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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Decentralized Health

Please refer to reference number PDFO-55199 when applying for this position.



This position is part of a large interdisciplinary effort led by Dr. Dean Regier (BC Cancer and UBC School of Public Health). The project focuses on healthcare systems that generate precision data, produce evidence, and use this evidence to guide patient care. Current healthcare systems are not designed to allow for learning healthcare. In response to this unmet need, two major Canadian precision oncology initiatives are building platforms for data sharing to enable learning healthcare systems. To guarantee their success, we need to understand their economic impact and make sure that their design is in line with patient and public values as well as Canadian laws and regulations. The Canadian Network for Learning Healthcare Systems and Cost-Effective ‘Omics Innovation (CLEO) will meet these design needs by partnering with Canadian learning healthcare system initiatives for precision oncology. Together we will: (1) inform the design of learning healthcare systems that turns genomic knowledge into sustainable cancer care; (2) advance research; (3) build capacity to deliver this research and its benefits into the future; and (4) produce research that yields individual, social and economic benefits for all Canadians. The primary goal of the project is to develop and implement a distributed ledger-based platform to support secure use by patients, clinicians, the health system, and industry. of high dimensional genetic and other ‘omic data (e.g., metabolomics, proteomics) pertaining to cancer patients that account for patient consent and privacy interests.  Development of the platform is aimed at stimulating policy discussion concerning supporting data platforms for learning healthcare systems, specifically how they might be designed to accord with patient and societal interests in data generation and use as well as which platforms, policies and practices are needed to get the right data, to the right researchers and clinicians, at the right time, in the right way.

Required Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should have a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science, or other related fields. Ideal candidates should have experience working with blockchains and distributed ledgers in a healthcare context. Qualified individuals will have the following experience and skills:

  1. Experience designing and implementing blockchain and distributed ledger systems, including consensus mechanisms
  2. Experience using artificial intelligence to analyze data, including privacy-preserving techniques
  3. Experience validating blockchain and distributed ledger technologies and algorithms
  4. Ability to write structured code, basic scripting, run unit tests and debugging.
  5. Ability to effectively use statistical software at an intermediate or higher level
  6. Ability to work effectively, independently, and collaboratively in a team environment
  7. Ability to interact productively and professionally with a wide range of internal and external collaborators
  8. Strong organizational, time management, and project management skills.

Additional desired qualifications:

  1. Knowledge in a wide variety of blockchain and distributed ledger protocols
  2. Knowledgeable in JavaScript and experience with traditional object-oriented languages (e.g., Java, .Net, Ruby, Python)
  3. Familiarity with Mechanism Design and Algorithmic Game Theory
  4. Experience managing studies involving omics data for cancer research
  5. Background and knowledge in healthcare policies, laws, regulations, and certifications.

Research Plan

This position will implement the following research phases:

A. Identify the parameters and functioning framework for a distributed ledger solution for healthcare systems that generate precision data, produce evidence, and use this evidence to guide patient care; identify a list of important specifications required for the solution. Identify all potential usable commercially available or in-development blockchain and distributed ledger protocols that could support such a solution. With a short-list of potential protocols, perform a detailed assessment of whether these protocols meet the specifications. With the research team, determine if these available solutions can be modified for our study purposes.

B. Develop a solution that can effectively meet our requirements and specifications. This solution may employ one or more existing blockchain or distributed ledger protocols/solutions or involve the development of novel blockchain/DLT technology or components.

C. Test and modify the designed solution in laboratory or simulated clinical settings. Other members of the study team will facilitate access and approval to work within these settings. Manage a study where the solution is deployed in relevant clinical settings to assess performance. This will include identifying suitable clinical settings where we can potentially pilot test the solution.

To Apply

To apply, please send your Cover Letter and CV by email to:

Dr. Victoria Lemieux,

Desired start date: 01 September, 2021
Duration: Fixed term / Temporary
Contract Type: Full Time

How to apply?

Please send applications to and refer to reference number PDFO-55199.

Desired start date: 01 Sep 2021
Duration: Fixed term / Temporary
Contract Type: Full Time