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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 www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Postdoc – Postdoctoral Fellow in Ophthalmology Discovery: Genome-wide CRISPR screens for genes that affect cellular fitness of the retinal pigment epithelium

North Chicago, Illinois Req ID 2210175 Category Research and Development Division AbbVie

The Postdoctoral Program is designed for investigational and experimental research. Participants will be mentored by renowned industry scientists and collaborators at AbbVie and focused on delivering cutting-edge advancements in Discovery, Development Sciences, and BioPharma. This enriching training program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience which 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.

We have an exciting postdoctoral opportunity within AbbVie’s Genomics Research Center in close collaboration with the Eye Care Research team to identify genes that affect cellular fitness of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) using genome-wide CRISPR screens. The cross-functional mentorship team has extensive expertise in high-throughput CRISPR screens, computational approaches, cell biology and functional assays of RPE cells. The teams at the Genomics Research Center and at Eye Care Research are actively collaborating on omics approaches to accelerate drug discovery and clinical translation in Eye Care. One of the main disease focus areas is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly.

The postdoctoral fellow will join the Genomics Research Center at the AbbVie headquarters in Lake County, north of Chicago, to systemically identify genes that affect cellular fitness of RPE cells in response to AMD disease triggers through bidirectional gene activation (CRISPRa) and knockout (CRISRPx) screens. The postdoc will employ genome-wide CRISPRx and CRISPRa lentivirus libraries to perturb RPE cells, will perform data deconvolution of the genome-wide CRISPRx and CRISPRa screening data, and will validate top candidates in follow-up experiments where individual genes will be knocked out or activated in RPE cells. CRISPR-edited RPE cells will be characterized for various AMD relevant phenotypes using a range of molecular and cellular assays. The results of the project will be published in one or more scientific publications targeting high impact peer-reviewed journals.

Responsibilities

  • Generate and execute pooled-based protocols for CRISPRx and CRISPRa screening in RPE cells
  • Utilize an existing standardized pipeline for deconvolution of the CRISPRx and CRISPRa screening data
  • Design experiments to validate top candidate genes in RPE cells using a range of molecular and cellular assays, including but not limited to RNA-seq, cytokine release, high-content imaging, proteomic/lipidomic profiling, and flow cytometry. 
  • Collaborate with functional and technical experts 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
  • 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, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or a related field
  • Extensive experience in cell culture and molecular biology techniques
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated scientific writing skills evidenced by a strong publication record and strong verbal communication skills.
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment.
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from the Thesis Advisor)
  • Letter of intent to pursue Postdoc

Preferred

  • Hands-on experience with CRISPR technology
  • Knowledge of disease mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration and/or experience with RPE cell models
  • Skills in computational biology

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: Yes, 5 % of the Time
Job Type: Experienced
Schedule: Full-time
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