We are seeking to recruit a Postdoctoral Fellow for a position in statistical genetics of neurodegeneration.
The success of GWAS studies in the last ten years has fundamentally changed our understanding of the genetic basis of complex diseases. Despite this progress, only a small fraction of these discoveries have been translated into detailed causal mechanisms, or investigated using functional experiments, to validate specific genes as potential new therapeutic targets. Open Targets (www.opentargets.org) is a public-private initiative to dramatically accelerate this process, and enable the systematic identification and prioritization of targets. We combine large-scale genomic experiments with objective statistical and computational techniques to identify and validate the causal links between targets, pathways and diseases. We accelerate and enable research and innovation by making the evidence open and accessible to all.
Open Targets has recently launched a series of projects specifically focused on neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We are seeking a post-doctoral statistical geneticist or genetic epidemiologist, to analyse a wide variety of genetic and genomic data, to identify genetically validated therapeutic targets for these debilitating diseases. We will leverage four types of data to identify likely causal variants, genes and mechanisms:
1. Use statistical fine-mapping methods to integrate existing GWAS results with transcriptional and epigenomic resources.
2. Integrate results from analysis of >8,000 exomes from the AD sequencing project to identify potential mechanistic links between rare protein-disrupting variants and common variant associations.
3. Incorporate genome-wide transcriptomic, genetic, epigenomic, and proteomic data from around 2,500 brains from the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP)-AD consortium, UK Brain Expression Consortium, and other datasets.
4. Analyse new data from CRISPR-based approaches to causal variant identification in iPSC derived neurons and microglia, which will be generated as part of this project (led by additional new postdoc recruits, and with CRISPR targets informed by results from analyses of 1-3 above).
The successful applicant will also be encouraged to develop their own interests in this area, including development of new methodological or analytical approaches.
The position will be based at the European Bioinformatics Institute, reporting to Dr. Jeffrey Barrett. The appointee will be part of a team representing the four partners in Open Targets: the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the European Bioinformatics Institute, GlaxoSmithKline, and Biogen, and will work closely with the groups of Daniel Gaffney, Andrew Bassett, Toby Johnson (GSK) and Karol Estrada (Biogen).