Co-op: Statistical Genetics & Genetic Epidemiology

Biogen - Cambridge, MA4.1

The goal of the Statistical Genetics & Genetic Epidemiology group within Research & 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 development programs.

The Statistical Genetics & Genetic epidemiology team in Biogen Research & Early Development is seeking a talented co-op to develop and apply novel statistical approaches to identify and validate drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases. Biogen has made substantial investments in external partnerships and collaborations, and a focus of the team will be how to best leverage these resources. This includes data from 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 to initiate novel and enhance existing drug development programs.

The Co-op will have the opportunity to work in a collaborative team of experienced statistical geneticists and gain an understanding of the role of human genetics in drug development. Specifically, the co-op will work on projects that utilize a wide variety of human genetics software and analysis methods, including genome-wide association studies, gene-based whole-exome sequencing association tests, polygenic risk scores, fine-mapping and Mendelian randomization analyses.


• Experience with statistical software (e.g. R, SAS)
• Programming/scripting skills (e.g. Python, Perl, Java)
• Experience with Unix and high-performance computing/cloud environments
• Outstanding teamwork, communication and writing skills

• Knowledge of statistical/quantitative genetics theory and applications
• Experience with statistical genetics software to clean and analyze large genome-wide association data (e.g. PLINK, GCTA, Eigensoft)
• Experience handling large whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing datasets
• Knowledge of rare-variant association methods (e.g. SKAT, burden tests)
• Experience working with publicly available genetic and functional genomic datasets (e.g. 1000 Genomes, GTEx, Roadmap Epigenomics)

To participate in the Biogen Intern or Co-op Program, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:
• Legal authorization to work in the U.S.
• Enrollment in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program, returning to the academic program following Biogen Intern or Co-op assignment
• Minimum grade point average of 3.2 preferred
• At least 18 years of age prior to the scheduled start date
• Completed at least one year of undergraduate studies


Current graduate or undergraduate student in statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, human genetics, biostatistics, computational biology, bioinformatics, statistics or related.

Master’s or PhD level student preferred.

Employment Category

Full-Time Regular

Experience Level

Internship or Co-op