Post-doctoral Scientist, Human Genetics

Lake County, IL, US
May 24, 2019
Required Education
Associate Degree
Position Type
Full time
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 29,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.

Abbvie is making a significant push into Genomics and Genetics for drug discovery and development. In the past year we've made multiple investments in internal capabilities and external partnerships with leading academic groups and technology companies. In addition, we've recently created an internal research group, The Abbvie Genomics Research Center (GRC) within The Drug Discovery Science and Technology Department (DDST). The GRC has core capabilities and research efforts in Genomic Technologies, Functional Genomics, Computational Genomics, Human Disease Genetics and Pharmacogenetics, and has dedicated support for IT infrastructure and access to excellent high-performance computing resources.

Project: "Develop iPSC-based cellular models to test functional impact of genetic variants in a disease-relevant cellular environment"

Overall Project Goal: To support the establishment of a genetically tractable human iPSC model to probe the validity and functional impact of GWAS and PheWAS hits identified from Abbvie human genetic databases in neurodegenerative diseases.

The postdoctoral scientist will assist the team in establishing stable iPSC cultures harboring well known and novel mutations that associate with the development of Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

S/he will subsequently establish robust assays to differentiate them to neurons and microglia.

The scientist will be instrumental in establishing phenotypic, biochemical and imaging assays for patient-derived iPSCs and iPSC-derived neuronal cells to assess impact of the variants.

S/he will focus on developing tools to functionalize important genetic variants and their associated pathway genes in cell based models.

The scientist will perform a comprehensive genomic profiling of disease models to understand molecular mechanisms of contributing to neurodegeneration.

The scientist will participate in biweekly meetings to establish a working relationship with neuroscience and iPS teams in Discovery. S/he will be encouraged to exercise creativity, innovative thinking, and calculated risk-taking in conducting research projects in collaboration with a diverse community of scientists across multiple disciplines.

Research results are expected to be published in high quality peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Key Responsibilities Include:

Independently design, execute and interpret critical experiments to answer scientific questions.
Understand the broad objectives of the project as well as their role in achieving those objectives, and modify experimental plan when required, to respond.
Learn, understand and master a wide variety of new experimental techniques.
Effectively organize and present scientific plans and data and adhere to timelines.
Contribute to writing and conceptual framework of publications, presentations, and patents.
Routinely read and apply relevant scientific literature. Impact projects mostly through lab and/or pilot plant based activities where applicable.
Publish and disseminate data via external conferences and peer-reviewed publications.


PhD in Cell and/or molecular biology with strong training in human genetics.

Proficient in cell-line technologies and cell based models of human disease.

Experienced in manipulation and perturbation of cell lines with tool compounds, biologics and functional tools e.g. CRISPR-Cas9 and shRNA/RNAi technologies (e.g. demonstrated with relevant publications).

Proficient in basic statistical analysis such as MS Excel, GraphPad Prism and others.

The candidate will have demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills in order to support highly collaborative projects (e.g. through their training record and references).


Experience with pluripotent stem cells (ES or iPS cells) is highly desirable.
Experience in a wide range of molecular biology basic techniques including but not limited to nucleic acid isolations, PCR and gene expression methods.
Knowledge or experience with downstream analysis and interpretation of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data such is desirable.
Evidence of independent research capability including hypothesis development, experimental design and execution, data interpretation, problem solving, and project management
Strong track record of high-impact scientific achievement including a robust publication record
Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative, and integrity

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.