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Computational Biologist, Software Development


Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

Job Location

100-570 West 7th Ave.
Vancouver BC V5Z 4S6

Job Description

Job Reference No: CB_HSA#111679_P01066_2021_07_13

In accordance with the Mission, Vision and Values, and strategic directions of PHSA, safety, including both patient and employee safety, is a priority and a responsibility shared by everyone at PHSA. As such, the requirement to continuously improve quality and safety is inherent in all aspects of this position.

The Computational Biologist participates in developing, improving and maintaining bioinformatics tools for high-throughput processing pipelines. The Computational Biologist specifies, implements, tests and maintains bioinformatics computer applications and systems, and participates in the code walk-throughs and design and review of bioinformatics software solutions. The Computational Biologist will also assist in the packaging and distribution of developed tools and analysis results to the scientific community, and will contribute to the preparation of scientific publications.


  • Codes in Python and specifies, implements, tests, and maintains bioinformatics pipelines and applications as assigned.
  • Assists with devising or modifying systems to solve complex problems associated with high throughput pipelines, considering computer equipment capacity and limitations, operating time and form of desired results.
  • Participates in code walk-throughs and reviews of the coded solutions to PEP8 standards.
  • Participates in the design and build of database and software solutions taking performance into consideration.
  • Coordinates production problem resolution for assigned applications, including working with other technical teams.
  • Evaluates third-party software and incorporates new systems into legacy systems.
  • Produces written documentation of algorithms, validations, SOPs, and other processes related to pipeline updates and procedures as required.
  • Presents results of bioinformatics software testing internally and externally.
  • Performs literature searches, testing and validation of new data analysis software related to bioinformatics pipelines.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Education, Training and Experience

  • Graduation from a recognized Bachelor of Applied Science or Bachelor of Science Program in either Computer Science, Biological Sciences, or equivalent program.
  • Two (2) years of recent related experience in a bioinformatic setting or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience acceptable to the GSC Group Leaders.

Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated expertise with Python or other similar high level languages for application in data analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to program and run analysis in a high throughput bioinformatics production environment.
  • Functional knowledge of distributed version control systems, such as GIT.
  • Functional knowledge of Agile development and ticketing systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with bioinformatics workflow managers (e.g. Nextflow).
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an Unix environment, including experience with shell scripting and common command-line tools.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop software as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to efficiently organize work assignments and establish priorities.


We believe that diversity and inclusivity are essential for the advancement of human knowledge and science. 

We welcome all applicants and provide all employees with equal opportunity for advancement, regardless of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, conviction of a criminal or summary conviction offence unrelated to their employment.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the position would require working remotely on a temporary basis. This restriction would be re-evaluated after reopening plans.

How to Apply

Please submit a detailed cover letter and resume to [email protected], using Job Reference No: CB_HSA#111679_P01066_2021_07_13 in the subject line of your email. 

About Our Organization

Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC)

Today’s Research. Tomorrow’s Medicine.

The GSC is a department of the BC Cancer Research Institute and a high-throughput genome sequencing facility. We are leaders in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics in pursuit of novel treatment strategies for cancers and other diseases.

Among the world’s first genome centres to be established within a cancer clinic, for more than two decades our scientists and innovators have been designing and deploying cutting-edge technologies to benefit health and advance clinical research.

Among the GSC’s most significant accomplishments are the first publication to demonstrate the use of whole-genome sequencing to inform cancer treatment planning, the first published sequence of the SARS coronavirus genome and major contributions to the first physical map of the human genome as part of the Human Genome Project.

By joining the GSC you will become part of an exceptional and diverse team of scientists, clinicians, experts and professionals operating at the leading edge of clinical research. We look for people who share our core values—science, timeliness, respect—to join us on our mission to use genome science for the betterment of health and society.

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