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AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Associate Director/Director, Biological Sciences

Irvine, California Req ID 2211730 Category Research and Development Division AbbVie

The Eye Care Research group, as part of Research, Nonclinical and Translational Sciences (RNTS) at AbbVie, is seeking an Associate Director/Director, Biological Sciences responsible for conception, design, planning, implementation of pre-clinical in vivo studies to identify, validate and characterize potential therapeutic targets and assets to support ophthalmic drug discovery and development programs. The successful candidate will oversee a team responsible for the development of translatable large animal models of retinal and optic nerve diseases with clinically relevant endpoints. S/he will lead efforts to generate disease models using surgical, laser, drug, chemical or genetic techniques and select and optimize appropriate endpoints. Additionally, s/he will lead the strategy and oversee the implementation, data collection and analyses, interpretation, and reporting of nonclinical in vivo pharmacology studies. In addition to the management of pharmacodynamic studies to evaluate efficacy, s/he will also be responsible for implementing translational biomarker and target engagement strategies to support downstream clinical development of drug candidates.

Experience in the fields of ophthalmology or vision research is required. A comprehensive understanding of models of ophthalmic disease, functional vision assessments including vision psychophysics and ophthalmic imaging modalities is essential. Prior drug discovery and development as well as supervisory experience are assets. 

This individual is expected to advise and consult with other scientists in R&D as well as outside collaborators and to work with the Eye Care Research leadership team to help set strategy. S/he will act as a subject matter expert on behalf of AbbVie to external parties including external collaborations and diligence. S/he will also be required to train and supervise junior staff members.


S/he should be a highly motivated, with a record of innovation and scientific leadership. Emphasis is on the ability to demonstrate scientific leadership skills and interact in a matrixed organizational structure. In addition, the candidate should have a strong track record of cross-functional collaborations along with excellent written and oral communication skills.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Design and provide scientific oversight of in vivo nonclinical pharmacology studies
  • Analyze, interpret and report in vivo pharmacology datasets
  • Provide strategic input to drive decisions to advance Discovery projects
  • Provide subject matter expertise in animal models of ocular diseases ocular and visual function  
  • Provide input on Development protocols including efficacy and biomarker evaluations
  • Represent Research Pharmacology on project teams
  • Contribute to preclinical pharmacology sections for regulatory submissions
  • Provide subject matter expertise on behalf of AbbVie for external collaborations and due diligence assignments
  • Advise and consult with other scientists in R&D as well as outside collaborators
  • Active scientific participation and collaboration with colleagues in industry and academia
  • Train and supervise junior staff members



  • Vision Scientist with Ph.D. and 8-10+ years of pharmaceutical industry or relevant experience
  • Expertise in models of ophthalmic disease, functional vision assessments and ophthalmic imaging modalities as well as the application of these techniques to pharmacological studies
    • Experience with a range of ocular imaging modalities including angiography and autofluorescence, fundus and vitreal photography, ocular coherence tomography (OCT), slit lamp biomicroscopy, gonioscopy, specular microscopy, ultrasonography, and ophthalmoscopy required
    • Knowledge of functional in vivo endpoints including vison pyschophysics, ocular electrophysiology (ERG, VEP) required
  • Line management experience preferred
  • Must be able to multitask effectively and be adaptable and flexible to meet changing priorities
  • Committed to the values of integrity, accountability, transparency, scientific rigor and drive
  • Strong scientific and leadership skills with the ability to influence and collaborate with leaders in R&D
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Excellent collaboration and team skills are required.
  • The successful candidate is required to have ability to work within a diverse workforce

**Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled**

Significant Work Activities: Continuous sitting for prolonged periods (more than 2 consecutive hours in an 8 hour day)
Travel: Yes, 5 % of the Time
Job Type: Experienced
Schedule: Full-time

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