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Employer:  Biogen Idec
Industry:  Biotechnology / Pharma
Country:  United States
State/Province:  Massachusetts
City:  Cambridge
09/14/2018 09:03 AM
The Translational Biology Organization in Research and Early Development at Biogen is responsible for providing and analyzing genetic, genomic, cellular and in vivo data to support target validation and the therapeutic rationale for Biogen's drug discovery research teams and clinical development programs.
We are looking for a successful scientist and customer-focused leader to head Biogen's Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology team. This team is responsible for providing genetics and genomics expertise to the R&D organization with a focus on developing and applying cutting-edge genetic approaches to support early target discovery and validation.
The Head of Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology will be a human geneticist, biostatistician or epidemiologist who is well-versed in a range of statistical genetic principles and methods applied to large population and familial genetic data sets, electronic health records, clinical data, and/or laboratory data for interrogating complex phenotypes. A track record of successfully analyzing and drawing meaningful scientific conclusions from large and complex genetic datasets available through academic consortia, public-private partnerships or multi-partner industry collaborations is essential. Candidates with prior leadership roles in such activities will be prioritized. Experience in Biogen's focus area of neurological, neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatry or associated intermediate phenotypes will be a plus.
Biogen has made substantial investments in external partnerships and collaborations and a focus of the Head of Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology will be how to best leverage these resources. This includes leadership roles in the UK Biobank Life Sciences Consortium (that by 2019 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), Open Targets (a platform to integrate supporting evidence for the suitability of genes as drug targets), as well as other public and proprietary resources. In addition, the candidate will be expected to evaluate and establish further external partnerships and collaborations in relevant cohorts, in order to build out the human genetic evidence base for our core and emerging disease areas.

The incumbent will work in an experienced team of statistical geneticists and closely collaborate with researchers in the broader Translational Biology group, therapeutic area scientists, clinical researchers, and other interested parties to identify the most relevant opportunities to influence decisions and increase our probability of success in developing new medicines to diseases of the highest medical need.
The Head of Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology will be expected to -
• Lead a small team of PhD level scientists and ensure the establishment and best possible use of advanced statistical genetic and genetic epidemiological analytical techniques with the aim to discover and validate drug targets and biomarkers, and to identify mechanisms of action based on human data.
• Be responsible for ensuring Biogen is at the forefront of statistical genetics, establishing best practices and standards, and the development and execution of statistical genetics plans to support Biogen's R&D programs.
• Contribute expertise on human genetic data sets to support Biogen's broader human knowledge base.
• Provide leadership and engagement with internal partners to further advance the impact of genetics on Biogen's portfolio.
• Maintain a strong external network and provide leadership for external collaborations that ensure the human genetics capabilities and resources remain on the leading edge of emerging new technologies and analytical approaches.

Requisition Number

Employment Category
Full-Time Regular

External Posting Title
Head of Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology

Job Category
Research & Development

Deep expertise in the field of statistical genetics and working knowledge of emerging approaches to leverage human genetic data for therapy development, for example, quantitative trait analysis, Mendelian Randomization methods and genetic risk score methodologies
• Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with research project teams
• Excellent communication and presentation skills. Ability to translate complex statistical/informatics terminology in such a way that scientifically trained individuals can readily understand their significance
• A pragmatic leader with a focus on value-creating activities and a track record of creativity, innovation, such as demonstrated through high-impact relevant peer-reviewed scientific publications
• A track record of leading a technical team and developing staff as individuals and leaders

Ph.D., or M.D./Ph.D. in a relevant scientific discipline. Several years (guideline 8+) of post-graduate experience with analysis of biological and/or medical data sets. At least 3+ years of first-hand experience analyzing large genetic data sets with cutting-edge analytics approaches.

Experience Level
Mid-Senior Level

Effective use of disruptive technologies is at the heart of Biogen's strategy to discover and develop highly differentiated medicines. We are investing in human genetics and genomics, digital technologies and advanced analytics to address scientific questions that will improve the discovery and development of the next generation of therapeutics.

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