Senior Scientist - Protein Production

16 Mar 2019
31 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
At UCB everything we do starts with a simple question: “How will this make a difference to the lives of people living with severe diseases?” We do that by connecting with patients and their families around the world living with the physical and social burdens of severe disease of the immune system and the central nervous system. Those connections offer new perspectives, drive innovation, and offer the hope of a new generation of therapies that will help to transform lives.

Role Overview

We are currently seeking a Senior Research Scientist to join the Protein Production Group within the Protein Structure and Biophysics (PS&B) department. As a member of the PS&B department you will be part of a multidisciplinary team that supports projects from early stage target validation through to late stage pre-clinical evaluation. As a postdoctoral protein biochemist with several years industrial experience in recombinant protein production, you will form part of the Protein Production group generating protein reagents to support multiple projects.

In addition to a track record of recombinant protein production the ideal candidate will be familiar with protein structure and its application in developing a strategy to express, purify and characterise protein targets from a variety of protein classes. You will have a good knowledge of techniques involved in the QC of proteins, ensuring quality is maintained at all times to make sure end users have confidence in their data.

Equipped with an in-depth knowledge of protein purification and a thorough understanding of protein biochemistry the successful candidate will be expected to trouble-shoot and overcome issues when working with difficult proteins. To enhance our capabilities in handling difficult proteins all members of the group are expected to identify and implementing new technologies.

A key aspect of this position will be communication both within the Protein Production group and across multiple disciplines (project teams, antibody discovery, enzymologists, crystallographers, biophysics and CADD groups) ensuring that information on work progress is relayed in a clear manner, highlighting any technical issues and providing potential solutions.

Main Accountabilities

Lab based scientist with science leadership skills taking a lead role in the planning, design and delivery of recombinant proteins.

Take a lead role in the expression and purification of target proteins for structural studies, antibody generation, in vivo and in vitro assays and biophysical characterisation.
A major component of the role involves understanding the structure of target proteins and applying that knowledge to help progress projects.
Generation of high quality protein reagents in a timely manner.
Maintain high standards of work within the group continuously assessing processes and technologies to achieve or exceed targets.
Take responsibility for protein production within project(s) acting as first point of contact for communications with project teams ensuring protein production demands are met within agreed timelines.
Present experimental results at team and project meetings.
Apply knowledge of protein production to anticipate, avoid and solve problems both independently and as part of the team.
Help in the training and supervising junior members of the team particularly focusing on protein purification.
Keep abreast of and implement technology developments within area of protein purification.

Essential Requirements

Candidates will have extensive experience (PhD holder or graduate with 4-5 years) in protein biochemistry, focusing on recombinant protein production, preferably in an industrial environment.

Desired skills and experience

We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate and are fully independent and competent in the following skill sets:

Molecular Biology (DNA manipulation techniques and comprehensive knowledge and experience with software used in manipulating protein and DNA sequences (VNTI) and molecular visualisation of proteins (PyMOL or similar).
Proficient in E.coli, insect and mammalian cell expression systems.
Fully independent in protein purification techniques (affinity, ion exchange, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, size exclusion chromatography, analytical SEC, UV-Vis spectroscopy, protein refolding techniques) and extensive experience working with AKTA purification platforms and associated software.
Fully competent in protein characterisation techniques: SDS-PAGE, Western blot, analytical SEC and UV-Vis spectroscopy.
Excellent biochemistry knowledge with hands on experience of protein labelling and characterisation.
Good understanding of recombinant protein expression systems and the molecular biology involved in generating expression constructs.
Thorough knowledge of the latest technologies involved in protein purification.
Track record of recombinant protein production covering multiple protein classes including enzymes, structural proteins, cell signalling factors, cell surface receptors and their ligands produced as intracellular and secreted proteins.
Experience in x-ray crystallography or electron microscopy is an advantage.
Ability to work on several projects and conduct experiments in parallel.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office.
A highly motivated individual with a proven ability to deliver to tight timelines.
A team player, with good organisational, communication, record keeping and inter-personal skills.
A scientist with an inquisitive and innovative nature and a passion for delivering innovative new medicines for patients suffering with serious disease.

We can offer you the opportunity to rapidly impact on a wide range of our NBE & NCE projects, and to significantly contribute to the progression of these projects into the clinic and beyond. Informal and open working environment that does not lock scientists into structure and hierarchy. Freedom to take space to pursue your own ideas and make a difference. Opportunities and expectations to develop global visibility and an international reputation as a scientist in your field.

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