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Data Director, Population Sciences

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA
Closing date
Feb 14, 2022

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Data Director, Population Sciences

Job Details

Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215


Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
PTL Remote: 2-3 days remote/wk


Reporting to the Chief of Population Sciences, the Data Director provides leadership and direction for the establishment of best practices for data analytics usage within the Division, drives the creation of harmonized data assets to accelerate research initiatives, and leads innovation for the use of structured and unstructured real-world data (RWD) in the creating meaningful clinical phenotypes based on cancer, treatments, and outcomes that complement genomic data in precision medicine research, outcomes research, and enterprise data sharing initiatives. This role is responsible for developing best practices for data access, aggregation, and harmonization across the Division; organizing and facilitating research centered around harmonized data assets; developing innovative solutions for the continued development of phenomic activities; and coordinating with multidisciplinary teams to accomplish specific projects.

This Data Director serves as a data steward of DFCI Population Sciences for institutional and external oncology aggregation and curation efforts supporting precision oncology medicine research. This role participates in the development and implementation of funded research studies between Population Sciences investigators, undertakes data analysis, and may participate in drafting peer-reviewed manuscripts or the development of grant proposals to support harmonized data curation across DFCI.

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.


  • Implement, support, enhance, and harmonize clinical, molecular, and other data across disease centers at DFCI and via external sources (e.g. TCGA, GENIE, UK Biobank).
  • Collaborate with Population Sciences research faculty and staff on ongoing and future scientific research programs.
  • Define and implement a data lifecycle model and apply that model to the Division's research endeavors. The lifecycle model covers the initial production of raw data, analysis of the data, publication, and distribution of data (e.g. a public data repository and portals), long-term storage, and archiving.
  • Work with scientists to create data management plans for each project and the data management plans will reflect the evolving requirements of the project. These data management plans will account for security, accessibility, sharing, storage, maintenance, and reuse.
  • Collaborate with the Informatics and Analytics (I&A) technical directors of Product Strategy, Research Data Governance, Customer Experience, Bioinformatics, Software Engineering and Solutions Architecture to ensure that curated data, collected through the DFCI curation platform, becomes available to the DFCI research community with provision of seamless customer support of data curation solutions.
  • May collaborate with counterparts at other academic centers to promote cross-institutional phenomic data management.


May directly supervise others Population Sciences team members.


  • Master's or equivalent in data sciences/database management, software engineering, biostatistics/bioinformatics, public health or other relevant area required. Multidisciplinary training and experience in multiple of these fields is desirable.
  • 5 years of relevant professional experience in public health, epidemiology, health services, or outcomes research or another closely related field required.
  • Experience in a leadership role managing resources across complex domains and functions require.

  • Demonstrated expertise in the design and validation of data collection instruments; the data collection and data review process; data standardization and harmonization; clinical outcomes data, design, and collection, data integrity and understand implications on outcomes reporting and analysis.
  • Proven expertise in clinical database design, development, implementation, and management of clinical research database projects.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with all levels of organization, including senior level executives and senior scientists and investigators.
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • Excellent record of successfully solving complex problems across diverse departments and domains.
  • Strong demonstrated ability to develop formal and informal networks and collaborative working relationships across multidisciplinary specialties and sites of care will be considered key to success in this role. Ability to assess, embrace and leverage institutional cultural and knowledge strengths will be important to success.
  • Ability to learn new programming languages and approaches relevant to translational aspects of the research program (e.g. Github, Docker, WDL, cloud computing, and emerging technologies)

  • Knowledge of relevant oncology medical terminology and health data coding systems (ICD-10, ICD-O-3, WHO, OncoTree, NCIt, RxNORM, NDC, SNOMED) and data models and standards (NAACCR, OMOP, SEER, AJCC, Collaborative Stage, FORDS).
  • Knowledge of clinical information systems (e.g., Epic), enterprise data warehouse and management, clinical genomics, and data mining/machine learning.
  • Statistical analysis expertise using SAS, R, STATA, Python, or other package.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong. As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff. Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.
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