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Statistical Geneticist

Scour genetic data for errors that point to diseases.

What does a Statistical Geneticist do?

A genetic code is, at its core, a mountain of data. Genes work together, and against one another, by the billions to make up the smallest of organisms. The tiniest error in the code can add up to the biggest diseases. A Statistical Geneticist is uniquely qualified to find these tiny errors.

A background in statistics will give you the skills you need to process large amounts of data, while a background in genetics will give you the skills you need to work with genetic code. You use these skills to compare one person’s genetic code to another’s, and look for differences. You may build computer programs to help your team find genetic differences quickly and efficiently.

You might work with a pharmaceutical company to create a cancer drug, or to look for one genetic problem that can be corrected with drugs. Or you might work for a college or university, training students to become Statistical Geneticists, while at the same time doing your research and publishing your findings in academic journals. It’s unlikely that you’ll be required to talk to patients. Instead, you spend the majority of your time working on your computer, crunching the data.

The “Statistical Geneticist” job title is relatively new, so it’s imperative that you publish your findings so everyone else can learn about what you’ve found. Conversely, you must also read papers that other people publish, so you can use their findings to improve your own research.