Head, Neuroscience & Ophthalmology TA Genetics

Tarrytown, New York
Mar 20, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Position Summary

The Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, whose goals are to apply large scale human genetics to identify new drug targets and to guide the development of therapeutics programs and precision medicine. Building upon Regeneron's strengths in mouse genetics and genetics-driven drug discovery and development, the RGC specializes in ultra-high-throughput exome sequencing, large scale informatics and data analysis encompassing genomics and electronic health records, and translating genetic discoveries into new biology and drug discovery opportunities. The RGC leverages multiple approaches including large population based studies, Mendelian genetics and family based studies, founder population genetics, and large-scale disease focused projects and has developed a network of over 50 collaborations with research organizations around the world. Including some of the largest sequencing studies in the world, such as the DiscovEHR study in collaboration with Geisinger Health System, and an initiative to sequence 500,000 participants with the UK Biobank, the RGC has built one of the largest human genetics databases, including sequence data from over several hundred thousand participants and rapidly growing. Our interests encompass a breadth of different areas across all therapeutic areas and the RGC is highly integrated into all facets of research and development at Regeneron. Program goals include target discovery, indication discovery, and patient-disease stratification. Objectives include advancing basic science around the world through public sharing of discoveries, providing clinically-valuable insights to physicians and providers of collaborating health-care systems, improving patient outcomes, and identifying novel targets for drug development.


The Head of Neuroscience and Ophthalmology Therapeutic Area Genetics will be a member of the leadership team at the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) whose goals are the application of large scale human genetics to identify new drug targets, to guide the development of therapeutics programs, and to identify genetic predictors of drug response. Roles and responsibilities will include leading human genetics projects in furtherance of these goals in the defined therapeutic areas; these efforts will require extensive partnership with preclinical research teams (Therapeutic Focus Area teams), Clinical Development, and other R&D functions at Regeneron. The role will also require close partnership with RGC's Analytical Genetics team who will provide expertise and collaborate in the development of study designs and statistical analysis plans and conduct analyses, producing results for interpretation and translational follow up. The Head will be responsible for continuing to build resources and new external collaborations (samples for sequencing and new datasets) that will strengthen RGC's portfolio of neuroscience and ophthalmology genetics projects and discovery capabilities. Primary responsibilities will include novel gene discovery research with an emphasis on large effect size genetic discoveries and those with translational potential (i.e. large unmet medical need, therapeutic interests, etc) as new targets or areas of biology to explore at Regeneron. The goals and outputs of these research programs are to feed novel candidate genes into (1) downstream research teams studying target biology and (2) drug discovery teams developing therapeutics against these targets, leveraging Regeneron's capabilities in antibody drug discovery, as well as other modalities (e.g. small molecules, CRISPR, gene therapy, etc). These responsibilities will entail leading discovery genetics research supporting the advancement of existing therapeutics programs, by exploring genetic associations in support of target-indication hypotheses, safety considerations, and precision medicine opportunities (i.e. genetically defined patient populations). The role and its corresponding research programs will be at the center of discovery science and drug development at Regeneron and involve close partnership with preclinical, clinical, and technology center (molecular profiling, mouse genetics, etc) research teams collectively working towards advancing important new medicines and unlocking new areas of biology. The Head will lead a team of human genetics scientists and continue to build and grow the function to meet the expanding scope and goals of the RGC and Regeneron R&D. The position will require extensive coordination and collaboration with other functional area heads within the RGC, research and clinical development scientists at Regeneron, and external collaborators.

