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Postdoc – Postdoctoral Fellow: Designing pH-independent Extended-Release Formulations

North Chicago, Illinois
Start date
Sep 14, 2022
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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

Extended-release (ER) systems are one of the most important enabling drug delivery technologies in developing both NCE pipeline and line-extension drug products. Most molecules require formulation technologies and product design customized by integrating knowledge of physicochemical, biopharmaceutics and PK-PD properties of a specific drug to meet the clinical requirements including dose, dosage forms and patient needs. There is no one-size-fits-all design. Hence, fundamental understanding of the complex relationship among API, required dose and formulation design is crucial to rational and efficient development of successful and robust ER drug products.

The Postdoc role is in AbbVie’s Drug Product Development department and the goal of the project is to rationally design pH-independent ER drug delivery systems for small molecule compounds. The scope of this project will include formulation design, material and product characterization, in-depth investigation of API and formulation factors affecting pH-dependency of drug release and possible testing in animal models. The PostDoc candidate will spend a substantial amount of time collaborating with scientists across AbbVie, leveraging equipment and expertise in analyzing release of excipients and rate-controlling polymers, and modeling tools. Senior level scientists/leaders will serve on the committee.

Systematic studies will be conducted and combined with modeling and simulation to gain mechanistic insight into how API, pH-modifiers, rate control materials and principles, formulation, process and their interactions affect drug release rate and kinetics, pH-dependency and in vivo bioavailability. Specifically, the post-doc scientist will focus on research on weakly basic molecules and utilize formulation technology commonly used at AbbVie based on institutional knowledge from ER product development and research initiatives.


  • Generate new research strategies to effectively address the Postdoc project needs
  • 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



  • PhD in pharmaceutics, chemistry, chemical engineering or a related field with a demonstrated interest in drug development research.  
  • Understanding of basic principles with hands-on experience in experimental techniques of physicochemical and biopharmaceutical characterization.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills including critical and analytical thinking.
  • Demonstrated scientific writing skills and strong verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently design and execute experiments, interpret data, and identify appropriate follow-up strategies.
  • Excellent communication, leadership, and project management skills.
  • Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative, and integrity. Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment.
  • Ability to multitask and work within timelines.


  • Graduate school GPA 3.5.
  • Fundamental knowledge in pharmaceutical sciences, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry.
  • Record of publication of at least two high-quality papers in a top-tier peer-reviewed journal(s)
  • Provide three letters of recommendation including thesis advisor

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

At AbbVie, we value bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop new and innovative solutions for patients. As an equal opportunity and affirmative action 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. If you would like to view a copy of the company’s affirmative action plan or policy statement, please email


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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