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Senior Scientist I- Strain Engineering

Irvine, California
Start date
Feb 2, 2024

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

Job Details

The Toxin Innovation Group at AbbVie seeks a highly skilled and experienced senior scientist with the expertise in genetic engineering of non-model microbial organisms. The successful candidate will play an integral role in leading our efforts to design, engineer and optimize microbial strains for both aesthetic and therapeutic applications, driving the advancement of our product pipeline and contributing to the overall success of the company. 

The ideal candidate will have a strong and established background in design and implement novel strategies for the modification of microbial genomes to achieve specific phenotypic traits, preferably with anaerobic bacteria. He/She/They will have experience with conducting in-depth genetic and genomic analysis of microbial strains to identify target genes and methods for engineering, utilizing a broad array of molecular biology tools. 

The candidate will be able to maintain the laboratory environment and ELN documentation in compliance with regulatory and company expectations. Experience managing multiple projects under restricted timelines is a plus. 

Key responsibilities:

•       Plan, prioritize, oversee, and execute strain engineering experiments (e.g., strain cultivation, tool development, molecular cloning, and microbial transformation)

•       Lead ideation, testing, and implementation of novel molecular and synthetic biology tools that support genome editing of anaerobic bacteria including gene knockout, knock-in and fine-tuning expression.

•       Maintain and establish microbial strain collections, including master and working cell banks (MCB and WCB).

•       Collaborate closely with cross-functional teams to integrate engineered strains into product development pipelines, providing technical expertise and contributing to the strategic decisions related to strain optimization and fermentation.

•       Stay abreast of the latest developments in molecular biology, genome editing, and microbial biotechnology, and actively contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge on microbial strain engineering.

•       Contribute to the creation and maintenance of a strong intellectual property portfolio through the identification and protection of novel technologies, inventions and discoveries arising from research activities.


Job Qualifications (minimum requirements):

•       Proven track record of leading successful research projects in the design and engineering of non-model microbial strains, demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or patent. Direct experience with anaerobic bacteria is desired.

•       Expertise in a wide range of molecular biology techniques, including DNA/RNA manipulation, molecular cloning, CRISPR-based genome editing, PCR assays, high throughput screening and next-generation sequencing.

•       In-depth understanding of microbial physiology, metabolism, and genetic regulation, with the ability to apply this knowledge to the engineering of complex traits and phenotypes in microbial hosts.

•       Experience with standard techniques for strain performance testing (cultivation methodologies, SDS-PAGE, Western, ELISA and other basic assays)

•       Familiar with molecular biology software tools as well as scientific computing and data analysis (e.g., Geneious, Benchling, JMP, Python).

•       Knowledge of common protein purification methods such as AEC, CEC, SEC, affinity columns, etc.

•       Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

•       A collaborative mindset and the ability to work effectively within interdisciplinary research teams.

•       Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to convey complex scientific concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences.

    Education & Experience:

    • PhD in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Synthetic Biology or equivalent field with 0-4 years of related work experience; Master’s Degree Science with 8+ years of related work
    • Postdoctoral or industrial experience is preferred in biotech or pharma discovery research 

    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. 

    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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