Scientist II/ Senior Scientist I, CHO Cell Line, Process Sciences

Worcester, MA, US
Jun 01, 2019
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
The Process Sciences Department at the AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester, MA is seeking a highly motivated and experienced Scientist to join the CHO Cell Line Development team, working collaboratively with Drug Discovery teams to advance the AbbVie Biologics pipeline. You should have in-depth experience with NGS, sequence analysis, mammalian cell mRNA splicing analysis, codon usage optimization, and molecular biology techniques used in the biopharmaceutical industry. You will be responsible for the expression vector design, and optimization as well as genetic characterization of cell lines and cell banks to support CHO cell line development.

Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Function as an investigator to lead and coordinate plasmid design, construction and quality control of plasmid DNA using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technique
  • Lead and develop efforts to understand the mechanism of mRNA cryptic splicing in CHO cells, design vector using codon optimization techniques to avoid and reduce mis-splicing in CHO cells
  • Optimize mammalian cell expression plasmid vector sequences to improve transcription and mRNA stability in order to support highly productive stable CHO cell line development suitable for cGMP biotherapeutic manufacturing
  • Evaluate and implement new tools and software such as MaxEntScan, GeneSplicer, NNSplice, OptimumGene, GeneOptimizer etc.
  • Author and review technical reports to support regulatory filling
  • Effectively organize and communicate research progress and planned activities through oral and written presentations
  • Maintain a high level of productivity in the lab, with clear and accurate documentation of experiments
  • Contribute to our team performance and process improvement in a climate of scientific rigor, working collaboratively on projects across multiple Process Science groups
  • Demonstrate scientific initiative and creative thinking in achieving project goals and implementing technology innovations. Dedicatedly seek out new information and opportunities to advance our technologies
  • Contribute to the smooth and effective operation of the CHO cell line development labs through our 5S program
  • Understand and enforce corporate standards regarding code of conduct, documentation, safety, appropriate handling of materials, and GxP compliance.

Position will be hired based on level of experience.
  • Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree or PhD in Biological Science with typically 7-10+(BS), 5-8+(MS), or 0 (PhD) years of relevant experience; Pharmaceutical industry experience preferred
  • Expertise in molecular biology techniques especially in construct design, molecular cloning
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Strong scientific curiosity with a real passion for problem-solving and optimization.
  • Enable cGMP biotherapeutics manufacturing and associated areas of expertise (e.g., cell and molecular biology, genetic characterization, gene editing, process development, recombinant protein production).
  • Ambitious with excellent attention to detail and ability to multi-task. Strong organizational, planning and trouble-shooting skills.
  • Skilled in using common software packages such as Microsoft Office.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a highly collaborative and dynamic environment.


  • Experience with codon optimization software and splice analysis software
  • Proven track record in one or more of the following: Vector biology, codon optimization, mRNA splicing analysis, cell line genetic characterization, vector construction.
  • Familiarity with gene optimization software is desirable.
  • Experience in CHO cell line development and cell engineering/gene editing techniques including ZFN, CRISPR/Cas9 etc.
  • Expertise in mammalian and bacterial cell culture, transfection.
  • Strong experience with PCR, mutagenesis, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), DNA handling software, and bioinformatics tools is desirable.

Key Leadership Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross-functional team members.
  • Learns quickly, grasps the 'essence' and can change the course quickly where indicated.
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo.
  • Embraces a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation for continuous improvement.