Senior Scientist - Protein Engineering, Biologics Engineering

AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

Do you have expertise in antibody engineering, Next Generation Sequencing and a passion for therapeutic antibody discovery? Would you like to apply your expertise to help deliver the biotherapeutics portfolio of a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the one for you!

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Site description

The role is based in our new pioneering Discovery Centre (DISC) located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. This newly purpose-built building that will bring together the company’s research and development activity in a pioneering strategic R&D centre and global corporate headquarters. The building has been designed with the open architecture reflecting AstraZeneca’s approach to research. Open laboratories and glass walls will enable new ways of working across teams, whilst a central courtyard will put science on full display.

Business area

The Biologics Engineering team is responsible for the discovery and optimisation of biological candidate drugs to support all therapy area drug discovery pipelines and for the development of biologics discovery platforms and novel drug modalities to support future drug discovery efforts.

What you’ll do

We are seeking a highly motivated Senior Scientist to support our biologics discovery pipeline and provide protein engineering expertise to support the discovery of next-generation biologics. The role will drive the development and implementation of next-generation in vitro antibody discovery platforms, which can be applied to pre-clinical programs. The role encompasses all aspects of antibody discovery and optimisation, incorporating Next Generation Sequencing and cutting edge in vitro antibody display techniques. The role requires a detailed understanding of in vitro antibody discovery techniques as well as the application and interpretation of Illumina NGS platform data. The role will require the candidate to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, working closely with other AstraZeneca departments (e.g., Biology, Protein Science, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence, and IT).

Essential for the role

  • PhD with relevant experience or BSc/higher degree with equivalent lab-based experience

  • Practical experience of designing, running and interpreting antibody discovery and optimisation campaigns to deliver high affinity, developable and antigen specific biotherapeutics

  • Practical experience of in vitro display techniques to include Phage Display, and ideally Ribosome Display

  • Experience of applying Illumina Next Generation Sequencing for the purpose of biotherapeutic discovery

  • Experience of working with different antibody modalities and formats that should include scFv and nanobodies

  • Practical experience of designing and constructing in vitro display antibody libraries suitable for selections and/or Next Generation Sequencing

  • Excellent understanding of the theoretical concepts of antibody:antigen interactions and applying these to experimental design in support of drug and technology projects

  • Ability to provide solutions to a variety of complex problems

  • Ability to optimize protocols, troubleshoot, interpret experimental results/data and maintain accurate, high quality and up-to-date experimental records

  • Strong communication skills in a team environment and an ability to quickly learn and embrace new technologies

Desirable for the role

  • Experienced in molecular biology methods and technologies (e.g., PCR, RT-PCR, Gibson Assembly), and their application to the generation of antibody fragment (or other protein scaffold) libraries

  • Experience in high-throughput antibody screening, reformatting and characterisation methods including in vitro biochemical assays (ELISA, SPR, BLI or flow cytometry) and functional assays

  • Experience of basic protein Quality Control methods (SDS-PAGE, SEC-HPLC)

  • Experience with computational methods and machine learning applied to antibody/protein design and optimisation

  • Background in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry

  • Experience of leading/co-leading and/or managing research projects

Why AstraZeneca

At AstraZeneca, we are united in our vision to eliminate cancer as a cause of death. We are pioneers, making bold moves that transform the way cancer is treated and truly improve patient outcomes. With one of the broadest and deepest Oncology pipelines in the industry, there are many opportunities to work with new and novel drugs and help discover what's next. We foster a mindset of courage, where everyone is empowered to step up, innovate and work at pace. We lead through true collaboration, building collective wisdom by giving everyone a chance to input. Our commitment to patients and pioneering spirit are truly embedded and it's what makes our pipeline unique.

So, what’s next?

  • Ready to make a difference? Apply today and join us in our mission to eliminate cancer as a cause of death!

Competitive salary package and benefits

Close Date: 22/02/2024

Where can I find out more?

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Inclusion & Diversity:

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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 authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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