Biostatistician/Computational Biologist in Statistical Genetics
Boston, MA 
Posted 11 days ago
Job Description

Biostatistician / Computational Biologist in Statistical Genetics of Complex Eye Diseases

Ocular Genomics Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School


We are seeking a highly qualified and motivated Biostatistician with a strong background in statistics and computational biology to study the genetic and biological causes of complex eye diseases, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, and differential drug response. The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Ayellet Segre and Dr. Janey Wiggs in the Ocular Genomic Institute and Department of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE). MEE is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and is an international leader for treatment and research in both Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. Dr. Wiggs, a glaucoma specialist at MEE, studies the genetic basis of common and rare forms of glaucoma, and leads the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses for primary open angle glaucoma, with national and international collaborators. Dr. Segre develops and applies new statistical and computational methods that integrate functional genomics (e.g., eQTLs, single cell RNA-seq data) data with large-scale human association and sequencing studies to identify causal regulatory mechanisms, genes and pathways that lead to common eye diseases, with the ultimate goal of proposing new preventative and therapeutic targets for eye disease. To learn more about the labs please visit:

The successful candidate will have a strong background in statistics, statistical genetics, computational genomics, bioinformatics, or a related quantitative field, and strong programming skills, and should be excited to contribute to advancing the science and medicine of eye disease. Research experience with large-scale genomic data desired. Research projects will involve statistical analyses of GWAS, whole genome and whole exome sequencing data, and large-scale genotype and phenotype data from the UK Biobank, and integration with functional genomic data, to identify novel genetic risk factors and biological processes associated with complex eye diseases.

If interested, please send your CV, a cover letter describing your previous research experience and future research interests, and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Ayellet Segre: ayellet_segre [at] meei [dot] harvard [dot] edu.



  • Apply and develop pipelines for preprocessing, quality control, imputation, and phasing of genotype data (array, whole exome, and whole genome-sequencing), using available and custom-built tools.
  • Work on a pharmacogenetic study of differential response to diabetic retinopathy treatment in collaboration with Dr. Lucia Sobrin at MEE.
  • Perform genetic association analyses at the variant, regulatory element, gene, and gene set levels in large cohorts (e.g., UK Biobank) to identify common and rare variants, genes, and pathways associated with glaucoma and other common eye diseases. Build polygenic risk scores.
  • Develop and apply new statistical and computational methods that integrate functional genomic and single cell transcriptomic data with genome-wide association and sequencing studies to gain biological insights into the causal mechanisms of eye disease.
  • Organize all scripts in a publicly available repository (e.g., github) with clear documentation.
  • Critically review, analyze, and communicate results to our team and collaborators.
  • Work on both collaborative and independent projects, and write up work for publications.


  • M.Sc. or Ph.D. in statistical genetics, (bio)statistics, computational genomics, bioinformatics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative discipline required. If MSc level, several years of experience preferred
  • Strong programming skills and in-depth experience with several programming languages required, e.g., Python, R, Matlab, C++.
  • Experience with Unix/Linux environments required, including shell scripting.
  • Research experience with statistical analyses of large-scale data required; experience in the field of genomics and bioinformatics desired.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, rigorous work, and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong personal skills, and excellent organization and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced, academic environment and evolving field.


  • Research experience in statistical genetics, genomics, or next-generation sequencing desired.
  • Background in regression models, machine learning, statistical genetics, or computational genomics a plus.
  • A strong motivation to contribute to the development of statistical methods for genomic research of eye diseases.


The Segre and Wiggs labs are located in the main hospital building of Mass Eye and Ear (MEE), 243 Charles Street, in standard research and office work spaces of the Ocular Genomics Institute at MEE. The candidate will work amongst a team of other computational biologists, data scientists, and students in the Ocular Genomics Institute, and will be part of a larger multidisciplinary research environment, which includes geneticists, clinical scientists, and experimental biologists. The candidate will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the Medical and Population Genetics community at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, with whom our labs are affiliated. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, work is currently mostly remote, but the hospital policy is constantly being revised.

EEO Statement

Massachusetts Eye and Ear is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to providing a workplace free from harassment or discrimination. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, age, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, sex, pregnancy or conditions related to pregnancy, national origin/ancestry, citizenship, disability, military status, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by law. These protections extend to all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring practices, appraisal systems, promotions, training, and career development programs.

Primary Location: MA-Boston-MEI Mass Eye and Ear Main Building Boston
Work Locations:
MEI Mass Eye and Ear Main Building Boston
243 Charles Street
Boston 02114
Job: Data/Analytics
Organization: Mass. Eye and Ear (MEE)
Schedule: Full-time
Standard Hours: 40
Shift: Day Job
Posted Shift Description: 40 hours
Employee Status: Regular
Recruiting Department: MEI Segre Lab
Job Posting: Jun 8, 2021


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Required Experience
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