Head of Cell Biology Genomics

Lake County, Illinois
Apr 10, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
About AbbVie
AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

The Genomics Research Center (GRC) is a center of excellence for genetics and genomics that supports both Discovery and Development. The GRC goal is to develop world class genetics and genomics research focused on finding the right targets and helping AbbVie scientists better understand not only human disease biology but also the behavior of and response to our drugs in clinical trials across all therapeutic areas. AbbVie has committed to obtaining a range of Omics data on more than 1 million participants from Genomics Medicine Ireland, FinnGen and the UKbiobank, as well as our clinical trials. Over 300,000 data sets are already in house. This leader will be responsible for building strategies and solutions to “functionalize” variants that are critical to understanding disease processes and therefore potential targets for new therapeutics across all therapeutic areas and leading at least three departments within the GRC. We have an exciting opportunity for a Senior Director, based in Lake County, Illinois.  The candidate will be on the Executive Leadership Team of the GRC and play a critical role in helping to lead and shape genomics activities across AbbVie.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead a series of teams positioned to conduct validation studies, based on results from genetic and genomic studies, that leverage cellular (cell lines and iPSCs) models, in vitro tissue systems up to whole animal systems to help investigators in therapeutic areas maximize the value.

  • Develop strategies and solutions to rapidly “functionalize” large numbers of variants implicated in various diseases across Therapeutic Areas from our different population cohorts and clinical trial cohorts.

  • Implement cellular assays to assess biological pathways and gene sets that mechanistically link the gene targets to disease(s), leveraging our extensive infrastructure, e.g. Compact SelecT automated cell culture system, SeahorseXF and Operetta cell imaging systems for cell biological work. 

  • Deploy pooled and array based CRISPR technologies and libraries for whole genome screening to variant modification.

  • Represent the GRC on various discovery and clinical teams involved in a range of drug pipeline activities seeking to understand the disease process.

  • Participate in the leadership of the GRC.

  • Collaborate with scientists across different Early Discovery therapeutic areas to interpret and incorporate genetic findings into new targets or for validation of existing targets

  • Lead groups developing new models (cellular, organoids and whole animal) to validate targets of interest.

  • Qualifications

    Level and compensation will be commensurate with experience.


  • MD, PhD or both with at least 10 years of industry experience in cell biology, cellular models of human disease, and functional genomics.

  • Possess a strong background in applying genomic technologies to identify genes responsible for common complex disease and rare diseases.

  • Demonstrated ability to design and lead genetic and genomic studies delivering novel findings and medically relevant gene discoveries leveraging cell-based assays.

  • Demonstrated leader of high functioning teams.

  • Additional desired skills include:

  • Experience with multidisciplinary teams on both the basic research and clinical questions

  • Deep knowledge of translating genomic data into clinically relevant results.

  • Experience in Immunology, Neuroscience or Oncology would be a plus.

  • Experience with large-scale research projects involving next generation DNA sequencing data (e.g. whole exome and whole genome) in conjunction with results from informatics and wide array of molecular biology strategies.

  • Experience or strong knowledge of pharmacogenomics or pharmacogenetics

  • Experience with deploying iPSCs for drug discovery.

  • Strong communication skills in a collaborative environment

  • Significant Work Activities
    Continuous sitting for prolonged periods (more than 2 consecutive hours in an 8 hour day)
    Yes, 15 % of the Time
    Job Type
    Job Level Code
    Equal Employment Opportunity
    At AbbVie, we value bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop new and innovative solutions for patients. As an equal opportunity employer we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.