Senior Director, Assays, Automation and B cell Technology

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Would you like to use your drug discovery and leadership experience to make a real difference to the lives of patients around the world? If you would, this could be the role for you!

At AstraZeneca we’re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration. Always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development.

Biologics Engineering (BE) discovers novel, innovative biologics across all of AstraZeneca’s therapy areas, providing ground-breaking drug discovery capabilities to drive portfolio drug projects.

The Senior Director role will be responsible for leading teams of scientists delivering scientific expertise in the fields of assay development, biologics screening, automation and B cell technologies within BE. This role requires a broad, comprehensive understanding of biologics drug discovery, including the discovery and optimisation of biological candidate drugs to support drug projects across all main therapy areas and involves management responsibilities for a range of diverse activities and scientific skills across 2 countries.

Core to the role is accountability for the development and execution of a diverse array of high throughput assay and imaging systems, technologies and automation to support biologics drug projects. This is a fantastic opportunity to define our current and future strategies for assay development, automation and biologics screening. In addition, the role will encompass responsibility for defining future B cell strategies and deploying B-cell platforms to deliver antibody candidate drugs and reagents to support large molecule clinical programmes. The individual is also accountable for the delivery of significant strategic scientific initiatives that impact on scientific, financial and reputational aspects of the business.

Typical Accountabilities, what you will be doing:

  • You will manage all the activities for assay and automation expertise in the UK and US within BE
  • Lead all the activities for the B cell technology areas of expertise within the UK
  • You’ll contribute as one of the highest technical experts in assays and B cell technology in UK and US
  • Provide scientific leadership of biologic assay technologies, their development, deployment, continuous improvement, sharing of good practice and recommending future investments
  • Lead or support the discovery and optimisation of new biologics medicines across the therapeutic areas to deliver composition of matter that represents first-in-class or best-in-class drugs and provide data and scientific rationale to support robust IP filings as appropriate
  • Ensure that all decisions and activities within own area of responsibility are properly aligned to BE strategy and to the broader goals and objectives of AstraZeneca.
  • Ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of existing technologies, processes and interfaces within BE, either by managing their development and use, or by contributing to their improvement as a technical expert
  • Lead or support the development of new technologies or significant improvements to existing processes to provide business benefit at the regional or global level and may lead or support their implementation within own area of responsibility.
  • You’ll be a member of key strategic governance committee(s) such as Research Boards or equivalent decision-making committees representing BE and providing clear scientific evaluation and guidance and shaping project and science direction
  • Lead, guide, evaluate and develop one or more teams within own area of responsibility, or support their work as a technical expert. Acts as a mentor for individual staff from across BE or from outside the department
  • Performance manage other managers, identify development opportunities for direct reports, and carry out effective succession planning
  • Ensure own work and work of function is aligned with with AstraZeneca’s Good Laboratory Standards, Safety, Health and Environment regulations and all other internal and external standards and regulations. Implement measures and systems to ensure compliance.

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience:


  • PhD in a relevant scientific field or equivalent experience and with significant experience in a drug discovery environment
  • Publication record, including in high quality and high impact scientific journals
  • Extensive knowledge of assays required to develop biologics drugs
  • Significant experience in leading drug and technology projects and matrix management of diverse teams across different regions / time zones
  • Track record of promoting, motivating and empowering others to accomplish individual, team and organisational objectives
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain networks and excellent working relationships with scientific /leadership teams globally
  • Initiates and successfully delivers value from external collaborations


  • Extensive knowledge of the latest developments in the field of biologics drugs discovery
  • Excellent knowledge of AstraZeneca policies, procedures, global systems, and guidelines

Location: Granta Park (moving to Discovery Centre in 2023) Cambridge UK

Salary: Competitive + Excellent Benefits

Closing Date: 9th December 2022

So, what's next?

If the role looks of interest please apply!

Why AstraZeneca?

Here you’ll have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives. With science at its heart, this is the place where breakthroughs born in the lab become transformative medicines – for the world’s most complex diseases. Answer unmet medical needs by pioneering the next wave of science, focusing on outcomes and shaping the patient ecosystem.

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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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