The Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) is the innovation engine of Novartis. We collaborate across scientific and organizational boundaries, with a focus on powerful new technologies that have the potential to help produce therapeutic breakthroughs for patients.
The Early Target Discovery group within the Neuroscience department (https://www.novartis.com/our-science/postdoc-program/research-themes/neurobiology/robert-altshuler-phd) is seeking a postdoctoral scholar to join us in our research at the interface of computer science, disease genetics, and drug discovery.
The modern drug discovery target identification paradigm depends on serendipitous observations, careful review of scientific literature, and study of animal models of disease. Problematically, the only tool to validate targets in humans has been clinical trials, which must follow years of preceding drug discovery work, are enormously expensive, and nonetheless fail more than half the time because of lack of efficacy.
Although drugs with validated genetic mechanisms are estimated to be twice as likely to succeed in clinical trials as those without such genetic evidence, only about 2% of preclinical stage drugs have mechanisms with direct genetic support. Methods enabling drug target selection based on genetic evidence, and validation in humans at the outset of the discovery process are desperately needed.
The mission of our group is to identify new therapeutic targets and to do so we are reimagining the drug discovery paradigm. Our primary goals include:
We are actively collaborating on these goals with faculty from MIT, Harvard, and the Broad Institute, one of whom would be a co-mentor.
The successful candidate will join a vibrant scientific community and collaborate with other postdoctoral fellows mentored by a range of scientists across disciplines and platforms, including chemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, functional genomics, neurophysiology and translational medicine. Postdoctoral scholars at NIBR have a unique opportunity to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research and are expected to publish their results in leading journals. The postdoctoral term is up to 4 years.