Vice President, Computational Biology
Biogen Idec 149 reviews - Cambridge, MA

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We are seeking a passionate individual to lead a new interdisciplinary function focused on the application of advanced analytics capabilities to large and complex R&D data sets.

Successful pharmaceutical R&D is increasingly dependent on the ability to analyze large data sets that integrate genomics data, clinical data, medical data, imaging data, and other relevant data types. In addition to hypothesis-driven interrogation of such data there is a growing need to look at these data in their totality in search of emerging patterns. Information from such patterns may lead to the identification of novel biomarkers or drug targets, or may enhance our understanding of population diversity and disease heterogeneity, thus leading to more tailored treatments, enhanced clinical study designs, and improved safety monitoring.

Our goal is to create a new organizational capability that complements informatics skills that already exist elsewhere in the company and within Research and Development by focusing on such problems with large, heterogeneous data sets, with a particular emphasis on cross-disciplinary integrative data analytics and modeling. The Senior Director, R&D Scientific Analytics, will have a profound understanding of the complexity of biological, clinical and medical data and will be familiar with standard as well as emerging approaches for analyzing and modeling such information. This includes traditional bioinformatics and systems biology methods as well as data mining and machine learning approaches.

The incumbent will also appreciate the increasing significance of imaging data, behavioral data, electronic medical records and social networking data as emerging resources that generate significant challenges and opportunities of their own. He/She will also appreciate the strengths and limitations of these data sets as well as their associated ethical, legal and social policy issues and be recognized within the Company as an expert in this area. He or she will partner with therapeutic area scientists, clinical researchers, epidemiologists, and other interested parties to identify the most relevant opportunities to influence decisions through the application of state-of-the art informatics and data mining capabilities. The incumbent will possess business acumen provided by relevant experience which will ensure that the team’s efforts are squarely aimed at problems most likely to deliver real world benefits.

The incumbent must also have a broad and deep understanding of the IT capabilities needed to implement such a capability, especially in the areas of high performance computing, web and semantic technologies, data pipelining and the implementation and maintenance of large-scale open-source platforms. He or she will partner closely with IT to implement the application and compute infrastructure needed to support such advanced analytics.
Specific responsibilities include:
• Work with senior R&D leaders to identify opportunities for the use of advanced analytics capabilities to inform R&D decisions;
• Ability to lead a core group to work collaboratively with the
bioinformatics /computational biology capabilities that are already in the drug discovery and development groups.
• Initiate and oversee data analysis collaborations that are aimed at delivering critical information to R&D project and program teams;
• Drive a portfolio of activities that complements project/program-focused analysis with initiatives aimed at generating new hypotheses that could change directions of existing, or create new, R&D projects;
• Create a high-performing cross-disciplinary group with a passion for rigorous biomedical information analysis
• Collaborate with R&D to identify and obtain the best sources of internal and external data relevant to Biogen Idec’s interests
• Collaborate with IT to ensure relevant data sources are optimally organized and integrated, the required computing and storage infrastructure is available, and the necessary tools are installed and supported;
• Foster close relationships with internal experts that bring additional expertise to the team (e.g., biostatistics);
• Identify opportunities for external collaborations that ensure that Biogen’s analytics capabilities remain on the leading edge of emerging new technologies and analytical approaches;
• Provide readouts at program team meetings and program reviews that explain the data, the analysis, and the findings in such a way that others can readily understand their relevance and implications;
• Create annual operating plans and budgets;
• Be a mentor for his or her staff of approximately 12FTEs and grow them as scientists, employees, and leaders.
Job Category
Research & Preclinical Development
Requisition Number
• The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in a relevant scientific discipline and/or technology area;
• At least 8 years of experience with biological and/or medical data sets and 3+ years of experience analyzing large data sets with advanced analytics approaches
• Deep experience with the analysis of genomics and clinical data sets, ideally experience working with electronic medical records and image data;
• Hands-on experience with the information technology aspects of data collection, organization, and integration, as well as the systems and tools required for data analysis;
• Knowledge of the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development process with a relevant track record on either the R or D side of the business but preferably both.
• Pragmatic leader with a focus on value-creating activities and a track record of innovation and delivery
• Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with research project teams and/or clinical development program teams;
• Recognized as a creative thinker with a penchant for delivering real world value;
• Excellent presentation skills. Can translate complex statistical/informatics terminology in such a way that scientifically trained individuals can readily understand their significance;
• A track record of leading a technical team and developing staff as individuals and leaders, as well a budgetary responsibility.
• The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. with 15 years experience in a relevant scientific discipline and/or technology area;

About this company
149 reviews
Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) is a global leader in the discovery, development and delivery of innovative therapies to improve the lives of...