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


The incumbent in this role will serve as the technical project owner 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 lead 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 serve as technical point of contact with the commercial vendor. This position will report to the Director of Health Informatics Architecture.


  • Coordinate all technical aspects of the collaboration, including:

  • Lead 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 acquisition; drive and track progress at the individual data element level.

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

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

  • Participate in development of the user experience/user interface for the Pathways system

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

  • Work in collaboration with the Quality and Patient Safety/Pathways Program Manager to track and prioritize project tasks, organize day-to-day activities of team members to ensure timely completion of development efforts, manage resolution of identified risks, and ensure communication across technical work streams.

  • Provide direct oversight for the work of the informaticist(s) working on day-to-day aspects of software architecture, data architecture, and clinical terminology

  • 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.


Supervise other Informatics staff assigned to the Pathways project


  • 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


  • Master’s Degree required, preferably in Computer Science, Data Science, Public Health, Health Sciences, or related field. MPH or PhD in Population Health, Biology, or Cancer Biology a plus. Alternatively, technical degree with recent exposure to healthcare informatics is acceptable

  • 5 years of data modelling, data management, or related technical expertise with clinical data is required

  • 3 years of experience analyzing 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

  • Ability to effectively coordinate and conduct small meetings, both formal and informal

  • Requires minimal direction from leadership 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 organization

  • 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: 2018-11697

Grade: 24

External Company Name: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

External Company URL: www.dana-farber.org