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Software Developer/Architect (Novartis Institutes)Cambridge MA, USA

Date posted: March 6, 2015

Software Developer/Architect – Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc. (NIBR)
Cambridge, MA

Job Description
At the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc. (NIBR), our mission is to discover innovative medicines that improve human health. This position is in the Data Engineering group in NIBR Informatics and will work with computational biologists, bioinformaticians, and other engineers to implement world-class data-driven solutions for drug discovery. The successful applicant will be expected to quickly learn new and cutting-edge technologies and to be flexible and intelligent in coming up to speed with new scientific concepts and problem domains. Current projects include:

  • Advanced distributed analytics workflows on Hadoop
  • Using Java and Scala/Spark to integrate, manage and analyze up towards 100s of terabytes of genomic data
  • Using advanced graph-based modeling and automated logical inference to enrich biological datasets

Since most of these projects push the limits of current hardware and software stacks, the successful applicant must have a solid understanding of computer science fundamentals. Beyond that we have few real requirements. We presently lean toward Spark, and Hadoop but since technology changes quickly there are no requirements that the applicant have experience in any specific technology.

Major Accountabilities:
The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • Develop creative and scalable solutions to difficult technical problems
  • Be self-supportive in collaborating with world-class scientists to design and deploy data solutions to identified scientific problems related to drug discovery
  • Stay current on other trends and technologies in the field and be a force for disseminating that information throughout the organization


  • B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. in relevant discipline (the position is flexible, but salary will be commensurate with experience)
  • Experience designing and implementing creative solutions to difficult computational problems.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong technical leadership skills – even if you’re relatively inexperienced, we will expect you to be a source of original ideas and initiative in getting them done.
  • Experience with Scala, Spark and Hadoop is a plus
  • Experience with RDF, formal logic, or other advanced modeling tools is a plus.
  • Advanced degree in Computer Science from a reputable program is a plus.
  • Experience in life sciences is a plus.

About Data Engineering
The Data Engineering Group is the core of a broad and diverse data engineering community within NIBR — members of the group are responsible for formal as well as informal influence on data architecture issues within this community of highly driven and top performing individuals.
The Data Engineering Group is a team of world-class senior engineers/architects who are committed to empowering scientists with data and information systems to discover drugs more effectively and efficiently. Our team supports the global NIBR research community, providing them with cutting edge software and data management solutions. The members in this group participate in designing and developing data intensive systems to support groundbreaking medical research activities working hands-on with world-class scientists and informaticians all over the world.
About NIBR Informatics
We are in a new era of informatics for scientific research. Scientific advances are challenging all aspects of computing, from data analysis to global collaboration. NIBR is making a strategic investment into informatics capabilities and is positioning itself to deliver the systems and services that are critical to the future of drug discovery. The informatics organization is seeking senior leadership, skilled designers, and energetic developers who share our vision that science serves a greater purpose in improving human health.
About NIBR
“There is no greater privilege than to work towards bettering human health, and no more exciting arena in which to do so than through discovery of new medicines.” — Mark C. Fishman, President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

At Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), the global research organization of Novartis, we are committed to discovering innovative medicines to cure disease and improve human health. This is today’s frontier of science.
New medicines do not appear overnight. Although Novartis has had more new medicines approved in recent years than other companies, we are not complacent. With nearly 5000 talented, dedicated research scientists around the world, we are committed to leveraging knowledge we gain from our own innovative research, as well as discoveries made by our collaborations with leading academic institutions and biotechnology companies.
At Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, our culture of science is open, entrepreneurial, and collegial, unwilling to accept barriers or conventional wisdom. By hiring the best academic, biotech, and pharmaceutical trained scientists, we have fostered an atmosphere for drug discovery where innovation is rewarded. We have created a dynamic and flexible culture that values and leverages each associate’s diverse background, unique style and wealth of experience. It is ultimately the talent of the individual that determines the project’s success, while our state-of-the-art technologies and resources enable these ideas to be realized.

To apply, send your resume to: