Principal Bioinformatics Scientist

Philadelphia, PA, US, 19104

Job Type: 

Req ID: 25629

Shift: Days

Employment Status: AF - Active - Regular - Full Time 

Job Summary

The Principal Bioinformatics Scientist position is an advanced level position for a PhD level professional and serves as the final stage of the bioinformatics staff individual contributor. Further advancement in this area is either within the academic faculty ladder or bioinformatics management. The focus of the position is a completely enabled subject matter expert who performs both independent, high-functioning collaboration with biomedical investigators and independent bioinformatics methods research. The position allows for a wide variety of activities described within the job responsibilities and encompasses positions within both research and clinical environments. Activities occur with minimal supervision and expectation for highly independent judgment, development of bioinformatics workflows and processes, and presentation of results. The Principal Bioinformatics Scientist will define best practices in collaborative science as a bioinformatics domain scientific collaborator. Academic output is a focus of this position and is expected with no formal supervision. The Principal Bioinformatics Scientist is considered a preeminent scientist within the group and a leader in the bioinformatics discipline as commonly recognized by all stakeholders (collaborators, peers, management). The individual mentors other team members regularly. This individual is capable of leading complex bioinformatics projects critical to the organization based on both technical, academic, and social prowess.


The Principal Bioinformatics Scientist must be able to perform all responsibilities listed in the Bioinformatics Scientist III job description. All responsibilities listed in this description are additional.

Job Responsibilities

  • Pre-Analysis (5%): Lead development of application portfolio by developing knowledge of internally developed systems, open-source programs, and commercial applications. Provide efficient data management support.
    • Understand and help define strategic evolution of shared data processing resources relative to industry
    • Help define boundaries and limitations of shared resources such as complex data manipulation pipelines, etc.
    • Help to define governance of shared resources
    • Advocate for advanced solutions and effective management of shared resources
  • Coding (5%): Code and generally support code and applications on behalf of collaborative project and/or team.
    • Help define strategy, governance, and policy for code sharing, language standards, QC, and code reviews
  • Data Analysis (20%): Analyze data of high complexity by applying sound statistical and commonly accepted bioinformatics methods to -omics data with limited direction from collaborative team
    • Lead multiple “specialty” analytical and/or biomedical areas that serve one or more collaborative teams
    • Regularly promote analytical best practices in specialty analytical areas for adoption throughout the organization
  • Collaboration (40%): Lead bioinformatics portion of scientific collaborations as the primary bioinformatics resource
    • Serve as equivalent scientific voice/role to principal investigator
    • As bioinformatics point, assume lead management role for projects of high complexity, including all aspects of timelines, risk identification and mitigation strategies, and communication mechanisms
    • Lead project-based satisfaction and performance activities in order to achieve aims
    • Lead continual objective, “hard” discussions about overall health of project and relationship
    • Regularly develop new collaborations as a result of subject matter expert role throughout organization
  • Academic Output (30%): Lead project-based presentations, grants, and manuscripts, with subsequent review by peers and mentors
    • Lead or senior authorship on regular bioinformatics-focused manuscripts and publications
    • Lead or senior authorship on regular podium presentations and posters
    • Lead authorship on entire grant and award proposals

Required Education and Experience

Required Education: PhD in biological or computational discipline


Required Experience: At least ten (10) years of experience in applied bioinformatics, genomics, and computational work

Additional Technical Requirements

  • Ability to independently conceive of, plan, implement, validate, and disseminate entire research projects is required.
  • Understanding or the molecular etiopathology of common diseases and syndromes is required.
  • Ability to assume principal investigator or similar role in academic research is required.
  • Strong UNIX/LINUX expertise required.
  • Proficiency in R or similar commonly used bioinformatics language required
  • Experience with Python, Perl, or other languages required.
  • Experience with pipeline or workflow development frameworks required.
  • Experience with management and analysis of complex data types required.
  • Proficiency in various open source and commercial bioinformatics resources and software required.
  • Experience with genomic/proteomic data analysis methods required.
  • Experience or knowledge of technologies commonly used in biological labs, such as PCR, cloning, electrophoresis gels, and cell culture required.
  • Knowledge of the working mechanism of microarray, NGS, mass spectrometry, or other high-throughput technologies and awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as applicability to a specific biological problem is required.
  • Familiarity with resources of genomic data sets and analysis tools, such as UCSC Genome Browser, Bioconductor, ENCODE, and NCBI databases is required.
  • Ability to correctly select and perform statistical tests for most types of genomic data, and to properly interpret their results in the scenario of a specific study is required.
  • Ability to leverage unique knowledge of bioinformatics, applied biostatistics, molecular biology, and measurement platforms for effective scientific discussion with biologists and clinicians is required.
  • Ability to determine most favorable academic output as a primary research outcome is required.
  • Ability to objectively critique results and present as valid or questionable, taking into account all aspects of study design, technical issues, and limitations of workflows is required.
  • Ability to objectively assess significance of results relative to larger academic and commercial domain is required.
  • Ability to identify, troubleshoot data or result abnormalities by reviewing all major aspects of a study is required.
  • Accountability and attention to timelines.
  • Excellent organization and communication skills with an emphasis on strong presentation skills
  • Ability to independently plan and execute analyses of the highest complexity required
  • Ability to provide objective validation of results required
  • Ability to work in a team environment.

All CHOP employees who work in a patient building or who provide patient care are required to receive an annual influenza vaccine unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its patients, family members, visitors and employees. In an effort to achieve this goal, employment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, other than for positions with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey, is contingent upon an attestation that the job applicant does not use tobacco products or nicotine in any form and a negative nicotine screen (the latter occurs after a job offer).

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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