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Senior Software Engineer

Informatics | San Francisco, Ca | Full Time

Job Description

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) is radically changing the way cancer research is done. Founded in 2016 through a $250 million gift from Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker, the San Francisco-based nonprofit is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunotherapy researchers and cancer centers, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The institute also supports top researchers at other institutions, including City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Institute for Systems Biology and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

By forging alliances with academic, industry and nonprofit partners, PICI makes big bets on bold research to fulfill its mission: to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies to turn all cancers into curable diseases.

Help us create a world that doesn’t fear cancer. Join us.

 Overview of the Role

The senior software engineer will be technical lead for the database and associated tooling in our translational research database, the Cancer Data & Evidence Library (CANDEL). This platform enables our team of data scientists and researchers to glean insights from 10+ molecular data types and associated clinical data from cancer patients treated with immunotherapy. The CANDEL database has been under construction for two years, is based in Clojure and Datomic deployed on AWS, and has the following features:

  • Stores integrated measurements from 17 molecular data types and clinical data from patients undergoing cancer therapy
  • Tooling to allow data and research scientists to perform ETL of new data without writing Clojure code or Datomic transactions
  • Query server architecture to connect seamlessly to an R analysis environment and handle large numbers of queries from many users
  • Tooling in R and Clojure for interactive analysis and visualization 
  • Currently houses data on over 40,000 patient samples from clinical trials (PICI-sponsored and other) and other research projects, including standard-of-care collections

 The senior software engineer will be responsible for high-level technical architecture of this platform as well as hands-on maintenance and implementation of new features. 

 The ideal candidate will be a strong technical contributor, capable of working at multiple levels of abstraction, from high-level goals to implementation details. They will also need to be a team player, comfortable in smaller groups of 3-4 data scientists and engineers working collaboratively.

Reporting Structure and Team

The Senior Software Engineer reports to the Director of Informatics and is a key member of the Informatics team.

 FLSA Status: Full Time Exempt

 Essential Job Functions

  • The senior software engineer is responsible for maintaining and continuing to improve a best-in-class data platform that will enable reproducible, accelerated discoveries in cancer immunotherapy. Specific requirements include: 
  • Work with data scientists, research scientists, and product owner to refine the requirements of the platform, design future improvements, and make technical architecture decisions
  • Contribute hands-on to the building of any and all system components, including but not limited to database improvements, data update mechanisms, ETL tooling improvements, analysis and visualization tools, and more
  • Own and maintain the operational infrastructure underlying the master database, ETL machinery, and query services
  • Continuously supervise, maintain, and support the database, associated tooling, and users of the platform

 Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • 10+ years experience designing and building software systems, including deep experience building powerful, usable systems for storing, manipulating, and interactively analyzing data
  • Expert in Clojure and Datomic
  • Experience with Amazon Web Services
  • Passion for simplicity, code craftsmanship, and design
  • Ability to understand business and research problems and envision technical solutions that work towards solving them for a small, nimble team
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to author terse and effective written communication
  • Voracious appetite for learning
  • Ability to work independently and drive change in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Experience designing and building software to enable research and/or data science
  • Bonus qualifications:
    1. Experience with molecular data (next generation sequencing, imaging, flow cytometry, or other biological data types)
    2. Experience performing or assisting in scientific research
    3. Experience with Kubernetes and container technologies
    4. Experience with Google Cloud Services
    5. Experience with Terraform or other infrastructure automation tools