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Senior Director, Bioconjugate Therapeutics, Biologics Engineering

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-137251 Date posted 24/09/2022

Senior Director, Bioconjugate Therapeutics, Biologics Engineering

Location: Gaithersburg, US

At AstraZeneca we work together across global boundaries to make an impact and find answers to challenges. We do this with the upmost integrity even in the most difficult situations because we are committed to doing the right thing. We continuously forge partnerships that help pursue world-class medicines in new ways, combining our people’s exceptional skills with those of people from all over the globe.

As a part of our Biologics Engineering (BE) team in Gaithersburg, MD, you’ll play a pivotal role in channelling our scientific capabilities to make a positive impact on changing patients’ lives. 

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 pioneering 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.

The Senior Director, Bioconjugate Therapeutics will lead a multidisciplinary team playing a significant role in biologics drug discovery and new technology development in the area of antibody-drug conjugates and nanomedicines. The individual will be a member of the Biologics Engineering Team and will contribute to the overall strategy and direction of BE. Major responsibilities include:

  • Lead technology development/protein engineering to improve tissue specific targeting and therapeutic index of ADCs, nanomedicines and radioimmunoconjugates. These include site-specific conjugation, linker engineering, novel warhead development, antibody design and optimization, and the utilization of antibody fragments, protein scaffolds, bispecifics and other formats.

  • Interact and collaborate with leaders and teams across key therapeutic areas (Oncology, Respiratory/Immunology, Cardiovascular/Metabolic diseases) on pipeline delivery and new technology development. The initial focus is on Oncology, but will extend to multiple therapeutic areas in the near future.

  • Work closely with Biopharmaceutical Development (BPD) to ensure new therapeutic molecules are compatible with CMC requirement.

  • Partner with Business Development to pursue investments that further the BE strategy. Establish a network of external partners from academia and industry to strengthen capabilities and capacity in ADC, radioimmunoconjugates and nanomedicine area.

  • Develop and manage operating budget.

  • Provide growth, career development and carry out performance management for staff.

Education/Experience Requirements:

  • PhD in a relevant scientific area, such as antibody or protein engineering, protein biochemistry, biotechnology or similar field plus a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in biologics research.

Required Skills:

  • Recognized leader in scientific specialty as evidenced by publications, participation in international conference, membership on journal editorial boards, etc.

  • They must be an excellent communicator and highly effective in interacting with key internal and external business partners.

  • Ability to establish high level strategies for new drug technologies, and ability to apply new technologies to drug discovery.

  • The candidate must be a standout colleague and builder, possess great coaching skills and have great organizational skills.

  • The successful candidate must have a high degree of integrity and professionalism.

Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge in chemistry and cancer biology is a plus.

Why AstraZeneca?

At 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 recognizing their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organization to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering groundbreaking methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next?

A place built on courage, curiosity, and collaboration – we make bold decisions driven by patient outcomes. Empowered to lead at every level, free to ask questions and take calculated risks that write the next chapter for our pipeline.

If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and passionate about the possibilities, then we are keen to hear from you!

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn

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Next steps: Submit an application today, or connect with our Talent Acquisition Partner - Sam Hunter: or our Talent Scout, Ellen Willcox:

for a confidential discussion to explore this opportunity further. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please complete the full application on our website at your earliest convenience – it is the only way that our Recruiter and Hiring Manager can know that you feel well qualified for this opportunity. If you know someone who would be a phenomenal fit, please share this posting with them

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 authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.

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