Computational Scientist - Health Services Research

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Oct 8, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
The primary purpose of the Health Services Research Decision Scientist position is to develop and maintain mathematical and simulation models related to research conducted in Health Services Research, develop optimization algorithms, computer code, perform statistical analysis and prepares reports, often associated with modeling cancer disease progression and medical decision making.


Mathematical modeling (25%) Develop mathematical (optimization) models and implement optimization algorithms to solve the analytical model to optimality. Validate the mathematical model on observational data obtained through national and regional cancer registries and/or clinical trials, maintain and update the models to reflect clinical practice as needed. Willing to learn new optimization techniques and approximation methods to solve the analytical models efficiently.

Simulation modeling (25%) Develop simulation (microsimulation or Monte-Carlo simulation) models to simulate disease progression and complex processes throughout the cancer care continuum. Validate the simulation models on observational data obtained through national and regional cancer registries and/or clinical trials, maintain and update the models to reflect clinical practice as needed.

Data analysis (15%) Perform basic and advanced statistical data analysis under supervision of a statistical analyst. Assist faculty member in development of statistical methods for risk assessment and prediction. Be able to manage multiple projects efficiently.

Research and training (2%) Perform literature review, learn medical terms, and identify appropriate methods for research project under supervision of a more advanced level scientist or a faculty member. Participate and present at monthly lab group meetings. Willing to take on challenges to meet deadlines for projects. Assist and train trainees on how to use the models and work with the computer code. Discuss with advanced level scientist and research team to propose ideas about study design, cohort selection, data analysis and results interpretation.

Data management (3%) Analyze data from national and regional cancer registries such as SEER, medical billing and coding system, national surveys such as NHANES and NHIS, manage commonly used large multiscale claims databases such as IBM MarketScan data, Optum Clinformatics data mart, Medicare data.

Reporting (5%) Prepare data analysis results in publishable formats such as tables, text, and figures. Draft the memo with study cohort, statistical analysis methods and results under the supervision of a more advanced level analyst. May present findings at relevant meetings both inside and outside of the institution as requested.

Computer programming (25%) Develop computer code for data analyses, mathematical and simulation models using programming languages such as Julia, R, and Python. Develop and maintain online repositories on GitHub.

Other duties as assigned


Required: Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or related field.

Preferred: Master's degree or PhD with a concentration in Science, Engineering or related field.


Required: Five years experience in scientific software development/analysis. With Master's degree, three years experience required. With PhD, one year of experience required.

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.

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