World Health Organization, Lyons, France

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st January, 2020

Job Description


The Genetic Cancer Susceptibility Group (GCS) undertakes genetic and genomics research to identify cancer-related genes and explore their mechanisms of action. The purpose of this position is to work on the Rare Cancers Genomics project and assist the team in the analysis and interpretation of multiple omics data for the molecular characterization of rare cancers, in particular lung neuroendocrine neoplasms and malignant mesothelioma. Under the supervision of two GCS scientists and in close interaction with pathologists, oncologists, surgeons and biologists also working on the Rare Cancers Genomics project, the incumbent to this new position of Scientist (Computational Biology) is responsible for developing and implementing the necessary computational tools for the analyses of multi-omic data in the context of the MESOMICS and lungNENomics ongoing projects.


  • Keep up to date with the literature to identify state-of-the-art bioinformatics and biostatistics tools for the analyses of genome, transcriptome, and epigenome data, as well as for the integration of these multi-omic data;
  • Implement standardized and reproducible bioinformatics pipelines based on the tools identified;
  • Develop innovative computational methodologies for the study of cancer heterogeneity and evolutionary processes using both multi-region and temporal multi-omics samples;
  • Organise results into clear presentations in formats useful for biological interpretation;
  • Contribute to the preparation and writing of scientific manuscripts and/or reports;
  • Participate and provide assistance to the team in the training of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows;
  • Contribute to the writing of grant applications with a view to attracting funding from competitive sources in relevant research areas.



Essential: PhD in Computational Biology applied to Genetics
Desirable: Postgraduate training in bioinformatics and biostatistics applied to cancer genomics and evolution.


At least one year of relevant experience in the field of bioinformatics and biostatistics applied to cancer genomics. Relevant experience in the field of evolutionary genetics as well as in the following areas:

  • analysing next-generation sequencing data (DNA and RNA),
  • analysing microarray data (expression or methylation),
  • writing reproducible bioinformatics pipelines for such analyses,
  • methodological development or modelling of evolutionary processes, and
  • using large public genomics databases (TCGA, ICGC etc.).
  • Some experience participating in the writing of scientific manuscripts including a good publication record in the relevant research area.
  • Desirable: Experience in cancer evolution and heterogeneity; interaction between evolutionary forces and the environment (ecology or related field).


  • Good knowledge of biostatistics and statistical genetics, in particular, multivariate statistics, dimension reduction techniques and machine learning.
  • Good knowledge in population genetics.
  • Demonstrable ability to write computer codes and organise data.
  • Demonstrated organizational and communication skills.
  • High level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively in order to deliver on-time high quality results in a larger team.
  • Affinity for working in an interdisciplinary and highly international environment.

IT knowledge

  • Bioinformatics workflow management system (Nextflow, Snakemake etc.).
  • Using a High Performance Computing cluster job scheduler.
  • Using containers (Docker, Singularity) for reproducible research.
  • Knowledge of R for statistical computing and data visualization and of one or more scripting or programming languages (e.g. Perl, Python, Ruby, C++ or Java etc.).
  • Unix environment.

WHO Competencies

  • Producing results
  • Moving forward in a changing environment
  • Fostering integration and teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communicating in a credible and effective way
  • Knowing and managing yourself

Use of Language Skills

  • Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
  • Desirable: Intermediate or higher level of French.


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