Mount Sinai Careers
Postdoctoral Position – the Statistical Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease
A postdoctoral position is available in the O’Reilly Lab, with a focus on the Statistical Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The past year has been a landmark year for the statistical genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), with several AD GWAS performed in dramatically larger sample sizes with twice the power of the previous largest AD GWAS from 2013. Pathway analyses of the 2013 GWAS revealed the importance of the immune system, and in particular the role of microglia, in the development of AD, which has led to rich new avenues of investigation into the disease. However, many questions remain about how the different genetic risk variants associated with AD, which include rare Mendelian, common large-effect (APOE) and polygenic risk, lead to its development. With the new substantially expanded AD GWAS data available, this is the perfect time to interrogate AD from a statistical genetics perspective to gain the insights into its aetiology that are required for targeted experiments. Projects will include, but are not be restricted to:
- Investigation of whether risk for AD should be considered as affecting age-of-onset, rather than disease status; if so, would AD analyses be more revealing if analysed using survival or competing-risk approaches
- Investigation of how risk alleles of different forms (eg. Mendelian, polygenic) combine to produce overall risk
- Identification of novel rare alleles for AD via the polygenic regression-to-mean (RTM) test
- Pathway analyses (eg. using PRSet) to stratify cases of AD into more homogenous subsets, eg. according to immune-based risk burden
- Evaluation of the potential for repurposing drugs for the treatment of AD, based an in-depth pathway analyses of the latest AD GWAS data that defines pathways according to drug targets
The postholder will have a quantitative background and a PhD in Statistical Genetics or related subject. While they should have a good understanding of statistical genetics theory and methods, this post will be focused on applied analyses aiming to exploit statistical genetics for a direct translational impact. It is hoped that approaches developed here and findings will be applicable to many different diseases and thus contribute to advancing the general Personalised Medicine effort at Mount Sinai.
The position will require strong computational skills (eg. R / C / Bash scripting), an excellent understanding of statistics and experience in its application, and the ability to produce high quality presentations and publications in order to disseminate findings clearly to other scientists and the public. Past experience in working on psychiatric and neurological disease is desirable, although individuals with strong enthusiasm to work on and understand these conditions will be considered.