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Principal Research Scientist II/Associate Director - Ophthalmology Discovery Research - Advanced

Irvine, California
Start date
Mar 12, 2023

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Job Details

AbbVie Ophthalmology Discovery Research seeks an accomplished scientist and leader for the ophthalmology Advanced Cell Systems group.  S/he/they will be responsible for building and leading a small group responsible for developing methods and capabilities for complex in vitro modeling efforts, including differentiation of disease-relevant cell types from IPSc or hESc, organoids, co-culture, and other relevant in vitro systems.  They will work across research groups in to implement these approaches to meet research needs and continue to innovate to support ophthalmology drug discovery.

The successful candidate will leverage collaboration with internal and external stakeholders/experts to find answers to scientific questions and move projects forward.  They should be a highly motivated, hands-on experimentalist who is also capable of leading a team and scientific projects.  Emphasis will be on the ability to create innovative and practical solutions to scientific problems, scientific leadership skills, and proficiency leading and interacting within a team environment.  Experience in functionally relevant cell systems such as cells differentiated from iPSc or hESc, organoids, co-culture, primary cells, and other complex in vitro systems is required.  Experience in the fields of ophthalmology, retinal degeneration, or vision research is an asset, but not required.   In addition, the candidate should have a strong track record of cross-functional collaborations along with excellent oral and written communication skills.

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Build and lead a small team responsible for innovative in vitro solutions using complex cell systems
  • Utilizing and developing in vitro and in vivo models of ocular disease for target validation and discovery of novel therapeutics
  • Design and execute experiments to inform target biology using a variety of approaches to model disease processes, analyze signaling pathways, and evaluate structural and functional endpoints
  • Identify and validate novel targets for ophthalmic disease
  • Generate high-quality experimental data to identify and confirm the mechanism of action of lead compounds, antibodies, and gene therapies identified through target discovery efforts
  • Present data and findings across various platforms, including project teams and extended research and discovery organization meetings
  • Use decision making, organization, and communication skills to effectively collaborate with colleagues from cross-functional teams
  • Maintain an up-to-date understanding of new technologies and relevant scientific advances in support of our research goals


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required
  • Leadership and mentorship of scientists and technicians
  • Ability to develop and follow research methodology and protocol.
  • Knowledge of scientific approach and methodologies.
  • Knowledge of current technological developments/trends in area of expertise.
  • Knowledge of scientific research principles, practices, and protocols.
  • Ability to design, organize, and coordinate scientific research projects.
  • Cell culture maintenance, iPSC generation, characterization, and differentiation
  • Ability to read, understand, follow, and enforce safety procedures.
Working Conditions and Physical Effort
  • No or very limited physical effort required.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior laboratory and office work environment.
  • Work environment involves some exposure to hazards or physical risks, which require following basic safety precautions
  • PhD in biochemistry or cell biology, pharmacology, oncology, immunology, neurobiology, or a related field with 8+ years of relevant post-graduate work experience.
  • Drug development experience in a pharmaceutical or biotech industry setting is highly desired.
  • Expertise in gene therapy is desired.
  • Strong analytical skills and proficient at complex data analysis and interpretation
  • Must have strong communication skills and the ability to effectively communicate with both internal and external stakeholders, and to audiences of diverse backgrounds
  • Highly motivated, self-driven and results-oriented person, comfortable working independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrate high degree of flexibility in adapting to different projects and personalities as well as excellent networking and relationship-building skills (both internal and external)


Applicable to California Applicants Only 

The below range is the range that we in good faith believe is the range of possible compensation for this role at the time of this posting. We may ultimately pay more or less than the posted range and this range is only applicable for jobs to be performed in California. This range may be modified in the future. 

The salary range for this role is posted below 

This job is eligible to participate in our short-term incentive program 

This job is eligible to participate in our long-term incentive programs 

We offer a comprehensive package of benefits including paid time off (vacation, holidays, sick), medical/dental/vision insurance and 401(k) to eligible employees. 

Note: No amount of pay is considered to be wages or compensation until such amount is earned, vested, and determinable. The amount and availability of any bonus, commission, incentive, benefits, or any other form of compensation and benefits that are allocable to a particular employee remains in the Company's sole discretion unless and until paid and may be modified at the Company’s sole discretion, consistent with the law. 



AbbVie is an equal opportunity employer including disability/vets. It is AbbVie’s policy to employ qualified persons of the greatest ability without discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because 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, status as a disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Armed Forces service medal veteran or active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran or a person’s relationship or association with a protected veteran, including spouses and other family members, or any other protected group status. We will take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified minorities, women, individuals with a disability, disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, Armed Forces service medal veterans or active-duty wartime or campaign badge veterans. The Affirmative Action Plan is available for viewing in the Human Resources office during regular business hours.


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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