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Associate Principal Scientist - Bioassay, Biosafety and Impurities

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Diverse Minds. Go further with bold new opportunities Collaborate with diverse minds

Collaborate in an inclusive environment, a place full of bold new opportunities. And in return… we’re looking for people who are open and respectful, ambitious and driven.

Who we are

A high performing team, we are united and motivated by our shared purpose – to deliver life-changing medicines. We come to work each day to make a difference – to patients, society and our company.

What we do

We are a global, science-led BioPharmaceutical business and our innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

Why we love it

This is the place to make an impact. Here we ensure everyone can reach their full potential, perform at their best and make a valued contribution to the enterprise.

Are you a scientist who wants to take their academic knowledge into a dedicated Research & Development team at AstraZeneca? Are you fuelled by the commitment to help more patients, strengthen our pipeline and grow our therapeutic areas?

Be part of the Bioassay, Biosafety and Impurities Group accountable for developing state-of-the-art methods to evaluate product quality by measuring biological activity and detecting, characterizing, and quantifying product variants and process-related impurities for biologics (e.g. monoclonal antibodies, modified peptides, viruses, RNAs etc). This enables product understanding, manufacturing process development, formulation, drug product development and regulatory filings to bring our drugs to the clinic and eventually onto the market. In addition, this group is accountable for control systems, including specifications, comparability, and shelf-life strategies required by regulatory agencies. Also, it performs technical transfer of methods to clinical quality control and commercial launch sites and technical support and lifecycle management post-launch.

We are looking to recruit a dynamic and highly motivated partially lab based scientist with proven experience of leading, driving and implementing innovation as well as developing people. The job holder will be expected to lead, manage and contribute to technology development as well as day to day activities within the team. They will be expected to be hands-on and actively involved in driving the development and implementation of novel technologies.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Coordinating and hands-on contributions to researching, identifying, evaluating and implementing cutting-edge technologies to establish and improve in process, release, and characterisation bioactivity and potency assay development

  • Leading the scientific strategy and direction of technology development within the group. Continuous review of current processes, troubleshooting and ensuring efficiency and capacity is maximized

  • Establishing connections to academic institutions and developing external collaborations as well as internal collaboration with research functions to enhance Bioassay Development

  • Authoring of documents including presentations, reports, SOPs, CMC sections of regulatory filings (IND, IMPD, BLA, etc.), etc. and as appropriate, scientific journal publications and reviewing scientific theses

  • Designing and conducting experiments according to project requirements.

  • Role includes direct management of PhD students, Post doctoral fellows, placement students and rotational associates as well as coaching and mentoring of junior staff. The role may include people management

  • Ensuring work is performed in accordance with appropriate Safety, Health & Environment (SHE), quality and compliance standards, e.g. Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)

Additional Responsibilities

  • Awareness of the overall aim of team and other relevant groups.

  • Participating in drug development project teams across the global organisation, representing Bioassay Development, providing input on timelines, requirements and risks to projects

  • This includes drafting of reports and presentation at appropriate internal meetings as well as to partners and at national or international conferences.

  • Liaising with other local groups in Cambridge and globally to apply new developments to our future projects


  • PhD (or equivalent) in Immunology, Cellular Biochemistry, Cell Biology or a related field

  • Track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals

  • Thorough understanding of assay design and development, especially for cell-based assays (e.g. reporter gene assays, cytotoxicity/apoptosis assays, effector function assays, target cell killing assays, T cell activation assays etc.) and for immunoassay techniques (e.g. ELISA, HTRF or similar protein interaction assays, biochemical or enzymatic assays, immunofluorescence microscopy etc.)

  • Familiarity and hands on experience with Flow Cytometers

  • Excellent communication skills and a genuine passion for a collaborative and multi-disciplinary work environment

  • Good time management skills, ability to flex and handle multiple responsibilities and tasks on a regular basis


  • PostDoc experience in Immunology, Immuno Oncology, preferably in a drug development or discovery setting with focus on cell signalling and/or cancer biology or checkpoint inhibitors

  • Drug development or drug discovery experience in Pharma/Biotech industry, e.g. experience with biotherapeutics, e.g. monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs)

  • Basic understanding of in vivo models, e.g. humanised mouse or xenograft models

  • Hands on experience with Imaging equipment, multimode plate readers, quantitative PCR, liquid handling automation

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.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

So, what’s next?

Are you already imagining yourself joining us? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you!

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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.