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R&D Associate I/II - Cell Culture & Purification - Biotech Engineering - BPD

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-089400 Date posted 08/27/2020

At AstraZeneca, we put patients first and strive to meet their unmet needs worldwide. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person.

About AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD:

Our Gaithersburg, Maryland facility creates life-changing medicines for people around the world.  This campus employs more than 3,500 experts in our field and is only a short drive from Washington, DC. This modern and vibrant scientific campus is the home of R&D and Oncology in the US. Here, we play host to some of the most cutting-edge technology and lab spaces, all designed to inspire collaboration and cross-functional science. We believe employees benefit from being challenged and inspired at work. We are dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and collaboration.

The Gaithersburg site offers a variety of amenities to help boost productivity and help keep our employees happy and healthy. This includes a fitness center, employee healthcare clinic, electric vehicle charging stations, dry cleaning, full-service cafeteria and copy center. This is where you’ll find newly-designed, activity-based work spaces to suit a variety of working styles while increasing collaboration between teams. 

Summary of the group:

The Biotechnology and Engineering team works to develop and apply new technologies to manufacturing biologics such as the COVID-19 antibody treatment being developed at AstraZeneca. As a cell culture Research Associate in Bioprocess Technology and Engineering (BTE), you would join a team developing AstraZeneca’s Next Generation Manufacturing Platform.  We use engineering and science to understand and solve problems. Our team will work with bioreactors and genetically modified Chinese hamster ovary cells to produce new drugs, and we will develop new ways of purifying them so that we can provide them to patients around the world.

Some team members will rotate through cell culture and purification development, and get experience at the bench scale and at production scale in a non-GMP manufacturing facility.

Main Duties & Responsibilities:

You will develop the platform high density perfusion cell culture and purification methods for biological therapeutics, including antibodies, bispecific antibodies, and Fc-fusions. Application of perfusion and continuous processes to gene and cell therapies are also possible. You would apply the Next Generation Manufacturing methods to drug candidates in Phase I, II, and those entering Phase III. As the molecules progress through the development lifecycle, you will have opportunity to develop the process characterization methods to support commercialization. You will work cross functionally with various departments. You will have opportunity to operate small scale bioreactors (3L systems and AMBR 250) as well as mid-scale perfusion bioreactors (50-100L) that would be linked to mid-scale downstream. 

This role will also require the following:

  • Develop next generation mammalian cell bioreactor processes, including scale-down modelling
  • Investigate or develop new bioreactor media formulations
  • Build or use mathematical models that predict cell biology or purification processes
  • Be part of a team that tests new manufacturing methods at a pilot scale
  • Develop automation methods that control the entire manufacturing process (cell culture and purification)
  • Present at internal departmental and cross-functional meetings, and may participate/present at external meetings.

Education & Experience Requirements:

Degree in STEM related fields including chemical, mechanical, civil, biochemical, electrical engineering, physics, biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and computer science.

R&D Associate I: Bachelor’s degree with 0+ years of related experience in industry or academia.

R&D Associate II: Bachelor’s degree with 2+ years or Master’s degree with 0+ years of related experience in industry or academia.

Required Skills:

  • Experience with handling cells (prokaryote or eukaryote)
  • Experience with data and statistical analysis
  • Strong engineering skills including mass transport and numerical methods
  • Problem solving and Scientific reasoning
  • Must be able to lift 30 pounds

Desired Skills:

  • Suspension cell culture experience
  • Aseptic techniques
  • Experience with bioreactors
  • Programming in Python, MatLab, or other scientific language
  • Fundamental understanding of field of scientific study

Why AstraZeneca?

We are proud to work for AstraZeneca for many reasons. Most recently, we are proud of our development of a vaccine and antibodies to treat or prevent COVID19. During the pandemic, we have pledged to forgo any profit from these products! And we are making these products available globally! We are working incredibly hard on these and other projects, and need you to join us so we can be successful.

AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognising their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next!

Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours.

Where can I find out more?

Check out our landing page for more information on our BPD group

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AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.