Senior Scientist, Neuroscience

Collegeville, PA
June 02 2020
Organization Type
Job Type
Senior Scientist
The Scientist in Novel Human Genetics-Neuroscience will support a team in the design and execution of scientific studies for the delivery of new medicines to treat neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and ALS. This role will provide the opportunity to employ neurological models and genetic and chemical tools to identify new drug targets and to drive a drug discovery strategy.

The successful candidate will be lab-based and be responsible for conducting cell and molecular biology experiments to progress drug discovery projects targeting neurodegenerative diseases. Particular areas of focus include establishing functional assays using in vitro iPSC models (neurons, astrocytes, microglia) and rodent primary cells, either in isolation or as cocultures to support target validation and lead optimization. In addition, they may be expected to contribute to the establishment and characterization of relevant ex vivo pharmacology and translational medicine and/or biomarker assays.

The successful candidate will be science driven, familiar with most cell and molecular biology techniques and instrumentation, one who assumes personal accountability, and keen to learn through experience to advance in their career.

Key Accountabilities:
  • Establish and validate in vitro cellular models of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation using human iPSC-derived and/or primary rodent neuronal co-cultures
  • Define, design, and perform experiments using in vitro cellular models to evaluate molecules and or genetic modifiers (e.g., CRISPR, shRNA) to validate drug discovery targets and/or progress lead optimization projects
  • Conduct pharmacological studies characterizing effects with an array of in vitro techniques that may include immunoassays (ELISA, MSD, Quanterix), TaqMan, high-content cell imaging (OperaPhenix), Seahorse, mass spectrometry, confocal microscopy, and RNAseq, among others
  • Independently execute laboratory experiments, conduct statistically supported data analysis, and deliver results in a timely manner to enable informed decision making
  • Clearly communicate study results and impact in written form and at internal and external meetings.
  • Commit to continual improvement by reading and applying the latest scientific literature, methodologies and technologies.
  • Comply with all standards and practices of data integrity, ethics, and safety.
  • Model GSK's values of patient-focus, respect, transparency, and integrity

Why you?

Basic Qualifications:

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:
  • Master of Science degree (Biology, Neuroscience, or related field) with 3 years of relevant research experience or Bachelor's with 5 years
  • Prior working experience with neurodegenerative or neuroinflammatory diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, ALS, Parkinson's disease).
  • Experience with cell and molecular biology technical capabilities including in vitro neuronal culture, neuroinflammation, and/or innate immune cellular models

Preferred Qualifications:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:
  • 2 years pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry research experience working in matrixed drug discovery project teams
  • Demonstrated experience
    • culturing iPS cells including differentiation into neurons, microglia, and astrocytes
    • with functional assay development interrogating defects in endolysosomal trafficking and mitochondrial integrity
    • using high-content cellular imaging to characterize intracellular events impacting neuronal and glial cell health
    • utilizing genetic modifiers (e.g., CRISPR, shRNA) and/or genomic-scale gene expression and data analysis technologies.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills

About NHG RU:

The Novel Human Genetics Research Unit (NHG RU) was formed in 2019 to identify and advance novel targets with genetic association to disease based on the foundational observation that targets with human genetic evidence supporting their causal role in the intended indication improves clinical success by two-fold. The NHG RU is therapeutically broad and complements other research units with strategic focus in immunology and oncology. The current portfolio includes projects focused on neurological diseases, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS, Pain, in addition to metabolic diseases. The mandate of NHG RU is to identify novel targets based on human genetics, develop assets for clinical studies, and perform Phase 1 first time in human and proof of mechanism studies in clinic. This goal is enabled through strategic external (23andMe, UK Biobank, FinnGen, Laboratory of Genomic Research, Public-Private Consortia) and GSK-internal partnerships (Functional Genomics, AI/ML, and Medicinal Science and Technologies).

Why GSK?

Our values and expectationsare at the heart of everything we do and form an important part of our culture.

These include Patient focus, Transparency, Respect, Integrity along with Courage, Accountability, Development, and Teamwork. As GSK focuses on our values and expectations and a culture of innovation, performance, and trust, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:
  • Operating at pace and agile decision-making - using evidence and applying judgement to balance pace, rigour and risk.
  • Committed to delivering high quality results, overcoming challenges, focusing on what matters, execution.
  • Continuously looking for opportunities to learn, build skills and share learning.
  • Sustaining energy and well-being.
  • Building strong relationships and collaboration, honest and open conversations.
  • Budgeting and cost-consciousness.

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