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Senior Director, Computational Drug Discovery

Lake County, Illinois
Start date
Sep 11, 2023

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Science/R&D, Pharmacology
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
BioMidwest, Best Places to Work

Job Details

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. At AbbVie, our vision is to be recognized as a biopharmaceutical company delivering a consistent stream of innovative medicines that solve serious health issues and have a remarkable impact on people’s lives. To be successful, we need outstanding individuals willing to challenge themselves to find the best solutions for our patients. 


Computational Drug Discovery:  AbbVie is making significant investments in computational sciences to drive innovation across Research & Development.  We recently created a Computational Drug Discovery (CDD) team in Discovery Research to build on our capabilities in Small Molecule Therapeutics. CDD is a multifunctional, global organization that drives computational approaches to small molecule drug discovery, supporting all therapeutic areas. The mission of this organization is to apply state-of-the-art computational chemistry, machine learning and physics-based methods to better understand protein structure/function and to accelerate the drug discovery process from hit generation to clinical candidate selection.  

 We are seeking a visionary leader with a successful track record of driving computational approaches in a drug discovery setting to head Computational Drug Discovery. Reporting to the Vice President of Small Molecule Therapeutics & Platform Technologies, the leader of CDD will be responsible for developing and implementing forward looking strategy that realizes the promise of modern computation to deliver on a portfolio of new and improved therapies for patients. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  •  Responsible for scientific and strategic direction and overall impact of CDD organization through effective management of scientific, technology, and human resources.
  • Strategic Direction:
    • Interfaces closely with Discovery leaders to align strategies and research activities.
    • Effectively networks with key opinion leaders in the field to identify and utilize external expertise and innovation. Identifies and manages or oversees the management of external research collaborations.
    • Makes highly critical but educated decisions based on review of all important information and data.
    • Autonomously manages multiple projects and team leaders making decisions that impact long term company strategy.
  • Scientific Leadership:
    • Application of computational research to provide better understanding of protein / protein complex structure/function to guide strategies for therapeutic intervention.
    • Identify, develop, optimize, validate, and deploy innovative methods for data mining, molecular generation, scoring and modeling that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning models and big data to enhance and apply molecular design capabilities.
    • Interfaces with AbbVie IT infrastructure teams to ensure efficient and sustainable on premises and cloud-compute capabilities.
  • Program Impact:
    • Able to develop and execute innovative, informed, and effective solutions to inter/intra group/project conflicts, resource allocation issues, and scientific setbacks.
    • Create a stimulating and innovative work environment that attracts, retains, develops and motivates top talent.
    • Ensure that employees are developed to their full potential and assists them in identifying appropriate development opportunities within the organization.


  • Ph.D. or equivalent in computational chemistry or related discipline, managerial experience leading scientific research teams and 12+ years postdoctoral experience in industry/academia.
  • Strong track record of people, technical, and research project management with significant impact.
  • Strong track record of high-impact scientific achievement including a robust publication record.
  • Established network with key academic and industrial opinion leaders in machine learning and physics based computational research.
  •  Knowledge and experience in state-of-the-art modeling, simulation and machine learning technologies / workflows as well as computing infrastructure to be able to leverage rich data collections to accelerate discovery in a fast paced and creative environment.
  • Knowledge / general understanding of medicinal chemistry concepts and strategies with a track record of applying innovative solutions to advance drug discovery projects.
  •  Knowledge in / experience with relevant state of the art commercial and open-source computational packages, modern data analysis tools, automation workflows, database, HPC and cloud environments.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with executive presence.
  • Strong leadership skills with ability to navigate multiple stakeholders while engaging and motivating your staff.

AbbVie is committed to operating with integrity, driving innovation, transforming lives, serving our community, and embracing diversity and inclusion. 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 protected veteran, or any other legally protected group status.


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

Company info
1 North Waukegan Road
North Chicago

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