to detail, ability to document results to a high standard

DESIRABLE / ADVANTAGEOUS – Although training will be given where required, experience in the following areas would be a distinct advantage:

  • Peer-reviewed publications in the cancer biology/cancer genomics field
  • Working in a commercial/industrial environment
  • Working with DNA/RNA from human clinical materials such as formalin fixed paraffin-embedded tissues, frozen tissues, plasma (circulating cell-free DNA/cfDNA).
  • Hands-on laboratory experience preparing DNA/RNA libraries, targeted NGS, and running NGS platforms
  • Work in single cell genomics and/or spatial genomics (any platform)
  • Tissue culture, handling and purification of cells from clinical samples, e.g. PBMCs
  • Tissue dissociation for downstream single cell work
  • 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
  • Working with laboratory automation / liquid handling systems, method development/optimisation
  • Analysis and interpretation of NGS data from clinical specimens
  • Experience in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry and of the drug development process
  • Experience of working with and managing relationships with CROs / 3rd party labs

Location: Cambridge, UK

Competitive salary and benefits package on offer.

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca, we 're dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration, and always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development. We’re on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.

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AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.