Director, Statistical Genetics

Date: Jan 30, 2019

Location: Boston, MA, US

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Requisition ID: BIO005223

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.


Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a scientific research facility and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases. 


We are currently seeking a Director of Statistical Genetics to contribute to Merck’s human genetics effort. You will perform both a critical strategic and hands-on role, in overseeing the scientific direction of programs involving human genetics and genomics for target identification and validation in multiple therapeutic areas. This Boston-based position will report into the VP of Genetics and Pharmacogenomics and sit on the department’s global leadership team. 


You will be a recognized expert in field of statistical genetics, bioinformatics, or genetic epidemiology.  You will know how to integrate diverse types of genetic information and be able to articulate the strengths and limitations of each approach. In addition to providing strategic and operational leadership, you will lead a team and partner with other groups in discovery genetics, functional genomics, cancer genomics, and pharmacogenomics.


You will be expected to operate in a highly collaborative environment, partnering with peers on site (all therapeutic areas, pharmacology, chemistry, biologics, experimental medicine) and at other locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, London, and emerging markets. You will also have extensive interactions with external partners, including leaders in academia as well as other Pharma/biotech companies.


In this exciting role, you will:

  • Assist in developing and driving the strategy to identify and prioritize programs entering the early pipeline across all therapeutic areas
  • Collaborate with strategic operations, manage a portfolio of projects to review and prioritize new and on-going projects

  • Manage, all aspects of performance management including but not limited to coaching, creating employee development plans, participating in our official performance review processes and providing constructive feedback
  • Recruit for any open positions as well as assisting with recruiting efforts for the entire department
  • Collaborate across functional areas and in a matrixed environment to develop integrated research plans, optimize resource allocation, and maximize efficiencies to best execute on programs
  • Integrate diverse ‘omics / biological datasets with human genetic data to identify novel pathways for drug development across all therapeutic areas
  • Work closely with genetic discovery, functional biology, and clinical teams to design genetic studies, including writing and defending project approval documents

  • Analyze and integrate large-scale genetic data sets, including next-generation sequencing (WGS, WES, RNA-Seq) and GWAS/RVAS data

  • Work with data analysts and experimentalists to identify genes and variants associated with human phenotypes in families with rare Mendelian traits, as well as individuals from the general population or distinct population cohorts

  • Communicate and present study results to project team, as well as the broader scientific community, including proposals for further experiments and publications in leading journals



Education Minimum Requirement:

  • A PhD or MD

Required Experience or Skills:

  • A minimum 6 years experience in human statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology or bioinformatics.
  • Demonstrated history of achievement, including peer reviewed publications, and patents
  • Appreciation of the role of human genetics for target identification and validation
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and a proven ability to create and work within high performance teams and/or matrix organizations


Preferred Experience or Skills:

  • Ability to critically evaluate scientific and therapeutic proposals and adopt novel technologies to facilitate groundbreaking research
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct research both individually and collaboratively
  • Experience prioritizing work against departmental and company goals
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to establish and maintain productive and high caliber internal and external collaborations cross-site
  • Familiarity with interrogation tools including Mendelian randomization and PheWAS
Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 
If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to
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Job: Biology-Discovery
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 20 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck

Nearest Major Market: Boston

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