The Genetic Epidemiology group is seeking two highly motivated postdoctoral scientists to participate in the design and analysis of large genomic datasets in order to identify and validate drug targets for neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and ALS.
The goal of the Genetic Epidemiology group within Research and Early Development is to translate human genetic discoveries into testable therapeutic hypotheses. We leverage large-scale genetic, genomic and clinical datasets to support target discovery and validation for Biogen’s drug discovery research teams and clinical programs. Biogen has made substantial investments in external partnerships and collaborations, and a focus of the team will be how to best leverage these resources. These collaborations include the UK Biobank Life Sciences Consortium (that by 2020 will have generated whole-exome sequencing data on 500,000 UK Biobank participants), FinnGen (a precompetitive partnership generating genotypes on 500,000 Finns with longitudinal health data), as well as other public and proprietary resources, including clinical trial, disease-specific whole-genome/exome sequencing and large-scale QTL data, to help initiate novel and enhance existing drug development programs.
The aims of the research project include but are not limited to:
Identify and characterize loci associated with neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric disease prognosis and progression
Identify and characterize loci associated with neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric disease-relevant biomarkers, imaging and other endophenotypes
Assess the utility of polygenic risk scores for patient stratification in clinical trials
Use Mendelian randomization and colocalization approaches to evaluate potential therapeutic effects and safety of proposed targets.
At Biogen, we consider these activities pre-competitive and therefore encourage the dissemination of findings at scientific conferences and journal publications. The candidates will join an experienced team of statistical geneticists and have opportunities to closely collaborate with the broader Biogen R&D community. They will be mentored by Drs. Jimmy Liu, Chia-Yen Chen and Heiko Runz.
Strong background and knowledge of quantitative/statistical genetics theory and applications
Hands-on experience in the QC, analysis and interpretation of large complex disease genetic datasets, ideally both GWAS and whole exome/genome sequencing studies
Experience with data science tools and frameworks (we use Python, R, Apache Spark and SQL) in high-performance computing/cloud environments
Outstanding teamwork, communication and writing skills
Experience working with population-scale datasets such as UK Biobank
A strong publication record with experience leading large complex disease genetics studies
Experience with neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric diseases and an interest in the role of human genetics in drug development
PhD in statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, genomics, human genetics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics or related field with 0-3 years of postdoctoral training.
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Biogen is a pioneer in biotechnology and today the Company has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), has introduced the first and only approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, and is at the forefront of neurology research for conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Biogen also manufactures and commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics. Our global organization of nearly 7,000 employees is committed to a single mission: making a meaningful difference in the lives of patients with few or no treatment options. One of the pioneers in biotechnology, Biogen was founded in 1978 and today serves patients in nearly 90 countries. Our global headquarters and R&D operations are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with an international headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, world-class manufacturing facilities in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA and Hillerod, Denmark, and affiliate locations arou...nd the world.
We aspire to have the greatest impact on patients and science of any biotechnology company in the history of our industry. To us, that means creating novel medicines that benefit individuals and society, and bringing new scientific understanding to diseases for which there are no adequate treatments. For nearly two decades Biogen has led in the research and development of new therapies to treat MS, including the most prescribed oral treatment in the world. Now our research is driving revolutionary new MS treatments with the goal of reversing or even repairing damage caused by the disease. We are now applying our neurological expertise to solve some of most challenging and complex diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. As we uncover new insights into human biology, Biogen is employing cutting-edge technologies to discover potential treatments for rare and genetic disorders. Biogen is revolutionizing biologics manufacturing, developing the industry’s most advanced plants and processes. This expertise is used to produce both original innovative therapies and biosimilars that expand patient access to lower-cost medicines.