Software Developer I

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Software Engineering
Toronto, ON, Canada
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2023

Position: Software Developer I
Location: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Computational Biology (Genome Sequence Informatics)
Reports To: Manager, Infrastructure & Software Development
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Job Type: Remote
Status: Full-time, Permanent

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a passionate software Developer to join the Genome Sequence Informatics (GSI) team.

GSI designs applications to streamline and automate analysis for the Genomics program (, controls the data life cycle, and creates useful and dynamic reports at scale. We ensure data flows smoothly, securely, and correctly from the lab through to the clinicians and researchers who use it. Our primary languages are Java, Python, JavaScript, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB and we use technologies like Docker, OpenStack, Prometheus, Loki, Promtail, and Univa Grid Engine, and are expanding into Cloud environments like Microsoft Azure. Many of GSI’s software projects are open-source and available on GitHub: and

GSI has three sub-teams:

  • Infrastructure: Includes laboratory tracking, pipeline and data management, and reporting. This team develops the open source MISO LIMS ( and associated applications, workflow systems like Vidarr and Cromwell ( to automate and streamline data analysis, tracking, and workflow management, and maintains a suite of specialized reports for quality control, forecasting, and lab operations.
  • Analysis: Bioinformatics analysis and data release. Develops the analysis techniques and pipelines used by OICR Genomics for alignment, de novo assembly, variant detection, quantification of tumour heterogeneity and purity, RNAseq analysis, variant significance prediction, structural variant calling, immune detection, cfMeDIP, and others. This team also archives data for long-term storage and releases data to collaborators and public archives.
  • Cancer Genome Interpretation: Validates pipelines for accreditation, analyzes and interprets genomic data using accredited pipelines and processes, and drafts reports for clinical cases.

Software developers in GSI are enthusiastic and autonomous. As part of the team, you will be involved in all aspects of development of new applications for high-impact cancer research and clinical reporting, as well as monitoring, diagnosing, and pushing fixes to improve stability and performance of existing applications. You will develop and improve our production system within a research environment.

To learn more about working at OICR, visit our career page.

The responsibilities include:

  • Designing and crafting databases, web services, and software applications to meet cancer research and clinical reporting needs, working closely with other software developers and laboratory and IT personnel.
  • Building APIs and web services that link our systems together and facilitate reporting.
  • Improving existing applications with additional features and enhancements.
  • Ensuring that the sequencing software pipelines are consistently, reliably, efficiently, and correctly analyzing genomic data.
  • Deploying software applications for production, staging, and development as required.
  • Suggesting improvements and working with the team to implement them.
  • Supporting production by troubleshooting bugs and preventing outages.
  • Writing clean code, using source code control, unit testing, regression testing, and continuous integration, and creating developer documentation and user guides.


  • You have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or equivalent education and work experience.
  • You have hands-on experience in end-to-end software development, responding to and diagnosing feature requests and bugs.
  • You have experience with a variety of programming languages such as Java, Python, or JavaScript.
  • You have strong experience working in a Linux environment and using the shell.
  • You have acute attention to detail and rigour, required for developing clinical testing applications.
  • You have strong relationship skills including the ability to discover real requirements hidden in bug and feature requests, recommend alternative approaches, and contribute to team development efforts.
  • You have strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • You are able to understand complex problems and develop solutions.
  • Knowledge of HPC environments is desirable.
  • Experience with production analysis systems is an asset.
  • Experience with cancer genomics, bioinformatics, science, healthcare, or related fields is desirable but not required.

OICR is a collaborative, not-for-profit research institute accelerating the development of new cancer research discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. We are dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals who share our values of excellence, innovation, collaboration, impact, responsibility and community.

Launched in December 2005, OICR is an independent institute funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at

CLOSING DATE: Until Filled

OICR is committed to fostering a climate of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. This commitment is central to, and mutually supportive of, our research excellence mandate. We welcome and respect the diversity of all members of our community and we support an inclusive culture for all. We welcome all applicants, and encourage applications from racialized persons, Indigenous Peoples, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S persons, and others who may contribute to furthering a diversity of ideas within our community. OICR is committed to fair assessment of a candidate’s abilities, and consideration for diversity of thought, method, and experience. Providing an accessible workplace and recruitment process is important to us, as described in our Accessibility Plan ( Should you require accommodation during any stage in the recruitment process, please complete the form at the bottom of page Information received related to accommodation will be handled confidentially.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted.

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume so that you can cut and paste it into the application box provided. Before you submit the completed application, you will be asked to attach one or two files to your application. Please attach your resume as a .pdf or .doc file.