Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Clinical Data Engineer in Boston, Massachusetts


The incumbent in this role will serve as a technical team member for a new Pathways platform that enables Dana-Farber oncologists to author, maintain, utilize and share evidence-based cancer treatment pathways across many cancer types. The project is a codevelopment partnership between Dana-Farber’s Informatics and Quality and Patient Safety departments and a commercial vendor. The incumbent will support efforts to discover, evaluate and access structured data describing patient demographics, cancer type, stage, treatment history, comorbidities and other attributes from a complex data environment. S/he will also participate in technical interactions with the commercial vendor. This position will report to the Application Specialist - Pathways.


  • Contribute to development of a standard data model for patient/tumor attributes that inform treatment decisions

  • Identify data elements within the DFCI data ecosystem that could be used to populate attributes in the Pathways solution; devise strategies for efficient and accurate data transfer.

  • Build data views/interfaces to communicate data elements from the DFCI data warehouse to the Pathways solution

  • Participate in the gathering of functional and technical requirements from end users, key stakeholders and other staff.

  • Develop interfaces that accept data from the Pathways solution and store them in the DFCI data warehouse to support internal analytic efforts.

  • Implement the necessary "data plumbing" to keep the pathways content and underlying data models up to date in a production setting.

  • Contribute to a flexible design that can accommodate changes to the branching logic, criteria and terminologies of our pathways decision trees.

  • Work closely with the commercial vendor to reconcile/harmonize existing Dana-Farber and vendor data models of disease, treatment history, somatic and germline molecular criteria and other data types pertinent to treatment decisions.

  • Participate in efforts to apply Natural Language Processing (NLP) and/or Machine Learning to predict patient attributes, especially with regard to collection and organization of training and gold standard data sets.


  • Full-time position in office environment

  • Position is currently funded for two years; renewal is possible depending on conditions at expiration

  • Requires local travel to IS and hospital sites, including patient care areas with limited patient contact, located on and off the DFCI campus

  • Other travel may be required to attend meetings, training, and professional development sessions

  • As projects and priorities dictate, must be available to work non-standard business hours, such as evenings, nights, weekends and holidays when necessary


  • Bachelor’s Degree required, preferably in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field. MS/MPH/PhD in Population Health, Biology, or Cancer Biology a plus.

  • 3 years professional programming experience in Java, Python, C# or another common language required

  • 3 years of experience analyzing or accessing data using SQL, with demonstrable skills

  • A combination of education and experience may be substituted for requirements


  • Excellent organizational and communication skills; required to track and communicate detailed knowledge, acquisition strategy and status of a large number of data elements from a complex universe

  • Understanding of software development and ability to quickly adapt to changing requirements

  • Ability to effectively translate complex business requirements to functional requirements

  • Excellent problem-solving skills

  • Requires minimal direction and possesses the ability to learn quickly

  • Ability to successfully negotiate and collaborate with others of different skill sets, backgrounds and levels both internal and external to the organizatio

  • Ability to cooperatively and effectively work within a team


  • Experience with clinical data and/or Electronic Health Records (EHR) a plus

  • Experience with cancer-related clinical data including diagnoses, medications and outcomes measures.

Job ID: 2018-11696

Grade: 23

External Company Name: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

External Company URL: www.dana-farber.org