Scientific Investigator, Neuroscience

Collegeville, PA
March 01 2021
Organization Type
The Investigator will be part of a drug discovery research team in Novel Human Genetics Research Unit at GSK R&D. This team will focus on the design and execution of preclinical studies to develop novel medicines for the treatment of chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS. In this role, the candidate will have the opportunity to be creative in establishing neuronal function readouts using multielectrode arrays using human cell based in vitro models of degeneration and inflammation to enable drug discovery programs.

A successful candidate will be self- and science-driven, collaborative, resourceful, scientifically as well as technically curious, and an intellectual enthusiast. Core competency in neural network physiology is a must for this position. Expected technical areas of expertise and hands on experience in multielectrode arrays (MEA) using mono- and co-cultures of iPSC differentiated neuronal/ glia or rodent brain primary cells. Experience in ex vivo organotypic rodent brain slice culture and image analysis to support target ID/validation and lead optimization in drug discovery programs is desirable.

Key Accountabilities:
  • Establish and validate neurophysiological assays using in vitro and ex vivo models of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation using human iPSC-derived and/or primary rodent neuronal co-cultures and rodent brain slices
  • Define, design, and perform pharmacology experiments using the models to validate targets and/or progress lead optimization projects for drug discovery
  • Conduct pharmacological studies using MEA assay with 2D or 3D cell models or ex vivo brain slices
  • Develop and optimize assays and deliver high impact data to support portfolio projects
  • Independently execute laboratory experiments, conduct statistically supported data analysis, and deliver results in a timely manner to enable informed decision making
  • Clearly record and communicate study results 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:
  • PhD in neuroscience, neuropharmacology or a related field
  • Experience in in vitro and ex vivo neuroelectrophysiology techniques
  • Experience with functional assay development interrogating neuronal network in cultures (iPSC derived and rodent brain primary cells) and ex vivo brain slices using the MEA platform
  • Experience in general cell biology and biochemical techniques including but not limited to cell culture, high content imaging, qPCR, Western, ELISA etc.
  • Experience with handling hiPSC differentiated neurons, microglia, and astrocytes, characterization, and in vitro as well as ex vivo disease modeling
  • Prior working experience with neurodegenerative or neuroinflammatory diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, ALS)

Preferred Qualifications:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:
  • 3+ years pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry research experience working in matrixed drug discovery project teams
  • Hands on working experience with image analysis, 3D organoid culture, or ex vivo organotypic brain slice culture
  • Demonstrated experience of learning agility (conceptual, technical, teamwork)
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills including record of scientific publications

Why GSK?

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).

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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