Senior Scientist II, Functional Genomics

Lake County, IL, US
Aug 14, 2019
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Genomics Research Center

The Genomics Research Center (GRC) is AbbVie's center of excellence for genetics and genomics that supports R&D pipeline in close collaboration with a wide range of therapeutic and functional area organizations. The GRC is composed of five core functional areas including Genomic Technologies, Bioinformatics, Pharmacogenomics, Human Genetics and Functional Genomics, and plays an integral role toward AbbVie's goal of conducting world-class genetics and genomics research, focusing on finding the right targets, better understanding human disease biology, and advancing AbbVie drugs throughout the pipeline to help patients with unmet medical needs.

Functional Genomics

Within the GRC, the Functional Genomics group is responsible for applying CRISPR and other functional genomic technologies to drug discovery and development research to discover and validate novel drug targets for Immunology, Oncology and Neuroscience pipelines, and to transform human genetics data into drug targets and insights on pathogenetic mechanisms. To this end, we employ both high-throughput functional genomic screening approaches to in vitro and in vivo preclinical models with diverse molecular and functional readouts, and hypothesis-driven target validation and mechanistic studies utilizing a variety of genomic and non-genomic tools and sophisticated discovery and validation processes involving primary cells, iPSC, and in vivo models. We have an exciting opportunity for a Senior Scientist, to be located at AbbVie Headquarter Lake County Campus in North Chicago, IL, reporting to the Head of Functional Genomics.

Job description:

Functional Genomics within the AbbVie GRC is seeking a highly motivated scientist who will apply CRISPR and other genomic technologies to high-throughput pooled and arrayed lentiviral screening and hypothesis-driven pathway exploration not only to discover and validate novel therapeutic targets but to investigate functional implications of coding and non-coding human genetic variants in such disease areas as cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.

The successful hire will develop flow cytometry-based molecular and functional assays using in vitro cell models (cell lines, primary cells, and iPSC-derived cells ); perform genome-wide pooled lentiviral CRISPR knockout and overexpression screens and arrayed lentiviral and RNP CRISPR screens; follow up on screening hits to generate and test hypotheses in the context of pathogenesis and therapeutic intervention; and collaborate with drug discovery area scientists to enable initiation and advancement of drug discovery programs.


  • Generate and test hypothesis by designing, performing and interpreting laboratory-based experiments. Read literature critically and analyze genomic data to support these activities.
  • Develop in vitro and in vivo screening assays in collaboration with therapeutic area scientists by generating cell lines, developing lentiviral and RNP delivery methods, and integrating and optimizing screening protocols.
  • Perform pooled and arrayed CRISPR screens with FACS-based molecular and functional assays on cell lines, primary cells and iPSC-derived cells.
  • Work closely with NGS and bioinformatics scientists to process genomic samples, analyze screening results, and generate screening hits for follow-up studies.
  • Investigate novel screening hits in the context of disease biology by generating and testing hypothesis using a variety of biochemical, molecular, cellular and genomic assays.
  • Map candidate genes to known disease genetic networks through experimental and bioinformatic approaches.
  • Collaborate with therapeutic area scientists to progress screening hits toward initiating and advancing drug discovery programs.
  • Design and perform tiling CRISPR screens to identify causal SNPs and genes from GWAS human genetic studies.
  • Report research progress to management on a regular basis, provide project updates to cross-functional project teams, and provide scientific presentations to department and other internal scientific forums.
  • Seek and advance opportunities to present research results at external scientific conferences and publish them in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Train, coach and supervise junior scientists in the Department as well as contribute individually.

The level is commensurate with experience.


  • BS, MS, or PhD in cell, molecular, immunological, or genomic basis of human diseases, with 10+ (BS), 8+ (MS), or 0+ (PhD) years of relevant research experience in industry or academia
  • Extensive laboratory research experience involving various cell, molecular, immunological, and biochemical assays including, but not limited to flow cytometry, cytokine release, cell imaging, qRT-PCR, western, cell proliferation, and other cell-based functional assays
  • Hands on experience in various CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing methods involving lentivirus or RNP-based delivery methods
  • Proficiency in functional genomic analysis involving CRISPR or RNAi enabled by lentiviral and RNP delivery to cell lines, primary cells or iPSC-derived cells
  • Working knowledge in genomics technologies (e.g., NGS, RNA-Seq, single cell analysis) and human genetics (e.g., GWAS), and basic bioinformatic and statistical skills (e.g., Spotfire, ArrayStudio, pathway analysis, genome browsers, etc.)
  • Strong desire to achieve scientific excellence and innovative discovery by challenging status quo, asking big yet difficult questions, taking calculated risks and learning from failure as well as success
  • Entrepreneurial behaviors demonstrated by agility, accountability, transparency, resourcefulness, and ability to get things done
  • Ability to quickly learn new skills and knowledge on the job, demonstrate productivity, and deliver high-quality results
  • Flexible mind with ability to think outside the box, creative approach to problem solving, and comfort in working with ambiguous data in an open-ended, exploratory process
  • Demonstrated ability to perform as a team player


  • Experience in 96-well/384-well high-throughput automation equipment such as Bravo, Multidrop, Biotek platewasher, and Echo dispenser is desirable but not required