Share this Job

Bioinformatics Leader

Date: Feb 21, 2021

Location: Philadelphia, PA, US

Company: Spark Therapeutics

Join the Spark Team


We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable – until now.


We don’t follow footsteps. We create the path.



Spark Therapeutics is seeking an engaged and passionate bioinformatics leader to build out and lead the bioinformatics function within the data sciences organization. S/he will be tasked with developing and managing in-depth bioinformatics pipelines supporting all programs across therapeutic and technology development areas by working cross-functionally within the data science org including statistics, software and data engineering teams as well as across the company. The Head of Bioinformatics will recruit talent, manage day-to-day activities of bioinformatics scientists, and actively participate in the design and evaluation of studies supporting translation of pre-clinical programs to the clinic by fostering strong collaboration with therapeutic area teams.


He/she will be responsible for:


  • Building and managing a high-functioning group of talented bioinformatics scientists in support of data analysis efforts across Research and Technology Development organizations
  • Evaluation, design and implementation of the data analysis pipelines, algorithm development, and overall bioinformatics strategy.
  • Analysis and interpretation of high-dimensional data, including genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic datasets.
  • Collaboration with the Software & Data Engineering team to build a scalable bioinformatics data and compute infrastructure to support analysis and storage of private and public biological datasets
  • Ensuring accuracy and integrity of data collection and analysis, providing oversight of documents to support regulatory filings, contributing to publication of manuscripts and presenting results at appropriate scientific meetings.


The Head of Bioinformatics position requires a proven track record of developing and implementing the bioinformatics and data analysis platform of a complex, integrated organization. A successful candidate will have extensive experience with large-scale data analysis, next generation sequencing, gene expression analysis, and a thorough understanding of statistical evaluation, including but not limited to:


  • Integration of diverse sequence and -omics datatypes to meaningfully investigate disease states, biomarkers, disease models and biological responses.
  • Strong programming skills (such as R, Python, etc.) with experience developing clearly communicated and reproducible methods and tools.
  • Understanding and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) methods in support of driving solutions to complex problems.
  • Development of high-level custom statistical models and analysis packages supporting study design and interpretation.
  • Some experience or familiarity with gene therapy and/or AAV vectors is strongly preferred.


Manage the Translational Bioinformatics team to achieve business goals and objectives.


  • Foster Spark’s Culture.  Role model the Spark Values. Create an environment where team members thrive by living our truths, always in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Emphasize to employees that “how” they achieve performance objectives is just as important as “what” they accomplish.
  • Hire & Integrate.  Know what skills, experiences and capabilities are needed to achieve current and future business goals. Take an active role in attracting and selecting talent who are inspired by our Mission, Vision and Values.  Consciously create a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skill sets and perspectives.  Help new team members successfully integrate into Spark so they can actively contribute and add value as quickly as possible.
  • Manage performance.   Ensure every team member knows what is expected of them, what it takes to be successful, and how they are progressing.  Provide team members with continuous and on-going performance feedback, holding everyone accountable to achieve results while demonstrating the Spark Values. Help team members understand how their work contributes to the overall success of Spark by continuously communicating priorities, decisions and changes; adjusting goals as needed.
  • Develop people.   Understand each individual team member’s career goals. strengths and motivators.  Partner with your employees to identify areas for development, conduct coaching conversations regularly and provide guidance on ways to develop through on the job experiential learning and stretch opportunities.




40%  Execute on a bioinformatics strategy. Build appropriate data analysis pipelines to enable discovery and support validation of therapies as they move from early discovery through IND and into clinical development.

25%  Oversight of analysis, interpretation and communication of high dimensional data to support both existing and new programs in the pipeline. This includes extensive programming, literature review, and integration with study stakeholders.

15%  Build a high performing team, develop and train talent, set project priorities, plan workload, manage resources and personnel scheduling.

10%  Set project priorities, plan workload, manage resources and personnel scheduling





  • Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Systems Biology, Statistics, Computational Biology, Statistical Genetics, or related discipline.
  • Typically has 10+ years of hands-on experience in bioinformatics analysis, ideally within the field of gene therapy.
  • Track record of building and growing bioinformatics/computational biology teams
  • Strong background in programming languages and statistical analysis.
  • Experience with bioinformatics analysis of AAV vectors and gene therapy is strongly preferred.





  • Extensive experience with next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis of DNA (ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq) and gene expression (RNA-seq), barcoding, high throughput screening and other enabling technologies.
  • Strong background in programming languages and statistical analysis platforms (such as Python, R) and database systems and query languages (SQL, etc).
  • Maximize use of team strengths while continuing to develop them, and foster a collaborative environment to insure effective, constructive relationships between internal and external partners.
  • Identify the required resources and expertise, implement the appropriate team/departmental structures and establish the required processes and communications to enable department(s) to effectively deliver on all commitments.
  • Experience managing external collaborations.
  • Excellent communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Works with colleagues as a team player.
  • Strong data organizational skills
  • Strong publication record is a plus.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia