Careers at Children's Cancer Institute
Research Officer - Computational Drug Discovery Biology

Location:
Randwick - Sydney, Australia  
Employment Type:
Full-Time Fixed Term  
Department:
Computational Drug Discovery Biology (CDDB)
Salary:
$90k-$110k + Super + Salary Packaging Benefits
Supporting Documentation:

What’s in it for you?

  • Work with purpose – help us find a cure for childhood cancer
  • Access to our ‘FlexBEST’ program – true flexibility from day 1 - options include hybrid working, school-friendly hours, and 9-day working fortnight
  • Focus on employee wellbeing, including a leading EAP program, and up to 5 gifted wellbeing days off (paid) per year
  • Investment in leadership development and career advancement opportunities
  • 13 weeks paid parental leave on top of any government funded paid parental leave
  • Convenient Randwick location, across the road from UNSW Light Rail stop
  • THRIVE – Wellbeing initiatives to support “life balance”
  • REDI – Respect, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives
  • Social Committee – Fun, engaging events to foster connection
  • Personal Best – Structured Individual and Team goal setting to achieve Personal & Career development

 

No targeted drug therapies exist for most common paediatric cancers. And the few targeted therapies available have mostly been developed for adult cancers, yet the mechanisms driving paediatric and adult cancers are usually different. Consequently, the only treatment option for many children is chemotherapies, which are harsh, unspecific and more harmful. For this role we are looking for a highly motivated and talented computational biologist to identify new vulnerabilities specific to paediatric oncology and support the discovery of new drugs targeting those vulnerabilities.

You will join the THINK (THerapeutic INnovations for Kids) program, the only drug discovery research initiative in Australia focused solely on developing new and more effective treatments for children with cancer. Building on over 10 years of experience in high-throughput drug screening at Children’s Cancer Institute, THINK has established a target-to-clinical trials drug discovery capability focused on discovering new tailored treatments for children and adolescents who have no available targeted therapies to treat their cancer.

We are seeking a Research Officer to join the newly formed computational drug discovery biology group within THINK dedicated to 1) mining the wealth of existing genetic and biological information, including ZERO, to identify new drug discovery targets for THINK, and 2) accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs once targets enter the THINK pipeline.

The Research Officer will be responsible for intersecting internal and external information in order to propose new biological targets for paediatric oncology. The successful candidate will be an independent, highly motivated, and talented researcher, with a passion for conducting high quality research in the area of computational biology applied to therapeutic innovation in paediatric oncology.

 

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Leverage high dimensional data to propose new targets or treatments specific to paediatric oncology
  • Develop cutting-edge bioinformatics and AI methods to advance drug discovery. In particular:
    • Working closely with the Translational Biology group using Cas13 functional screening to validate and explain novel vulnerabilities
    • Working with the Drug Discovery group to interpret and maximize Compound Screening (HTS, HCS, etc…) results
    • Proposing novel approaches to leverage existing datasets for the purpose of target identification or compound repurposing
  • Discover and validate biomarkers of response to targeted perturbations specific to paediatric indications.
  • Staying abreast on advances in genomics and next generation sequencing technology in general, maintaining knowledge about drug discovery and translational biology.
  • Develop and apply tools to combine biological data sets with ‘omic and perturbation data sets to better integrate, manipulate, and interpret a child’s multi-‘omics tumour profile and vulnerabilities (genome, transcriptome, biology)
  • Be motivated to seek academic career progression opportunities through driving manuscript writing, grant writing and presenting research and conferences.
  • Support the Computational Drug Discovery Biology group / Therapeutic Innovation and collaborators with paper writing, and grant writing
  • Day-to-day support and occasional training of students and junior staff as required.
  • Promote CCI on the local, national, and international stages

 

Qualifications

  • PhD in computational biology, genomics, or related field

Experience and requirements

  • Highly developed skills in bioinformatics and genomics
  • High-level of proficiency in bash, R, and python
  • Strong demonstrated expertise working with multiple next generation sequencing methods
  • Experience developing modularised analysis pipelines which operate in a commercial or academic cloud environments are desirable
  • Ability to develop, manage and maintain internal and external relationships, including collaborations
  • Expertise in developing (probabilistic) deep learning algorithm is desirable
  • Expertise in cancer biology is desirable
  • Experience working with functional genomics data is desirable but not essential
  • Experience in mRNA biology and dynamic modelling is desirable but not essential
  • Highly motivated to produce high quality outcomes in pursuit of translational excellence

 

Join a group of dedicated people in a performance-driven environment to achieve success and discover what it's like to look forward to coming to work every day and make a real difference.

A detailed job description and additional information about Children's Cancer Institute can be found on our website at: https://www.ccia.org.au/careers-study . We embrace diversity and encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

To apply, please click the 'APPLY' link and forward both your resume AND cover letter (mandatory) clearly addressing the qualifications, experience and skills required.

Note: Applications will be reviewed prior to the closing date; which is dependent on the status of the recruitment process. Only successfully shortlisted candidates will be contacted.