Dr. Kumar Veerapen completed his undergraduate degree in molecular biotechnology in and subsequently, was faculty at UCSI University, Malaysia. In 2016, Kumar completed his PhD in Human Genetics and Genomics at the University of Miami. His dissertation work focused on understanding the genetic etiology of preterm deliveries. He then moved on to Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for his postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Aarno Palotie. Here, he honed his skills in statistical genetics where he worked on understanding polygenic risk in familial migraines and method development utilizing linkage analysis.
Kumar continued on as a staff scientist at the Broad with Drs. Mark Daly and Ben Neale where his scientific focus was on 1) the identification of genetic markers explaining disparities in drug response using the FinnGen biobank; and 2) understanding the genetic variability of COVID-19 host genetics. On top of that, he also 1) managed the support and community engagement of Hail as a tool for efficient and scalable genomic analysis tool; 2) improved documentation, user experience, and community building within the FinnGen scientific community; and 3) chaired the scientific communication efforts for the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative.
Finally, Kumar is now pursuing his passion in early drug target identification using genomic datasets as a Senior Expert I in Data Science at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (Cambridge, MA).