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Postdoc – Postdoctoral Fellow: Innovating our neuro-discovery models: Patient-derived fibroblasts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Start date
Aug 16, 2022

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Science/R&D, Neuroscience
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Genetown, Best Places to Work
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Job Details

The Postdoctoral Program is designed for investigational and experimental research. Participants will be mentored by renowned industry scientists and collaborators at AbbVie and focused on delivering cutting-edge advancements in Discovery, Development Sciences, and BioPharma. This enriching training program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience which fosters a learning environment to advance individual development and offers accessibility to high-level knowledge-building across the drug development continuum.

To be successful in our goals as an organization, we developed the AbbVie Postdoc Program for outstanding individuals willing to challenge themselves to find the best solutions for our patients.

You will be a technical expert who will investigate, identify, develop, and optimize new methods / techniques to address critical project needs. AbbVie Postdoctoral Fellows continuously seek to improve existing laboratory methods and processes, read, and adapt literature to accomplish assignments, and demonstrate mastery of a broad range of experimental techniques and methods of data analysis.

We are seeking scientists from key academic institutions within preferred areas of science in the U.S. to provide a unique opportunity for participants to build a solid career foundation in the pharmaceutical industry while building the AbbVie brand as an employer of choice for scientific talent. This assignment is expected to last 2-4 years, though exceptions may be made for certain postdoctoral assignments.

Role Overview

The Parkinson’s disease (PD) therapeutic area is seeking a Postdoctoral scientist to drive internal innovation at AbbVie via the development of aged/diseased human models to uncover mechanisms associated with disease progression and identify novel therapeutic targets. In a collaborative, resource rich environment, you and your scientific mentor will be exploring, targeting, investigating, and evaluating key areas of novel research with a publication as the end point. The candidate will be embedded in a diverse and vibrant neuroscience community at the Cambridge Research Center (CRC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts with cross-functional mentorship and expertise across (but not limited to) fibrosis/inflammation, genomics/epigenetics, proteomics, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and computational biology. These immense cross functional collaborations will provide exposure and learning opportunities across various AbbVie locations and can be accessed immediately.

The Postdoc will join the PD team focused on utilizing human patient-derived fibroblasts and trans-differentiation methods for discovery research including novel patient stratification and disease-relevant mechanistic studies, new drug-target/biomarker identification, and novel drug screening systems. The project aims to evaluate disease-relevant phenotypes in PD-derived fibroblasts and trans-differentiated dopaminergic neurons using cutting edge technologies in transcriptomics/proteomics, epigenetics, high-content imaging techniques and CRISPR methods. Research will be complemented with existing in-house experts to identify differences in PD and healthy control fibroblasts under well-controlled, age and region-matched conditions. The data yield from these experiments will be large but highly impactful based on the potential of identifying novel pathways/targets associated with disease. Validation will be confirmed via trans-differentiation techniques and will open the door to understanding the extent we can use fibroblasts to model the complexity of diseased neurons.  Together, the studies proposed here will provide abundant opportunities for a postdoctoral scientist to achieve competency across various research areas.



  • Utilize existing or develop novel techniques to assess omics, epigenetics, and morphological analysis of patient-derived cells from PD patients and healthy controls with assistance from relevant groups
  • Develop a robust protocol for neuronal conversion of PD-patient fibroblasts to dopaminergic neurons using CRISPR-based methods and/or small molecule addition
  • Further utilize these techniques and design additional experiments to identify and validate disease-relevant phenotypes in PD
  • Collaborate with functional and technical experts to facilitate scientific achievement
  • Maintain a high level of productivity in the laboratory setting
  • Effectively write and communicate research materials
  • Resolve research hurdles by effectively utilizing available information and technical expertise
  • Proactively seek out new information in the literature and incorporate this into individual project(s) as well as the overall program
  • Publish research in peer-reviewed journals and present work at scientific conferences aligned with business objectives
  • Demonstrate a high degree of responsibility in maintaining scientific standards and safe laboratory practices

Basic Qualifications


  • Successful completion and defense of a PhD in basic sciences (Neuroscience preferred)
  • Hands-on experience in the areas of primary cell culture and/or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
  • Experience in cell-based models and molecular biology techniques
  • Knowledge and experience with neurodegenerative diseases
  • Record of scientific initiative and creativity in research or development activities.
  • Capable of independently designing and executing experiments, interpreting data, and identifying appropriate follow-up strategies.
  • Excellent communication and project management skills. Ability to multitask and work within timelines.
  • Demonstrated scientific writing skills and strong verbal communication skills.
  • Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative, and integrity.
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment.
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from the Thesis Advisor)
  • Letter of intent to pursue Postdoc


  • Hands-on experience with fibroblast culture and trans-differentiation techniques
  • Knowledge and experience with computational transcriptomics/proteomics

Key Leadership Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of team to enable higher performance
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change 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 to reality



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

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