Postdoc Postdoctoral Fellow: Computational Modeling of Therapeutic Proteins

Worcester, MA, US
Sep 20, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
The Postdoctoral Program is designed for true investigational and experimental research. Participants will be mentored by renowned industry scientists and collaborators at AbbVie and focused on delivering cutting-edge advancements in Discovery, Development Sciences and BioPharma. The enriching training program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience which fosters a learning environment to advance individual development with accessibility to high-level knowledge building across the drug development continuum. Technical expert that will investigate, identify, develop and optimize new methods/ techniques to address critical project needs. Continuously seek to improve existing laboratory methods and processes. Read and adapt literature to accomplish assignments. Demonstrate mastery of broad range of experimental techniques and methods of data analysis.

To be successful, we need outstanding individuals willing to challenge themselves to find the best solutions for our patients. The AbbVie Postdoc program is one way we are doing just that.

Through our Postdoc program, we are hiring postdocs from key academic institutions for preferred areas of science in the U.S., while providing a unique opportunity for participants to build a solid career foundation in the pharmaceutical industry while building the AbbVie brand as an employer of choice for scientific talent. The program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience, with accessibility to high-level knowledge building across the drug development continuum. This assignment is expected to be for two years minimally and no more than three years.

Department Overview:

The Pre-formulation Biologics Support Group is an integral part of the Drug Product Development Organization. The primary function of the Pre-formulation Group is to evaluate the properties of biological drug candidates designed for specific therapeutic targets and to promote the candidates with the highest molecular robustness into full CMC development. We have an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Fellow based in Worcester, MA.

Intent of Research:

To identify common and recurring structural features within a very large sample of candidates that correlate with specific development risks, such as poor solution stability or fast in-vivo clearance. This project will identify liable sequences and/or motifs during molecule design to improve profiling of biologics, increase the screening capacity by possibly replacing some experimental testing, accelerate formulation development by molecular- level mechanism understanding with in silico analysis.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Building partial and complete molecular models to supplement understanding of protein stability, conformational flexibility and relationship between structure and sequence and viscosity, thermal properties, solubility, physical, and chemical profile.
  • Modeling impacts of pH and cosolute interactions on solution properties of proteins such as aggregation propensity, frozen, and lyophilized state stability.
  • Implement computational approaches of ligand or protein modeling including docking, pharmacophore modeling, similarity searching, QSAR, homology modeling, molecular dynamics and application of these technologies in solving drug discovery and development problems.
  • Develop computational chemistry/cheminformatics methodologies in solving drug discovery and development problems.

Basic Skills and Competences:
  • PhD in Computational Chemistry (or PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biophysics, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry with significant training in Computational Chemistry) or equivalent with 0 - 1 year of industry or combined academic and industry experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills as well as some knowledge and experience with protein formulations.
  • Understanding of protein-protein, protein-excipient, and protein-container interactions.
  • Expertise in computational systems such as the Schrodinger, MOE, Rosetta, Spotfire software suite and using these software to evaluate and determine Structure- and Ligand- Based Designs, Molecular Modeling, Molecular Dynamics and docking.
  • S cripting and programming skills using python, Perl, and sql.
  • Capable of experimental design and statistical data interpretation techniques such as Design of Experiments (DoE).
  • Knowledge of statistical software packages SAS, JMP.
  • Demonstrated record of scientific achievement, publication in peer review journal(s) and takes the initiative to present data at professional conferences and to prepare manuscripts for publication.
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment.
  • Work authorization in the United States.

Key AbbVie Competencies:
  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of the team to enable higher performance.
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change the course quickly where indicated.
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo.
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation for improvement.
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages innovation to reality.


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