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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.

Postdoc – Postdoctoral Fellow: Leveraging Multi-Omics to Characterize Meibomian Gland Cell Biology in Health and Dry Eye Disease

Irvine, California Req ID 2211238 Category Research and Development Division AbbVie

Postdoctoral Program Overview

The AbbVie Postdoctoral Program is designed for investigational and experimental research. Participants will be mentored by renowned industry scientists and collaborators to deliver cutting-edge advancements in Discovery, Development Sciences, and BioPharma. This enriching training program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience that fosters a learning environment to advance individual development and offers accessibility to high-level knowledge-building across the drug development continuum.

To be successful in our goals as an organization, we developed the AbbVie Postdoc Program for outstanding individuals willing to challenge themselves to find the best solutions for our patients.

You will be a technical expert who will investigate, identify, develop, and optimize new methods / techniques to address critical project needs. AbbVie Postdoctoral Fellows continuously seek to improve existing laboratory methods and processes, read and adapt literature to accomplish assignments, and demonstrate mastery of a broad range of experimental techniques and methods of data analysis.

We are seeking scientists from key academic institutions within preferred areas of science in the U.S. to provide a unique opportunity for participants to build a solid career foundation in the pharmaceutical industry while building the AbbVie brand as an employer of choice for scientific talent. This assignment is expected to last 2-4 years, though exceptions may be made for certain postdoctoral assignments.

Role Overview

We are looking for the incoming Postdoc class to join AbbVie as the company is positioning itself for another significant year of growth and of the continuing advancement of its patient-driven science and its strategic priorities. In a collaborative, resource-rich environment, you and your scientific mentor will be exploring, targeting, investigating, and evaluating key areas of novel research with a publication as the end point. We have an exceptional postdoctoral opportunity within cross-functional groups to leverage multi-omics to characterize meibomian gland cell biology in health and Dry Eye Disease.  The Postdoc will work within an existing team of experts from the fields of cellular and molecular biology, in vivo research, multi-omics, and computation genomics located at various AbbVie US-locations.  The Postdoc will conduct research within AbbVie’s Eye Care Research group located at Irvine, CA and collaborate virtually with subject matters experts within AbbVie’s Genomic Research Center located at Cambridge, MA and Lake County, IL. To enhance networking and optimize growth potential with in-person experiences, travel to Genomic Research Center locations may be offered to the Postdoc.  This enriched opportunity will enable the Postdoc to experience new technologies to leverage multi-omics and computational genomics while being immersed in the discovery and development of eye care. 

The Postdoc will actively work on a basic research project that provides clues about how to treat dry eye disease and potential ways to target the symptoms or underlying causes.  Dry eye disease is a multi-factorial disorder of the tear film stemming from chronic inflammation and results in vision impairment, discomfort, and damage to the ocular surface.  86% of dry eye disease is evaporative in nature due to dysfunction and atrophy of the oil-secreting meibomian glands located in eyelids. These glands are comprised of self-renewing acinar epithelial cells that produce lipid, a key component of the tear film, yet the molecular and cellular phenotype of the stem cell niche supporting this is not presently known.  As part of a broad research initiative to enable the development of treatment opportunities, the Postdoc will lead a project to understand the cell biology of the meibomian gland self-renewal and differentiation.  The project aims to identify targets to achieve restoration and preventative meibomian gland dysfunction therapies using spatial transcriptomics and single cell RNA-seq analysis of ocular tissues from in vivo models of dry eye disease.  Thus, this project offers an exciting opportunity to gain a breadth of research experiences from in vivo pathology to computation genomics.


  • Design and execute experiments to inform meibomian gland biology using a variety of approaches to model disease processes, and characterize self-renewal and differentiation
  • Utilize and develop in vivo models of dry eye disease, multi-omic approaches, and computational genomic techniques for target discovery of novel therapeutics
  • Generate new research strategies to effectively address the Postdoc project needs
  • Using decision making, organization and communication skills to effectively collaborate with colleagues from cross-functional teams to facilitate scientific achievement
  • Maintain a high level of productivity in the laboratory setting
  • Effectively write and communicate research materials
  • Resolve research hurdles by effectively utilizing available information and technical expertise
  • Proactively seek out new information in the literature and incorporate this into individual project(s) as well as the overall program
  • Presenting data and findings across various platforms, including project teams
  • Publish research in peer-reviewed journals and present work at scientific conferences aligned with business objectives
  • Demonstrate a high degree of responsibility in maintaining scientific standards, and safe laboratory practices for self and reporting staff, if any

Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in cell biology or molecular biology or genomics
  • Highly motivated, self-driven and results-oriented person, comfortable working independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Record of scientific initiative and creativity in research or development activities.
  • Capable of independently designing and executing experiments, interpreting data, and identifying appropriate follow-up strategies.
  • Excellent project management skills. Ability to multitask and work within timelines.
  • Ability to resolve key project hurdles and assumptions by effectively utilizing available information and technical expertise.
  • Demonstrated scientific writing skills and strong verbal communication skills, and the ability to effectively communicate with both internal and external stakeholders, and to audiences of diverse backgrounds
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment.


  • Expertise in in vivo rodent research and disease pathology
  • Interest in computational genomics
  • Expertise in single-cell RNA seq or spatial transcriptomics is desired
  • Expertise in regenerative medicine is desired
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from the Thesis Advisor)
  • Letter of intent to pursue Postdoc

Key Leadership Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of team to enable higher performance
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change course quickly where indicated
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation for improvement
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages to reality

Significant Work Activities: N/A
Travel: No
Job Type: Experienced
Schedule: Full-time

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