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Biological Characterisation Scientist

Berkshire, United Kingdom

  • Salary: Up to £235 per day (£56k per annum)
  • Job type: Interim/Contract
  • Posted: 28/08/2019
  • Contact name: Christopher Wise
  • Contact number: 01892 612612
  • Ref: 4676

Job description

Initial 1 year contract with minimum 1 year extension

Biological Characterisation Scientist


The position is within the Biological Characterisation Sciences team which is comprised of 18 experienced scientists 

The main focus areas of the team are: 
• Comprehensive and detailed characterisation of therapeutic proteins 
• Characterisation of protein production processes 
• Understanding of molecular vulnerabilities and degradation pathways 
• Non-routine investigations 

The work necessitates the use of a wide range of techniques including chromatography (HPLC, UPLC and AKTA), electrophoresis (gel and capillary based), Western blotting, spectroscopy (circular dichroism, FTIR, fluorescence), sizing techniques (dynamic light scattering, AUC), mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF and ESI-MS/MS etc) and activity assays (SPR and ELISA). 

This is an ideal opportunity for an enthusiastic scientist to develop skills and experience in the biopharmaceutical sector. It will require the applicant to learn and develop new bio-analytical assay techniques and apply them to the characterisation of novel biotherapeutics. 

Working within Characterisation will require the candidate to be able to; tackle complex scientific problems, keep accurate records; communicate technical analytical issues and results to other group members; work effectively in a team; learn about industrial and regulatory guidelines; perform instrument troubleshooting; research specific analytical protocols (literature) and keep abreast of developments in analytical techniques. 

The ability to collaborate is essential as the group works across multiple teams and projects across sites in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland and the US. The characterisation group works closely with Method Development, Quality Control, Regulatory, Upstream and Downstream Process Development and Formulation groups. The group also has academic collaborations. 

In addition to excellent technical skills, candidates should have a genuine enthusiasm for scientific research, good communication and presentation skills, and the ability to work effectively in a team. 

Major Accountabilities: 
• Analysis of protein therapeutics using a wide range of techniques. Whilst no techniques are a prerequisite, experience of one or more of HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, FTIR or CD spectroscopy is desirable. 
• Characterisation of analytical methods 
• Analysis of Drug Substance and Reference Standards for comparability studies 
• Accurate scientific record keeping 
• Authoring of analytical protocols, reports and regulatory submissions 
• Communication of technical analytical data and issues to senior management 
• Scientific problem solving and instrument troubleshooting 
• Literature review to keep up to date with the latest analytical techniques and new methodologies 
• Maintenance of lab equipment 
• Management of sample storage and shipments 
• Ordering of consumables 

BSc and at least 2 years industrial experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry (within a Characterisation/ Method Development/ Analytics Group is preferred). Practical application of suitable techniques (e.g. HPLC, electrophoresis, FTIR, CD, SPR) to address a specific analytical issue is required. 

Specific skills: 
- Oral and written communication 
- Good interpersonal skills 
- Good I.T. skills 
- Listening 
- Influencing 
- Attention for detail 
- Knowledge of antibody structure and post-translational modifications 
- Knowledge of appropriate analytical techniques 
- Ability to autonomously work with or without SOPs 
- Excellent knowledge of protein chemistry 
- Awareness of ICH guidelines 

Problem solving:
- Analysis of scientific data 
- Assay troubleshooting 
- Elucidation of protein modifications 
- Development of new analytical assays 
- Development of high throughput methods and processes