Associate Director, Molecular Diagnostic Science

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Are you an experienced Molecular Biologist with a passion to apply your skills to develop molecular diagnostic testsin aclinicalsetting? If so, this could be the role for you!

AstraZenecadelivers companion and complementary diagnostic assays that match medicines to those patients who are most likely to benefit from them. This approach, known as Precision Medicine, is based on those individual characteristics that make some patients respond to treatment better than others. We use this knowledge to develop diagnostic tests that doctors can use to help prescribe the best treatment for each patient.

As an Associate Director,Molecular Diagnostics, you will use your knowledge of DNA/RNAmolecularassays (qPCR,dPCR, NGS, etc) to provide scientific andtechnical expertise to drug project teams following a diagnostics approach.

The role holder will be accountable for

  • Overseeing the delivery ofmolecular diagnostic science and innovation projects across franchises or a wider portfolio of projects, through close collaboration with the Diagnostic Development team

  • Building and maintaining a knowledge of current and emerging diagnostic technologies in area of expertise and identify opportunities for innovation and internal/external collaborations

  • Developing innovative molecular diagnostic science proposals across core therapeutic areas

  • Providing scientific and strategic input into precision medicine approaches for diagnostic and drug product teams

  • Ensuring that all activities are delivered demonstrating behaviours and values aligned to AstraZeneca Code of Conduct and supporting policies, standards and procedures, including compliant management of Budget, Safety, Health and Environment

Typical Accountabilities, what you will be doing:

Strategic direction

  • Make a marked contribution to overall strategy to identifydiagnostic partners who can further the mission of the relevant diagnostic and drug product teams

  • Deliver scientific and strategic advice to the development and execution of diagnostic science projects to inform internal decision-making,address barriers to meet the needs of patient, payers, physicians and add value to drug products

  • Obtain and manage investment to enable diagnostic innovation and science work packages

  • Deliver expert advice of high scientific quality on molecular diagnostic testing options for precision medicine approaches and companiondiagnostic development to relevant product teams


  • Provide leadership for delivery of molecular diagnostic science within AstraZeneca’s Precision Medicine and Biosamples department, including communication of a clear scientific strategy and inspirational vision

  • Draw upon previous experience and expert knowledge to provide a relevant knowledge base of molecular diagnostic development and new technologies for molecular diagnostic team.

Planning, Monitoring and Delivering

  • Ensure delivery of objectives and milestones for diagnosticinnovation andscience projects to diagnostic and drug product teams

  • Accountable for the delivery of diagnostic innovation and science packages to time, budget and quality

Assessing and Managing Risk

  • Provide regular updates for progress, risks, issues and opportunities to Molecular Diagnostic team, diagnostic subteams, governance bodies or leadership teamas required

  • Work with Molecular Diagnosticleadership team to resolve resource, quality and budget issues

  • Manage risk in an appropriate and compliant manner

  • Ensure compliance with all AstraZeneca Policies and Standards and immediately address instances of non-compliance

Governance processes and stakeholder interactions

  • Provide metrics to senior leaders and to governance bodies (e.g. Global Product Team (GPT)) as required

  • Ensure that all governance issues are identified and reported appropriately

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience:


  • Masters / PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant subject

  • Record of delivery in a diagnostics capability

  • Leadership ability and global team working

  • Excellent molecular biology skills including experience in Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), qPCR and/or dPCR, DNA and RNA handling methodsand other relevant molecular biology and/or genomics technique.

  • Excellent knowledge of current technology trends in molecular diagnostics

  • Excellent knowledge of scientific literature with deep understanding in molecular biology and/or diagnostic related area, demonstrated through publications in peer reviewed journals

  • Experience of leading projects within a diagnostic or drug development organisation

  • Demonstrable experienceof analytical diagnostic assay validation and use in a clinical testing setting

  • Experience of working with external partners or collaborators (ideally academic investigators and diagnostic companies) to drive timely and successful outcomes, through effectively working across internal and external boundaries.

  • Ability to communicate with cross-functional stakeholders for project updates through oral presentations and progress reports

  • Ability to identify risks and escalate appropriately

  • Ability to work collaboratively within large cross-functional team(s) including multiple internal and external partners

  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to act as an ambassador for Precision Medicine internally and externally

  • Can work in multidisciplinary teams/projects and can influence across disciplines

  • Ability to manage change and uncertainty

  • A confident team player who is assertive but willing to listen and learn from the views of others

  • Excellent organisational skills, with the proven ability to deliver high quality work under pressure and against tight timelines

  • Knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the aims and objectives of personalised healthcare

  • Willingness to travel both nationally and internationally


  • An understanding of drug and companion diagnostic assay co-development and commercialisation and experience working in early and late phase projects

  • Demonstrable experience of analytical diagnostic assay validation and use in a clinical testing setting

  • Demonstrable experience of successful scientific proposal applications (resource/budget)

  • Good computational analysis skills enabling automated/semi-automated data analysis (e.g. using programmes such as R, Pyton, knime or equivalent)

  • Knowledge of requirements related to handling of Human Biological Samples

  • Proven experience of delivery and use of data for diagnostic projects for regulatory submissions

  • Experience of leading projects within a diagnostic or drug development organisation.

  • Experience in computational approaches to data analysis and handling large data sets

Location: Cambridge, UK; Warsaw, Poland; Barcelona, Spain

Salary: Competitive + Excellent Benefits

Next steps, if you feel you are suitable for the role please apply!

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognizing their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organization to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering innovative methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next?

A place built on courage, curiosity and collaboration – we make bold decisions driven by patient outcomes. Empowered to lead at every level, free to ask questions and take calculated risks that write the next chapter for our pipeline. If you are inspired by the possibilities, don’t hesitate in submitting an application today!

Competitive salary and benefits package available.

Where can I find out more?

Connect with our recruiter on LinkedIn: Zara Newman:

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Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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