• Lead genetic discovery projects in neuroscience and ophthalmology therapeutic areas, covering neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric diseases, pain, glaucoma, retinal diseases, and other areas of interest with primary aims of discovering new drug targets and guiding the development of existing therapeutic programs (i.e. indication selection, evaluation of safety considerations, and precision medicine opportunities).
• Build a portfolio of cohorts and well-designed studies to enable broad discovery efforts across neurologic and ocular diseases. This will require identifying and bringing in new collaborations (with support from business/legal and program management functions that have enabled dozens of collaborations for the RGC), sequencing projects, and datasets to supplement existing RGC resources relevant to these therapeutics areas. The role will be responsible for phenotype evaluation for potential collaborator cohorts in their therapeutic areas, as well as specifying analysis-ready phenotype datasets. Provide scientific management of collaboration projects and participate in leadership and governance of collaboration efforts.
• Partner with preclinical research teams (Therapeutic Focus Areas) at Regeneron using human genetics to identify and advance novel drug targets and important new areas of biology. Partner with TFAs in evaluating target portfolios and applying human genetics to help select and prioritize the highest impact targets and development opportunities.
• Support target nominations, with human genetics evidence, for antibody drug targets, CRISPR/gene-editing and gene therapy targets, and small molecule drug development targets. Regeneron has extensive internal capabilities in these areas, as well as multiple drug development partnerships, all leveraging the RGC's human genetics capabilities.
• Partner with Clinical Development to evaluate clinical stage programs and opportunities for human genetics studies to aid in the selection of indications or evaluation of safety considerations. Collaborate on the design of “call back” clinical research studies (to be executed by Clinical Development) in individuals with genotypes of interest/relevance to development programs and interests. Provide human genetics data and evidence for various regulatory submissions.
• Collaborate with Analytical Genetics in the development of study designs and analysis plans for genetics projects within the neuroscience and ophthalmology therapeutic areas.

• Collaborate with RGC Functional Modeling, VelociGene, and TFAs in nominating promising new candidate genes for in depth target biology programs (to be conducted by the aforementioned groups) through in depth animal modeling, biochemistry and molecular biology, etc.
• Communicate and report findings to colleagues, senior management, and external collaborators.
• Manage and grow a Therapeutic Area Genetics team consisting of clinicians, human geneticists, bioinformaticians, and other required staff. Hire, train, and develop talent and leaders.
• Develop department goals, as well as team and individual development goals. Contribute to the development of RGC goals, culture, and strategy.

• MD or PhD with strong background and expertise in human genetics research in neurology and ophthalmology Absolute requirement for human genetics training or experience.
• Minimum of 8-10 years of leadership and managerial experience (or equivalent experience leading cross-functional and collaborative projects) and providing scientific and strategic leadership to a mid-sized team in a collaborative research organization.
• Involvement in genetic discovery efforts/projects and use of large scale WES/WGS data sets such as TOPMed, T2D-GENES, GO-ESP, CHARGE consortium, Centers for Mendelian Genomics, or others.
• Demonstrated ability to design and lead human genetics studies and programs delivering novel genetic findings and medically relevant gene discoveries.
• Familiarity with statistical genetics methods spanning family and Mendelian studies, population based studies, imputation, genotype-phenotype association studies, etc. Proficiency with various variant annotation and filtering tools for gene conservation, predicting deleterious or LOF mutations, etc. Familiarity with clinical genetics and various genetic models of disease.
• Experience with multiple platforms (chip-typing, WES & WGS, Sanger, custom capture targeted sequencing, etc) as well as other genomic profiling technologies (microarrays, RNASeq, etc).
• Experience with molecular characterization and functional studies geared towards elucidating gene function and mechanism.

This is an opportunity to join our select team that is already leading the way in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry. Apply today and learn more about Regeneron's unwavering commitment to combining good science & good business.

To all agencies: Please, no phone calls or emails to any employee of Regeneron about this opening. All resumes submitted by search firms/employment agencies to any employee at Regeneron via-email, the internet or in any form and/or method will be deemed the sole property of Regeneron, unless such search firms/employment agencies were engaged by Regeneron for this position and a valid agreement with Regeneron is in place. In the event a candidate who was submitted outside of the Regeneron agency engagement process is hired, no fee or payment of any kind will be paid.

Regeneron is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Requisition Number: 10664BR