Do you have expertise in Genomics technologies and experience leading a high-performing team of lab scientists? Are you excited to apply your expertise to deliver on the promise of precision oncology treatments in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then this role in AstraZeneca’s Translational Medicine Department might be the one for you!


AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.


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 cutting-edge 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 Translational Medicine department delivers effective biomarker expertise and support for Oncology drug project teams. Closely interacting with discovery, clinical, and diagnostics functions, Translational Medicine is the single point of accountability for delivery of robust, scientifically-driven biomarkers to all Oncology project teams, providing feasibility assessments, technical validation, and centralized biomarker analysis capability for clinical samples. The Global Genomics Team within Translational Medicine leverages Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and other advanced technologies to match the right patient to the right drug and support precision oncology approaches for the AZ Oncology pipeline.

Join the team dedicated to Oncology, with an ambition to eliminate cancer as a cause of death. It’s our big vision that unites and inspires us. With multiple indications and high-quality molecules at all stages of our innovative pipeline, we keep pushing forward. Fusing cutting-edge science with the latest technology to achieve breakthroughs and backed by investment, we are aiming to deliver 6 new molecular entities by 2025.

What you’ll do

You will be responsible for the strategy and operational oversight of a team of scientists working in a state-of-the-art genomics lab at AstraZeneca’s Gaithersburg MD site. You will work with your direct reports in the planning, experimental design, and execution of experimental biomarker work, then documenting and communicating results to our partners.

  • Develop and maintain internal genomics lab capability with a focus primarily on pre-analytical (sample accessioning/QC;DNA/RNA purification/quantification/QC; target enrichment; library construction) though DNA sequencing (Illumina platforms) and knowledge of the associated genomics lab instrumentation

  • Deliver genomic information to AZ project teams and other partner functions using NGS and other leading-edge technologies such as ddPCR, single cell genomics, and spatial omics technologies

  • Communicate with computational and project management colleagues, perform data analysis/QC, trouble-shooting, interpretf results, and communicate back to Translational Medicine Leads, project teams, and other partners.

  • Conceptualize, develop, and execute evaluations of platforms, vendors, and emerging technologies of clinical and translational utility and apply to address relevant needs

  • Act as internal consultant to provide technical advice and genomic/biomarker expertise and feedback to internal and external partners

  • Deliver biomarker assays and genomic/molecular profiling datasets in a high-throughput genomics lab, leveraging software systems (LIMS, sample tracking, project management tools), documenting results using electronic lab notebooks, and writing reports clearly and concisely summarizing results for communication to partner lines

  • Work effectively with Translational Medicine Leads to consult on technologies, set expectations (on resourcing, timelines, assay sensitivity, etc.), develop project biomarker plans, and use fit-for-purpose platforms and technical approaches for internal and outsourced and externally

  • Accountability, in partnership with Genomics Project Management and TM Leads, for the timely delivery of biomarker assay results to AstraZeneca Oncology drug project teams

  • Lead lab-based biomarker identification focused on project needs to deliver clinically qualified biomarkers that will guide dose selection, schedule, patient stratification and selection as well as exploratory biomarkers relevant for drug response/resistance, patient stratification, and disease progression

  • After qualifying relevant biomarkers, work in collaboration with diagnostic, clinical, and regulatory partners to develop companion diagnostics on internal and external projects

  • For biomarker work, maintain appropriate documentation, be compliant with internal processes and external requirements, assist in preparation of regulatory documents and responses to questions, and participate in external presentation of results and peer-reviewed journal publications

Essential for the role

  • Education: Ph. D in a relevant science subject, with demonstrated experience managing direct reports (lab scientists), and a strong record of peer-reviewed publications; M.S. with commensurate experience will also be considered

  • Exceptional leadership skills, experience in career development of reports, and a demonstrated ability to lead a team of scientists

  • Experience with Next Generation Sequencing and associated technologies/tools and a demonstrated record applying genomics to areas of biological research and/or technical applications

  • Thorough understanding of genetics/genomics/molecular biology and design of experiments

  • Compliance with all processes and systems (electronic lab notebook, sample management software, LIMS system, etc.), proper QA/QC, documentation, and communication of results

  • Proper training of staff, writing and maintenance of SOPs, ensure consistency within local lab in Gaithersburg as well as with other Global Genomics labs (Boston, MA and Cambridge, UK)

  • Strong leadership and oral/written communication skills, interpersonal skills, and ability to multi-task a portfolio of drug project support and a robust technology development capability

  • Excellent problem-solving skills with clear understanding of the balance of innovation, smart risks, fit-for-purpose solutions, and timely project delivery

Desirable for the role

  • A strong background in oncology and/or experience in translational medicine and drug discovery

  • Experience working with clinical samples, particularly FFPE tumor tissue and plasma (for ctDNA-based mutation and patient monitoring assays)

  • Experience leading cross-functional teams and work streams to develop answers of translational relevance then present these findings internally and at external meetings

  • A track record of inspiring and aligning a team around goals and contributing as an active role model in company values

Why AstraZeneca?

Here you’ll have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives. With science at its heart, this is the place where breakthroughs born in the lab become transformative medicines – for the world’s most complex diseases. Answer unmet medical needs by pioneering the next wave of science, focusing on outcomes and shaping the patient ecosystem.

So, what’s next?

  • Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.

  • Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours.

  • If you’re curious to know more then please reach out to Louise Bennett.

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn

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Compettive salary & benefits

Close date: 21st September 2021

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