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Scientist, Neurotoxin & Biologics Process Sciences

Irvine, California
Start date
Jul 29, 2022
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Job Details

Scientist, Molecular Biology and Fermentation,

Irvine, California

Research & Development


Job Description

About AbbVie
AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Envision working with energetic colleagues and inspirational leaders. Now, place yourself in that mix; leading discussions, asking the right questions and driving results.

What Your New Manager Wants You To Know

The Scientist, Molecular Biology and Fermentation will be an instrumental team member of the Neurotoxin & Biologics Process Sciences Department, based in Irvine, CA.  The primary role of the scientist is to lead molecular biology activities including expression vector construction, cell line engineering and genetic verification of products for the use in bacterial biologics development.  The scientist will need to design and execute studies for the evaluation of vector types/designs, promoters, strain optimization, gene expression, genome manipulation (deletions and knockout) in wild type bacteria and strategies for the evaluation of novel recombinant proteins with the intent to optimize product titer while minimizing process related impurities.  Additional experience in microbial physiology and mapping metabolism pathways would be preferred.  This role will include cell banking strategies for research and early development studies and will continue to support cell banks through tech transfer and used in clinical trials as a subject matter expert.  Experience with genetic sequencing would be considered a plus. Additional responsibilities include data analysis, troubleshooting process and equipment, participation in project teams, lab inventory and organization, maintaining detailed records of batches and experiments.

The secondary role of the scientist is to independently plan, design studies using Design of Experiment (DOE) strategies, execute experiments and develop processes to support the fermentation of natural and recombinant proteins from bacterial cell cultures.  The scientist will support studies at small and intermediate scale during various stages of development including process characterization. The fermentation scientist will  independently operate shake flask and small-scale upstream equipment (Ambr® 250, Biostat® B-DCU, single use fermenters, etc.).  

An ideal candidate would have the ability to work as an integral part of an upstream team and supporting drug discovery and downstream teams as well as demonstrate a high degree of flexibility, creativity, and initiative applied to the various duties and aspects of position.

Furthermore, the position requires the individual to work with regulated Select Agents and Toxins access (i.e., Biosafety level 2 and biosafety level 3 laboratories). Access to and use of select agents is regulated by federal policies. Therefore, the candidate must conduct all work activities in compliance with AbbVie internal and applicable regulatory requirements including health screening and background checks.  AbbVie internal requirements include compliance with ethics, environmental health and safety, financial, human resources, and general business policies, requirements, and objectives.

YOU ARE more than just a title, YOU ARE…

A strategic thinker: align and excite internal stakeholders to facilitate success through strong leadership, strategic thinking and personal drive.

First class team player: collaborate across multiple disciplines to ensure compliance and ability to influence cross-functional teams and senior leadership.

You Will

  • Have hands on laboratory bench work to develop and prepare biologics products candidates for various groups with tight timelines.
  • Design and execute studies to support a novel product pipeline, including analysis and documentation, to support biologics drug development.
  • Independently design expression vectors for the expression of proteins, as well as verify the construction and expression of produced vectors.  Position requires proficient knowledge and hands on experience of plasmid construction, cell line transformation, expression optimization strategies and ability to map native expression pathways.
  • Perform routine fermentation operations relating to fermenter prep: assembly/disassembly, P-test/SIP/CIP, in process sampling and media/buffer/reagent prep and able to troubleshoot operational and equipment issues.
  • Willing to work with and handle potent neurotoxins and in-process samples that may contain toxin-expressing organisms.
  • Ability to perform aseptic cell propagation and manipulation under a biosafety laminar flow hood.
  • Follow study protocols and execute experiments independently (or minimal supervision) at small scale and large scales.
  • Author and edit development reports and standard operating procedures. Compile experimental batch records and documents/inventory for in-process samples in the inventory system.
  • Individual will evaluate lab equipment and procure the necessary supplies to ensure continual successful lab operations.
  • Collaborate effectively to achieve results as an individual as well as part of a team environment. Assist fermentation team in tech transfer for cell lines and acceptance testing to support early-stage process development laboratory and initial clinical trials (internally or externally).
  • Complete training consistent with safety, technical, operational, process, and other skill/ knowledge requirements for the position. Maintain training currency. Support safety program and ensure safety in all routine and new operations by strictly following SOPs.


You Bring

  • PhD in Biological Science, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biochemical/Chemical Engineering or a related Life Science field with 0- 4 years of relevant industrial experience or MS with 8+ years or BS with 10+ years of related work experience.
  • Hand-on experience with cell line development, microbial vector engineering and genetic sequencing are required.
  • Hands-on experience in the operation of single use and stainless-steel fermenter and knowledge of SCADA are beneficial.
  • Demonstrate success in technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaboration with others and independent thought 

In this role, we’re looking for a leader who will:

Act as an Owner

Be Excellence Focused

Act as an Influencer

We Will Give You ‘The AbbVie Edge’

At AbbVie, we define an 'edge' as something that sets us apart, gives us an advantage and strengthens us to be better – for our customers, patients, investors and each other. Our 'edge' is our colleagues, and we are committed to making AbbVie the best place for them to work and achieve career goals.
How do we do this? We Engage, Develop, and Reward our colleagues.

Engage. From Day 1, you are a bold leader who wants to make an impact. We listen to your ideas and questions, so we can be even better at what we do.

Develop. Learn every day, build new skills every day. We prioritize development, so our leaders are always ready for the next challenge and opportunity.

Reward. Exceptional performance creates exceptional opportunities and rewards. Financial awards and incentives are just a part of this - we invest in our people; celebrate success through recognition programs; and promote healthy lifestyles and work-life balance.

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.



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, and YouTube.

Stock Symbol: ABBV

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Find Us
1 North Waukegan Road
North Chicago
United States
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