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Associate Director/ Principal Research Scientist II, Biological Research

Irvine, California
Start date
Mar 19, 2023

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Job Details

The Toxin Innovation Group at AbbVie seeks an accomplished scientist and leader for the Toxin Innovation Pharmacology Group. The Associate Director/ Principal Research Scientist II will lead discovery research activities to generate novel biotherapeutics. She/He/They will be responsible for developing methods and capabilities for complex in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in peripheral neuroscience and molecular design, and a proven record of successfully leading discovery projects to produce novel biotherapeutics. They will have experience with project conception, strategic planning, budgeting, and leading cross-functional and matrixed teams. Additionally, the candidate will have a working knowledge of various research areas including protein engineering, biophysical characterization, and pre-clinical pharmacological testing.

The candidate will be able to lead by influence and maintain a productive, collaborative, and inclusive laboratory environment in compliance with regulatory and company expectations. Experience managing projects from early-stage discovery research through the transition of lead molecules to development is a plus.

A key role for the position is partnering with senior management to conceive and provide strategic direction and vision for the program while leading a discovery research team responsible for executing the technical aspects of the plan. Strong communication skills are essential as the candidate must be able to tailor interactions with technical teams and represent the program and strategy to executive-level management.

Key responsibilities:

  • Drive functional performance by designing and implementing studies aimed at new or improved products
  • Develop and execute discipline strategy in alignment with functional goals and key scientific objectives
  • Manage project activities and professional development of a team of scientists through effective mentoring, guidance, and supervision
  • Advance scientific expertise within the function and collaborate with cross-disciplinary teams to advance programs from research to development
  • Ensure the quality and effectiveness of key project results through sound design, early risk assessments, and implementation of fallback strategies
  • Provide expert advice and share knowledge with direct reports, peers, and senior management
  • Train and mentor functional colleagues and assesses current and emerging business challenges to achieve functional goals
  • Identify and integrate emerging scientific trends from internal and external sources into short-term functional objectives
  • Ensure compliance with Federal Regulations for key documentation and inventories
  • Present program updates and research strategies to functional and non-functional leaders as well as potential and existing partners.


  • Proven track record leading discovery research projects
  • Experience with documentation of experimental plans, budget, timelines, and technical reports
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate with diverse groups within the organization and external partners
  • Proven team leadership and management abilities, including experience mentoring, guiding, and supervising scientific personnel
  • Knowledge of pharmaceutical development processes, including lead characterization, target engagement, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and basic toxicology
  • Experience evaluating internal and external research and development programs

Education & Experience:

  • PhD in Science (Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Biophysical characterization, or related biological science discipline) with typically 8+ years of post-graduate experience, including 3+ years in a discovery research environment, is highly preferred; an advanced degree with 14+ years of related work will also be considered
  • Industry experience is highly desired

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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