Statistical Geneticist

Posted 4 days ago by AstraZeneca

Opportunity: Statistical Geneticist

Location: Cambridge, UK

Salary: Competitive & Excellent Company Benefits

At AstraZeneca, we turn ideas into life changing medicines. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality.

AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research (CGR) is looking for outstanding statistical geneticists to contribute to its genomic strategies in an unprecedented genomic initiative, involving the analysis of up to 2 million genomes. This includes the sequencing of up to 500,000 participants from AstraZeneca and MedImmune clinical studies as well as analysing the sequence data from large population cohorts, including the 500,000 UK Biobank participants, to identify genetic determinants for disease risk and patient stratification among core therapeutic areas of oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

This role represents an exciting opportunity to contribute to ground-breaking research at the forefront of statistical genetics, using one of the largest genomic-clinical datasets currently available. As a statistical geneticist within the CGR, you will be responsible for the design, refinement, application and interpretation of novel approaches to analyse large-scale genomics data accompanied by rich biomarker, phenotype and disease case/control data available through clinical trial or biobank collections (e.g. rare-variant burden/collapsing analyses, common-variant GWAS, pathway analysis, Mendelian randomisation and others). You will share a collective responsibility in the broader objectives of AstraZeneca’s Genome Initiative by supporting the rapid translation of statistical findings to drug discovery, disease biology, target validation and patient stratification and will work closely with experts in translational science, drug discovery, pre-clinical modelling and clinical development. You will also be encouraged to contribute to the development of new methodologies for the analysis of large, complex and multidimensional data.

AstraZeneca is a science-led, global biopharmaceutical company, with a focused portfolio in core therapies. We are committed to improving the health and lives of people across the globe, through our broad research and development platform, and a growing late-stage pipeline. Working in over 100 countries, we have strength in emerging markets, and our medicines are used by millions of patients and clinicians worldwide.


  • Providing expert statistical advice in a cross-functional teams with objectives focused on drug discovery, including target identification, target validation and patient stratification
  • Develop and apply state-of-the-art statistical methods and models to maximise the knowledge extrapolated from our growing genomics data in complex disease and biobank populations
  • Deliver novel insights into the biology of disease, validation of new targets for medicines and the improvement of selection of patients for clinical trials
  • Intellectual involvement in the design and development of novel algorithms and workflows to explore relationships between genetic variation and patient disease and treatment outcomes
  • Assessing the scientific and technical integrity of algorithms and tools within the analysis pipeline
  • Providing detailed reports regarding the statistical analysis plan, analysis approach and research findings
  • Maintaining a well-developed knowledge of statistical genetics and technical advances in the international community
  • Leading genomic science input into the drug development process
  • Contribute to decisions on the collection, generation and integration of new data
  • Collaborating to apply genomic analysis with discovery and development teams
  • Offer expertise and advice to other teams on questions of statistical methods and interpretation
  • Ensuring own work and work of team is compliant with Good Laboratory Practice, Safety, Health and Environment standards and all other internal AstraZeneca standards and external regulations

Qualifications, Skills and Experience Required


  • PhD degree (or equivalent experience) in Statistics, Biostatistics, Genetic Epidemiology, Statistical Genetics or a related discipline
  • Experience in large-scale genomic and phenotypic data analysis, applied complex statistical modelling and machine learning approaches
  • Exceptional skills in theoretical and applied statistics
  • Ability to communicate effectively with team members and non-experts, both verbally and through documentation
  • High-level understanding or interest in the potential of genomics to impact drug discovery
  • Ability to prioritize, problem-solve and perform difficult tasks while under pressure
  • Ability to carry out duties under minimal supervision
  • Excellent coding skills in Python, R or similar language appropriate for large scale genomics analysis
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and willingness to work within a team in a quickly evolving environment
  • Track record of peer-reviewed publications in high-level scientific journals


  • Experience in case-control sequencing based statistical analyses
  • Experience quantifying and interpreting the clinical relevance of rare variants
  • Familiarity with high performance and/or cloud computing
  • Creativity in data visualization
  • Experience interacting, curating, analysing and interpreting structured and unstructured electronic health data
  • Familiarity working on genomics studies involving one of AstraZeneca’s core therapeutic areas

Posting open for applications: 20 May 2020

Posting closing date: 16 June 2020

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

Reference: 40422440

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