Postdoc Postdoctoral Fellow: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics - Bioanalysis

Lake County, IL, US
Sep 26, 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 two years, minimally, and no more than three years.


The amount of small molecule needed to elicit a pharmacological response is an important determinant during drug development. Use of Antibody-Drug Conjugates removes typical considerations of cell permeability and media/external concentrations for its small molecule payload to exert its pharmacological effect. However, most descriptions of a drug's potency are reported as an IC50 value based on media or nominal concentrations of drug, and factors related to physiochemical properties can greatly alter the media concentration needed to achieve potency in vitro. These results can be very misleading to understand the true intracellular potency of the molecules at the site of action, the true measure of potency needed when considering the most appropriate ADC payload to choose. A better way to express potency would therefore be in terms of the precise number of drug molecules that must be taken up into a cell, and how long that drug concentration must be maintained, to achieve the desired pharmacological effect. These data are key determinants for ADC programs where the amount of drug needed to be delivered is a critical component in designing the appropriate construct and choosing the target antigen. Further, understanding the potency of a drug could ultimately guide dosing decisions (e.g., dose frequency and level) necessary for the drug to have efficacy in the target tissue while simultaneously avoiding normal tissue toxicity.

The cellular disposition group in DMPK-BA has developed technologies to better generate potency values to enable a fuller understanding of fundamental small molecule pharmacology, which here more specifically refers to a better working knowledge of how the small molecule elicits a pharmacodynamic effect and what intracellular concentrations (i.e., number of drug molecules per cell) are needed in order to elicit such an effect. In addition to understanding the pharmacology of the small molecule, it would be valuable to understand how a drug is modifying the proteomic landscape, particularly in regards to whether proteins involved in carrying out the mechanism of action for the drug are being changed in ways that benefit or negatively impact drug function. For example, one could envision the large scale phenotypic cell changes brought forward by drug treatment could lead to protein expression changes that open up possible avenues for combination therapy. This postdoctoral project will leverage in vitro pharmacology approaches as described above to design ADCs with the end in mind: how many copies of drug must be delivered intracellularly to drive the intended cellular response.

Key Responsibilities Include:
  • Collaborative Design - You should find it inspiring to work with a wide variety of colleagues (e.g. biology, chemistry, DMPK, pharmacology, preclinical safety) to understand their perspective and then propose and build solutions
  • Build - You ought to be energized by the potential to build something new to address a significant challenge
  • Apply - Through your own and colleagues' efforts, you will apply the scientific process at the bench to test hypotheses and leverage what you have designed and built
  • Research and Propose - A highly motivated self-starter attitude will thrive in this environment, as research in the literature and across the industry will lead to ideas that can guide experimental design internally
  • Breadth - As a talented and motivated member of the DMPK-BA department you can contribute to drug discovery and development in broad ways enhancing your acumen and experience in the pharmaceutical R&D setting
  • Postdocs are expected to work in research teams, to be members of the scientific community by publishing in top-tier conferences and journals, and collaborate with peer researchers

Basic Qualifications:
  • A Ph.D. in pharmacology, molecular biology, or related field with a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of this field
  • Graduate of accredited and nationally ranked university
  • Record of publication in a prestigious journal(s)Excellent problem-solving skills including critical and analytical thinking
  • Excellent communication, leadership, and project management skills
  • Demonstrated scientific writing skills and strong verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to independently design and execute experiments, interpret data, and identify appropriate follow-up strategies
  • Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative, and integrity
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environmentAbility to multitask and work within timelines
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States
  • Basic proficiency in data analysis software packages (e.g. Excel, GraphPad Prism)

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


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