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Biogen Postdoctoral Scientist in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Biogen is seeking a candidate with a Ph.D. in biostatistics, applied mathematics, statistical genetics, bioinformatics, computer science, or a related quantitative field for a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellow position, working in collaboration with the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The candidate must have a strong interest in applying clinical research and medical informatics. The Fellow will work as part of a large interdisciplinary team with multiple collaborators consisting of epidemiologists, clinicians, biostatisticians, programmers, and other data scientists for a data science initiative to understand the natural history of neurofilament levels on healthy aging across three large cohorts with extensive biomarker and phenotypic data to be harmonized.

As part of this project, this person will deal with combining and harmonizing a wide array of clinical and biomarker data across several large, ongoing studies with the potential to develop novel data integration methods. The candidate will also lead in the development of a data-sharing platform through which the data stemming from this project can be shared more broadly and publicly with interested collaborators. Strong programming skills in Python, R, SQL, or other related platforms are essential, along with familiarity with big data analysis frameworks such as Apache Spark. This person must be able to work independently and in a team environment and must have strong communication skills for these highly collaborative projects across multiple partners.

The aims of the research project include but are not limited to:

  1. Characterize the natural history of neurofilament levels in healthy aging across three large clinical cohorts.

  2. Investigate cross-sectional differences in plasma neurofilament concentrations across dozens of complex illnesses, using data from one of the largest biomarker studies conducted to date (up to 50,000 samples).

  3. Develop a data-sharing platform for the dissemination of findings.

At Biogen, we consider these activities pre-competitive and therefore encourage the dissemination of findings at scientific conferences and journal publications. The candidate will work closely with an experienced team of data scientists within the Translational Biology and Biomarkers groups at Biogen as well as at the Division of Preventative Medicine and Brigham & Women’s and will have opportunities to closely collaborate with the broader Biogen R&D community. At Biogen, they will be mentored by Drs. Christopher D. Whelan (Translational Biology) and Marco Petrillo (Biomarkers).

Required

  • Strong background and knowledge of biostatistics and its applications

  • Hands-on experience in the QC, analysis, and interpretation of complex disease datasets

  • Experience with data science tools and frameworks (we use Python, R, Apache Spark, and SQL) in high-performance computing/cloud environments

  • Strong teamwork, communication, and writing skills

Preferred

  • Experience working with population-scale datasets such as UK Biobank

  • A strong publication record with experience leading collaborative biomarker discovery projects

  • Experience with neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric diseases and an interest in the role of human genetics and biomarkers in drug development

Education

Ph.D. in biostatistics, applied mathematics, statistics, human genetics, computer science, or a related quantitative field.

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.

The goal of the Fluid Biomarkers group is to oversee and support the development, implementation, and execution of biomarker strategies in support of programs across Biogen’s portfolio through liaising with relevant stakeholders in clinical, regulatory, and commercial. we are equally focused on in-house assay development and overseeing/managing multiple outsourced projects with contract research laboratories, technology partners, and academics.

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