Senior Scientist (Cell Engineering), Biologics Engineering

Job title: Senior Scientist (Cell Engineering), Biologics Engineering

Company: AstraZeneca

Job description: The Cell Engineering Senior Scientist role is responsible for contributing molecular biology and cell line engineering expertise to support biologics drug discovery and technology development projects across therapeutic areas. The role includes expression vector design and construction, vector delivery to cells and production of stable cell pools and/or clonal validated cell lines to support assay development, screening and characterisation of biologic molecules. The role involves working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a primarily lab-based role, under the general supervision of an Associate Director.


AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.


The role is based in our new groundbreaking Discovery Centre (DISC) located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. This newly purpose-built building that will bring together the company’s research and development activity in a pioneering strategic R&D centre and global corporate headquarters. The building has been designed with the open architecture reflecting AstraZeneca’s approach to research. Open laboratories and glass walls will enable new ways of working across teams, whilst a central courtyard will put science on full display.


Biologics Engineering (BE) is responsible for the discovery and optimisation of biological candidate drugs to support all therapy area drug discovery pipelines and for the development of in-house biologics discovery platforms and novel drug modalities to support future drug discovery efforts.

What you’ll do

Design and construction of recombinant vectors allowing delivery of target genes to cells to allow stable integration and generation of stable mammalian cell lines

Generation of stable cell lines (includes gene transcription, knockouts, reporter and inducible cell lines) by use of various gene targeting technologies (CRISPR/Cas9, nucleases/ recombinases, lentivirus, and other DNA donors) and subsequent characterisation of edited cell lines

Applies appropriate techniques to characterise properties of stable cell lines (e.g. Q-PCR, Flow Cytometry, Single Cell Sorting, Western Blotting, cell signalling assays, gene sequencing)

Analyses data, making detailed observations and interpretation of results

Understands and applies principles, theories, concepts and techniques to generate and characterise recombinant clonal cell lines

Actively contributes expertise to pipeline and/or technology project teams, making recommendations that has a positive impact on project progression

Pro-actively contributes to development of new or improved molecular biology, vector construction and stable cell line technologies or processes

Prepares appropriate documentation such as electronic laboratory notebooks, contributions to patents and IND reports and conducts work according to current codes of practice (health and safety legislation etc.)

Presents findings at internal (intra- and inter-departmental) project team and Protein Sciences community of practice meetings

Demonstrates strong interpersonal communications by establishing and using existing working relationships with BE department members and others within the company

Provides training for students or members of department in stable cell line generation techniques

May perform cell assay development and screening activities based on project requirements

May support departmental technology initiatives utilising a broad range of skills

May work on multiple projects (pipeline and technology) at any one time

Essential for the role

Level 4/5 qualification e.g. NVQ, apprenticeship or Bachelor of Science degree or higher degree in life sciences

Experience in devising experiments; designs strategies for appropriate expression of target genes in recombinant cell lines

Experience in troubleshooting molecular biology and cell engineering experiments

Track record of recombinant cell line development and process improvements

Strong communicator, capable of developing good working relationships with individuals across organisational boundaries

Experience in working within multi-disciplinary teams

Has scientific curiosity and proactively develops knowledge

Acts with integrity and does the right thing

Attention to detail

Desirable for the role

Experience in cell-based assay development and protein purification

Experience in working with external companies

Ability to contribute to multiple different projects simultaneously

Experience in contributing to wider technology initiatives within department

Knowledge of biologics drug discovery

Why AstraZeneca?

There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society.

Competitive salary & benefits

Close date: 16/01/2024

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn:

Inclusion & Diversity:

Career Site:



AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines.

Our Purpose is to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines. We believe the best way we can achieve our Purpose is to put science at the centre of everything we do. Science defines who we are. It is why we come to work every day and is part of our DNA. But this is only half of the story. We know that we do not have all the answers. We want to share ideas because we believe it results in better medicines. We want the way we work to be inclusive, open and collaborative. This approach runs through all that we do.

We focus on three main therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory – and we are also selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. To put ourselves in the best position to push the boundaries of science, we seek to leverage our combination of capabilities, which encompass both small molecules and biologics, and include immunotherapies and developing innovative delivery devices that can offer choice to patients. These are reinforced by a strong focus on personalised healthcare capabilities, which aim to match medicines only to those patients who will benefit from them. Our teams also work alongside the world’s leading academic and biotech research institutions to stimulate innovation and evaluate emerging technologies such as Modified RNA and CRISPR genome editing.

AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

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Expected salary:

Location: Cambridge

Job date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 23:03:17 GMT

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