Aging profiles project: System Biologist & Data Scientist positions


Zurich, Switzerland

Centaura is an ambitious and industry-defining project aimed at fighting aging. Instead of targeting one single reason why humans grow old, Centaura applies a multi-factor approach to understand the forces driving aging, identify the connections between aging and the onset of chronic health conditions, and develop novel interventions that extend human health and longevity.

Centaura is headquartered in Switzerland, with ongoing projects in the UK, USA, Russia, and Singapore.

We are looking for Data Scientists and System Biologists to join our ‘Aging Profiles’ project. The primary goal of the project is to differentiate multi-omically determined clinical markers and age parameters that correspond to aging in different organ systems across individuals in order to define “age profiles.” In other words, map the trajectories of functional decline in specific organ systems. To achieve this, we will combine various omics profiles with medical records. By applying machine learning analyses, we will determine which mutations are the primary drivers of a degenerative process in an organ. This approach will allow us to generate novel predictors, which can then be used as benchmarks for clinical intervention. We envision that data generated from our research will be used in proactive medicine.

System Biologist

Primary tasks

  • Developing an advanced computational framework for comprehensive multi-omics (transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, lipidomics, microbiota), multi-tissue (adipose tissue, muscle, serum, urine, feces, saliva) analyses
  • Designing RNA/DNA sequencing analytics
  • Applying innovative data visualization concepts
  • Developing machine learning methods, especially for predicting longitudinal models
  • Active participation in research projects
  • Writing manuscripts and project proposals

Required experience & skills

  • MSc/PhD candidates with a strong background in Systems/Computational Biology, Bioinformatics or related areas. Experience in Aging research is a plus.
  • Strong programming skills
  • Strong background in statistical methods
  • Experience in the analysis of large-scale omics data
  • Full English language proficiency

Would be a plus

  • Gene editing and optimisation techniques
  • Cell culture work
  • General molecular biology methods
  • Imaging

Personal qualities

  • Applicants should be ambitious with a desire to pursue fundamental research.
  • Effective organisational skills and ability to quickly adapt to change.
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities.
  • Critical thinking — able to read, interpret, and analyze scientific literature.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.

Data Scientist

In close collaboration with biologists and bioinformatics specialists from our team, as well as in collaboration with a team from the University of Liverpool, you will come up with solutions for data-centric problems and obtain the needed data. Because the field of aging is only developing and much about it is still unknown, these will very often be tasks that no one in the world has yet solved. Together with your team, you will figure out how to get the necessary data from open sources and combine it with our existing datasets. You will then create the appropriate algorithms and figure out how to rapidly test hypotheses.

Primary tasks

  • Deal with the underlying biological basis of a given data-centric problem — our biologists are happy to brief you and otherwise help out
  • Together with the team, figure out how to obtain the necessary data from open sources and combine it with our existing datasets
  • Develop algorithms for processing the dataset and create ways to validate the results

A typical task that would be:
Download data on all articles on PubMed (> 30 million). From the list of genes that are associated with aging, find out which biological processes are most frequently mentioned in association with these genes. Use word embeddings to find similar processes. Highlight genes that are potentially associated with the processes that are already known.

Required experience & skills

  • Thoroughgoing knowledge of modern ML algorithms and the limits of their application (or a great desire to teach yourself this)
  • Python, NumPy, Pandas, Jupyter; R will be a plus
  • Deep learning frameworks – Keras/TensorFlow/PyTorch and an understanding of neural network architectures (CNN, RNN, etc.)
  • SQL, an understanding of relational databases, the ability to design a database with several dozen entities
  • NoSQL will be a big plus
  • Programming skills other than DS — there will be tasks in which the data is presented in the form of hundreds of gigabytes of complex-structured XML files, so you should know how to work with streams and know the algorithms for efficiently processing large amounts of data
  • Experience with cloud systems and the ability to apply AWS/GCP services in addition to renting virtual machines
  • Science background in biology/physics/chemistry/computer science/mathematics and experience with scientific literature will be a plus
  • Full English language proficiency

To apply for this position please send a CV and a brief letter describing your research experience and interests to careers@centaura.com.

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Aging profiles project: System Biologist & Data Scientist positions