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Project Director II, R&D - Toxins

Irvine, California
Start date
Jan 27, 2024

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Science/R&D, Research
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time
Biotech Beach, Best Places to Work

Job Details

We are searching for a Project Director (PD) to join the Aesthetics R&D organization to accelerate mission critical toxins programs through research to development.  This is a unique opportunity to lead innovative first in-class, cutting edge programs, combined with the opportunity to lead and mentor cross-functional aesthetic and therapeutic program teams responsible for next generation toxins research to solve mission critical strategic problems.  The successful candidate will collaborate and partner with cross-functional subject matter experts across AbbVie combining scientific and business acumen and be accountable for advancement of assigned programs from Exploratory Research through to GLP toxicology.

In this role, you will be the strategic leader for your program and will join an experienced team with a strong track record in developing toxins assets and novel formulations.  As the PD, you will lead decision-making and be a champion for your programs.  You will represent the teams/programs at governance, including exposure to AbbVie’s most senior executives, and to internal and external stakeholders.  To be successful in this role, you will have a deep understanding of toxins and / or potent biologics research and drug / formulation development and must be able to lead cross-functional teams in developing and executing strategies to achieve pre-clinical proof-of-principle and advance the programs in preparation for transition into development.   


  • Enterprise leader with primary responsibility to advance multiple research programs through Candidate Selection to position project(s) for seamless transition from Global Research to development under Global Therapeutics, accountable to established Abbvie governance eg LDRPC, RRC, Toxins Office and Board, Tx TASC and APGB for the program.
  • Effective leadership of matrixed, multi-disciplinary project teams within the early R&D matrix.
  • Define clear strategy, vision and objectives for each program, ensuring connectivity and pull through of earlier stage research to solve an overall business goal, often wider than a single asset.
  • Gain buy in from leadership / governance to strategy and lead team to accomplish project goals, ensuring timely communication and buy-in from leadership / governance as timelines and goals evolve.  Agile resolution of organizational and technical roadblocks.
  • Develop clear, prospective Go/No-Go decision points using objectivity and judgment to analyze, interpret, and present data to Pipeline Governance and senior management at prespecified milestones and as significant program issues or opportunities arise.
  • Work with team members to maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the competitive environment in the field and to assess for potential impact on ongoing programs.
  • Has a deep understanding of the role and value of each function on the team, to know how to solicit timely input.  Collaborates with project team functions to ensure program is appropriately resourced and champions requests for incremental resources when appropriate.
  • Establishes close ongoing ties with all team members and supporting teams, to ensure appropriate empowerment, delegation, coaching and mentoring.
  • Maintains a function-neutral position in prioritizing actions and making decisions, with an eye toward optimizing asset value in a timely and high-quality fashion. 


  • Doctoral or advanced level degree required (e.g. PhD, MD, PharmD, MS)
  • Broad scientific experience (minimum of 10+ years across multiple projects spanning the range of Discovery to Development, including biologics / toxins and / or formulation platform projects.
  • Experience of at least 5+ years leading a research or development team in a cross-functional environment, preferably with global scope.
  • Ability to objectively exercise judgment and create pragmatic solutions to address complex cross-functional problems in the face of uncertainty or incomplete data.
  • Business acumen to ensure research solutions progressed solve for business needs
  • Influencing without authority
  • Strong collaboration, facilitative leadership, executive function, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability and willingness to respectfully challenge team members and functions in order to assess fully all opportunities, options, risks, and mitigations.
  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills across all levels of stakeholders, team and functional heads.
  • Executive presence and experience presenting to senior executives
  • Highly organized and self-directed; capable of leading multiple complex research programs in parallel.

Applicable only to applicants applying to a position in any location with pay disclosure requirements under state or local law: 

· The compensation range described below is the range of possible base pay compensation that the Company believes in good faith it will pay for this role at the time of this posting based on the job grade for this position. Individual compensation paid within this range will depend on many factors including geographic location, and we may ultimately pay more or less than the posted range. This range may be modified in the future.

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

· This job is eligible to participate in our short-term incentive programs. 

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

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 and absolute discretion unless and until paid and may be modified at the Company’s sole and absolute discretion, consistent with applicable law. 

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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