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Principal Software Developer

Posted on 30 March 2023

Join our team of researchers, engineers, and designers to shape the future of biomedical research! The Gehlenborg Lab in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School is funded to develop data visualization tools and user interfaces for multiple national and international cell atlas projects such as the Human Biomolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP), the Cellular Senescence Network (SenNet), the Human Tumor Atlas Network (HTAN), the Kidney Precision Medicine Network(KPMP), and the Human Cell Atlas (HCA).

The ultimate goal of these efforts is to create maps of the human body at single-cell resolution with the help of cutting edge technologies that generate large and complex sequencing and imaging data sets. The maps will shape our understanding of processes like aging and usher in a new era of treatments for common human diseases.

You will play an integral role in our software development efforts for the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP), with the possibility to contribute to other cell atlas projects in the Gehlenborg Lab. With a deep understanding of the software development tasks needed to accomplish the goals of HuBMAP, you will architect and lead implementation of our software products, manage a team of developers, and appropriately allocate resources to accomplish those goals. You will have excellent communication skills to work closely with other remote HuBMAP partners at different national sites. In collaboration with the UI/UX team, you will digest high-level deliverables into actionable issues, plan sprints, and summarize the work completed. You will implement a rigorous testing and quality assurance process to maintain the high quality of our software products. You will be responsible for contributing to planning discussions, while keeping in mind larger project goals and low-level system constraints. You will lead technical meetings and contribute to quarterly reporting to funders. You will also play a lead role in hiring, onboarding, and training new software developers.

We value diversity, creativity, and initiative in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment. The Gehlenborg Lab has an international reputation for creating high impact data visualization tools and we are driven to solve the most challenging design and engineering problems in biomedical data science. We would love to have you on our team!

Work Environment

The Gehlenborg Lab is using a hybrid workplace model and this position can be fully remote, hybrid, or in-person. All remote work must be performed within a state in which Harvard is registered to do business. Occasional domestic or international travel to attend meetings may be required.

Typical Core Duties

  • Participate fully in software development life cycle
  • Research, design, and implement technical solutions to deliver business requirements
  • Identify opportunities to improve and simplify applications portfolio and implement related enhancements
  • Contribute to creation and maturing of software development best practices and new technologies
  • Draw on relationship and technical skills to act as technical liaison to internal and external clients and to mentor junior staff
  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies and Code of Conduct

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of seven years post-secondary education or relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field preferred but not required
  • Prior supervisory experience
  • Experience with state of the art software development practices including automated testing, CI/CD, object-oriented design, packaging, and documentation
  • Ability to produce high quality code in Python, JavaScript, React, and shell scripting languages
  • Working knowledge of CSS and React design patterns and libraries e.g. Webpack, MaterialUI, Styled Components, or Storybook
  • Working knowledge of automated testing approaches, ranging from granular unit tests to functional tests of entire applications, and ability to guide other developers in their application
  • Hands on experience with GitHub or other collaborative version control systems
  • Familiarity with search engines (e.g., Lucene/Elasticsearch), workflow languages (e.g., CWL), containerization (e.g., Docker), and data validation languages (regular expressions/JSON schema) is desirable
  • Experience with cloud computing infrastructures and deployment strategies is strongly preferred
  • Experience with data visualization, data portals, or software development in support of academic research is preferred
  • Understanding of basics of molecular biology and biomedical research is helpful but not required
  • Motivation for mentoring junior team members, interns and trainees and collaborating with peers across multiple sites


This is a one-year term position with strong potential for renewal.

How to Apply

Apply on Harvard Careers.

Harvard Medical School is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.