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Scientist – Clinical Virology

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-097593 Date posted 01/13/2021

AstraZeneca is seeking a motivated scientist with a background in virology, vaccinology, or molecular biology to join the Microbial Sciences/Early Infectious Diseases team at AstraZeneca. The candidate will operate independently and in collaboration with others in the clinical virology, team to support an authorized COVID-19 vaccine as well as novel antibodies in clinical development for the prevention and/or treatment of viral infections. As part of the Translational Science group, you will integrate expertise/findings from discovery research, nonclinical and clinical groups to impact therapeutic programs from inception through to life cycle management for marketed drugs.

The selected individual will be well-organized and a productive scientist who can learn new procedures, design and execute experiments efficiently, as well as analyze, and interpret data. Strong team-based communication and presentation skills will be required.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

This job is a lab-based research role.  The work will be focused heavily upon molecular viral surveillance and resistance monitoring for the AZ infection franchise. A background in molecular/clinical virology and/or vaccinology is needed.

  • Design, rescue and characterize pseudoviruses and/or RNA viruses
  • Independently design and execute biochemical and cell-based assays to characterize candidate or authorized vaccines and mAbs for SARS-CoV-2, RSV, and other viral pathogens
  • Apply molecular biology skills to generate recombinant proteins and viruses
  • Prepare and review and bioanalytical data and reports suitable for regulatory submission 
  • Communicate across the team, with senior management, and external partners

Education & Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s Degree in virology, molecular biology, immunology, or another related field with at least 5 years of relevant experience in the industry (preferred) or academia or Master’s Degree with at least 2 years of relevant experience in the industry (preferred) or academia.

Essential Requirements

  • Strong background in modern molecular biology with experience in cloning, sequencing, RT-PCR, and qPCR
  • Highly skilled in cell culture (including primary isolates), viral propagation, and viral titration
  • Development and optimization of conditions for research-grade production of viral vectors
  • Experience performing standard laboratory procedures for the study of protein expressions such as ELISA and immuno-staining techniques
  • Assay development expertise with the ability to evaluate data quality, troubleshoot, and interpret experimental results
  • Meticulous tracking and documenting of results in laboratory notebooks, databases, and scientific reports
  •  Excellent technical authorship skills

Desirable Requirements

  • Hands-on experience with paramyxoviruses and coronaviruses
  • Vector engineering for gene therapy (AAV, Adenoviral, and lentiviral vectors)
  • Experience in the processing of clinical specimens for the recovery of infectious virus and/or nucleic acids
  • Understanding of DNA sequencing techniques (NGS and Sanger) and sequence analysis
  • Experience with automation platforms


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