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Director – Lead Discovery - Assay Technology, Antibody Drug Conjugates

Lieu Gaithersburg, Maryland, États-Unis Job ID R-095608 Date de publication 11/01/2021

At AstraZeneca we work together across global boundaries to make an impact and find answers to challenges. We do this with the upmost integrity even in the most difficult situations because we are committed to doing the right thing. We continuously forge partnerships that help pursue world-class medicines in new ways, combining our people’s exceptional skills with those of people from all over the globe. As a part of our Protein Engineering team in Gaithersburg, MD, you’ll play a pivotal role in channeling our scientific capabilities to make a positive impact on changing patients’ lives. 

About AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD

Our Gaithersburg, Maryland facility creates life-changing medicines for people around the world. This campus employs more than 3,500 experts in our field and is only a short drive from Washington, DC. This modern and vibrant scientific campus is the home of R&D and Oncology in the US. Here, we play host to some of the most cutting-edge technology and lab spaces, all designed to inspire collaboration and cross-functional science. We believe employees benefit from being challenged and inspired at work. We are dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and collaboration.

The Gaithersburg site offers a variety of amenities to help boost productivity and help keep our employees happy and healthy. This includes a fitness center, employee healthcare clinic, electric vehicle charging stations, dry cleaning, full-service cafeteria and copy center. This is where you’ll find newly-designed, activity-based work spaces to suit a variety of working styles while increasing collaboration between teams.

Summary of the Group

Biologics Engineering (BE) is responsible for the discovery and optimization of next generation and novel biologics across all AstraZeneca therapy areas, providing cutting edge drug discovery capabilities to drive portfolio drug projects.

As a team leader specializing in assay development and biologics engineering, this individual will perform a pivotal role in delivering oncology drug discovery and technology-based project goals to timelines while managing resources in a matrixed environment.  

Position Requirements & Responsibilities:

We are seeking a talented and highly-influential leader to effectively direct and manage a multidisciplinary team of highly experienced scientists leading the discovery and characterization of pipeline therapeutics.

In this role, you will collaborate with project leaders across all therapeutic areas to understand the target biology, directly steering and influencing discussions and decisions related to developing new drugs. As a recognized leader with a proven publication track record in the field of protein engineering and antibody drug development, you will expand assay platform technologies and drive scientific innovation contributing to AstraZeneca pipeline progression.

While working productively and proficiently in a highly dynamic, scientifically rigorous and fast-paced environment, you will effectively represent the department in cross-functional meetings, governance committees and due diligences.

  • Direct and progress programs from early discovery to development stage specifically devising assay strategies within the assay technology team and driving innovation towards computational design of proteins and novel biologics and the interactions with targets of interest.
  • Devise global assay and screening strategies that support drug discovery delivery and technology development initiatives
  • Contribute independent lab based assay expertise to develop high quality biochemical and cell based assays for use as biologics screens and pharmacological characterization of biologics for drug discovery or technology development projects
  • Maintain a well-developed understanding of approaches to assays and biologics drug discovery and apply a broader functional knowledge to support department initiatives
  • Lead and provide input to peer reviewed scientific publications, inventorship on patents and presentations at major conferences, and participate / present at international conferences
  • Identify networks and opportunities  to collaborate with other functions or external companies to drive innovation within AstraZeneca and effectively communicate complex scientific data to diverse internal or external audiences
  • Responsible for line management, goal setting aligned to department strategy, performance review, coaching and personal development of team and ensure that work of colleagues/ team is compliant, following Good Laboratory Practice, Safety, Health and Environment standards and all other relevant internal AstraZeneca standards and external regulations

Education/Experience Requirements:

PhD in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or other relevant scientific field with 10+ years' experience (PhD) or 15+ years' experience (MS) in antibody engineering and/or assay technologies.

Required Skills:

  • Significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry and biologics drug discovery process with proven record in antibody drug development and driving antibody / ADC programs from early discovery into development stage.
  • Established ability to lead a team, setting goals and objectives, motivate and develop others and influence recruitment of high performing staff
  • Extensive hands-on experience in assay development, molecular biology, antibody design and engineering and characterization of various antibody formats including automation of assays for high throughput screening
  • Demonstrated ability to influence and build strong relationships with internal and external collaborators while working effectively in a collaborative team environment across multiple functions
  • Strong industry leadership experience, excellent written and verbal communication skills and effective presentation of complex scientific reports to cross-functional and senior management teams are essential for this role
  • Significant experience and in-depth technical knowledge of assay development and screening with a dedication to quality and scientific rigor
  • Ability to tackle challenges creatively and contribute to technology and process advancement with track record of problem solving, risk management, negotiating and influencing skills

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Experience in antibody discovery using one of several display-based technologies is preferred but not essential
  • Experience in computational modelling of proteins and augmented drug design
  • Experience with complex membrane protein engineering, expression and characterization

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognizing their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organization to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next?

Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours.

Where can I find out more?

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AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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