Investigator, CNS Safety Pharmacology/Abuse Potential

Collegeville, PA
February 23 2021
Organization Type
Are you looking for a role where you will provide specialized scientific CNS (Neurobehavioral, Neurophysiology, Abuse Liability, Suicidality) and translational expertise for drug discovery and development? If so, this, Scientific Leader role could be an ideal opportunity to explore. This individual will be based in either Ware, UK or Upper Providence, PA, USA and will work within the CNS and general safety pharmacology discipline.

The Safety Pharmacology group in Non-Clinical Safety, In Vitro/In Vivo Translation is a multi-site resource focused on the proactive management of safety pharmacology issues and their translation to man. Safety Pharmacology supports all therapeutic areas from idea to loss of exclusivity including experimental approaches to aid target and compound selection, regulatory pre-FIH safety studies and post-FIH investigative studies to address clinical findings and manage risk. The broad remit of the department requires strong discipline expertise and a clear and strong interface with the portfolio.

This position is an exciting opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients by applying CNS expertise coupled with translational knowledge and industry experience to drive drug discovery and development. The level for this position is flexible and will depend on the qualifications of the selected candidate.

As a CNS Scientific Leader, you will be responsible for conducting and summarizing safety studies on new drug substances, including regulatory input. You will also manage non-clinical safety strategies and programs across the function.

Key Responsibilities:
  • The role is for a subject matter expert in CNS safety pharmacology and Neurophysiology; with an emphasis on Abuse liability, Suicidality models, Drug-dependency and primary/secondary pharmacology including seizure liability and functional neurobehavioral observation.
  • The individual will be expected to contribute to the coaching and mentoring of other colleagues within the discipline, and may have direct line management responsibility.
  • The role will be part lab based and will require the design, conduct and interpretation of in-vivo studies to support the safety pharmacology assessment of projects across the portfolio.
  • The role will include acting as a point of contact for the discipline with discrete projects, providing strategic advice, implementing de-risking strategies and influencing partners.
  • The scientist will use the scientific literature and available in house data to design and interpret studies.
  • The role will require engagement in the discussion and interpretation of data beyond their own discipline. This will include working with subject matter experts in other disciplines including those in safety pharmacology i.e. CV, ion channels and in vitro pharmacology as well as other specialties. Additionally, the role will liaise with Integrated Biological Platform Sciences to harmonize the observation of neurobehavioral endpoints across discovery and development studies.
  • This role will conduct operant based models in rodents to support the understanding of drug abuse or addiction mechanisms.

Why you?

Basic Qualifications:

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:
  • A PhD, with 5 years experience working in the CNS area, preferably with a Ph.D. in pharmacology, neuroscience or a related biological discipline, with post-doctoral or industrial experience and an emphasis on with an emphasis on Abuse liability, Suicidality models, Drug-dependency and Neurophysiology.
  • Experience inthe design, conduct and interpretation of in vivo CNS behavioral and Neurophysiology models, including Functional Observational Battery and Irwins.
  • Experience leading in a matrix environment, working across functions/disciplines.
  • Experience working as part of discovery project teams, and experience incorporating a drug safety strategy into a project strategy.
  • Experience integrating of large data sets from multiple sources, to develop and communicate an understanding of the issue and associated risk.
  • Leadership experience of scientific projects.
  • Experience of mentoring/coaching junior colleagues in models of abuse potential.
  • Experience of working with or as part of discovery project teams as a drug safety representative.
  • Experience of representing Pharma or interacting with external partners (e.g. CROs, academic groups).
  • Experience as a Subject Matter Expert regarding neurobehavioral assessment including Abuse liability, Suicidality models, Drug-dependency and Neurophysiology.

Preferred Qualifications:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:
  • Evidence of broad knowledge of drug delivery, ADME, pharmacology, toxicology and translational sciences
  • Experience building and using Quantitative Systems Pharmacology/Toxicology (QSP/QST) models
  • Experience in numerical analysis and applying mechanism based mathematical modeling techniques in CNS
  • Experience in influencing decisions and experimental design by using appropriate modeling approaches that integrate all available data. Familiarity with the challenges of drug discovery and forward thinking with respect to the general application of mathematical models (including AI and machine learning) in discovery and development
  • Evidence of developing self and others
  • Evidence of identifying, developing, and applying innovative solutions to scientific and technological problems including, Automated Neurobehavioral Systems, Complex In Vitro Models and Microphysiological Systems.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to interact effectively with scientists in other disciplines with a positive, collegial, collaborative attitude

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:
  • Agile and distributed decision-making - using evidence and applying judgement to balance pace, rigour and risk
  • Managing individual and team performance.
  • Committed to delivering high quality results, overcoming challenges, focusing on what matters, execution.
  • Implementing change initiatives and leading change.
  • Sustaining energy and well-being, building resilience in teams.
  • Continuously looking for opportunities to learn, build skills and share learning both internally and externally.
  • Developing people and building a talent pipeline.
  • Translating strategy into action - a compelling narrative, motivating others, setting objectives and delegation.
  • Building strong relationships and collaboration, managing trusted stakeholder relationships internally and externally.
  • Budgeting and forecasting, commercial and financial acumen.


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