Associate Director, Biologics Engineering, Oncology R&D

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Do you have expertise in biologics development and passion for therapeutic antibody discovery? Would you like to apply your expertise to impact the next generation biotherapeutics portfolio in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the one for you!


AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.


Granta Park, Cambridge (UK), is one of over 400 sites here at AstraZeneca, providing an environment where everyone feels comfortable and able to be themselves is at the core of AstraZeneca’s priorities, it’s important to us that you bring your full self to work every day. To help you maintain your best self, here’s a sneak peek into some of the things this site provides for you…Granta Park has a gym, nursery, and central restaurant/coffee place as part of the science park facilities that are accessible to our staff. We also have our own bistro and deli. This is our biggest and most spacious lab site with easy access from all major routes and ample car parking available - come and join us! Please be aware that during the second half of 2023 you will be required to move to our new pioneering Cambridge Biomedical Centre.


The Biologics Engineering team is responsible for the discovery and optimisation of biological candidate drugs to support all therapy area drug discovery pipelines and for the development of in-house biologics discovery platforms and novel drug modalities to support future drug discovery efforts.

What you’ll do

We are seeking a highly motivated Associate Director to support our biologics discovery pipeline and develop and implement next-generation in vitro antibody discovery platforms that can be applied to pre-clinical programs.The role will be responsible for developing antibody isolation and optimisation strategies from target identification and validation through to candidate drug nomination, as well as working closely with colleagues in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and IT. It will be crucial to maintain a high level of expertise in the field of antibody engineering and assay development through constant self-improvement utilising available training, reviewing scientific literature, and attending conferences. You will contribute to lab-based activities, providing protein engineering expertise and reporting project/technology results to Biologics Engineering, project teams and the wider organisation. The role will also manage 3-5 scientists and be responsible for setting goals, developing, coaching, and managing the performance of staff and will report to a Director or Senior Director.

Essential for the role

  • PhD with validated experience or BSc/higher degree with extensive lab-based experience

  • Experienced in molecular biology methods and technologies (e.g., PCR, RT-PCR, IVTT, NGS), and their application to the generation of antibody fragment (or other protein scaffold) libraries

  • Extensive experience and track-record of using and developing in vitro display technologies (e.g., phage, yeast, and ribosome display) and NGS platforms

  • Experience in high-throughput antibody screening, and characterisation methods including in vitro biochemical assays (ELISA, SPR, BLI or flow cytometry) and functional assays

  • Track record of developing and implementing technology and process improvements, and experience of communicating complex scientific results to wide audiences

  • Experience of leading and working within a multi-disciplinary team

Desirable for the role

  • Background in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry

  • Experience using high-throughput automation systems e.g., Hamilton robotics liquid handlers and Illumina sequencing platforms

  • Experience with computational methods and machine learning applied to antibody design and optimisation

  • Line management experience and skilled in supervising, coaching, and developing others

Why AstraZeneca?

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. We’re on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.

So, what’s next?

  • Are you already considering yourself joining the team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.

  • Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available, and we hope it’s yours.

  • If you’re curious to know more please contact Louise Bennett

Competitive salary & benefits

Close date: 12/02/2023

Where can I find out more?

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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.

You’ve got this!