Postdoc Fellow: Spatial Proteomics For CHO Cell Engineering


Competitive Salary, Bonus & Benefits

Do you have expertise in proteomics, and a passion for understanding cellular process at the molecular level? Would you like to team up with renowned academic labs and use the latest mass spectrometry and imaging techniques to design and engineer a new generation of super-producing, customisable cell factories?

About AstraZeneca:

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-centred biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious disease. But we’re more than a global leading pharmaceutical company. At AstraZeneca, we’re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and fuel your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society.

About the Postdoc Programme:

Bring your expertise, apply your knowledge, follow the science and make a difference.

AstraZeneca’s Postdoc Programme is for self-motivated individuals looking to tackle exciting, high impact projects in a collaborative, engaging and innovative environment. You’ll work with peers and professionals from a diverse group of backgrounds, and a world class academic mentor specifically aligned to your project. We’ll help you develop valuable networks which support your research and future career development.

AstraZeneca Postdocs are respected as specialists and encouraged to speak up. They lead ground-breaking drug discovery and development research projects. Our vibrant, multi-disciplinary scientific teams empower and support our Postdocs, and we encourage them to share their research at conferences, publish papers, achieve their goals and make a difference to our patients.

You’ll learn from industry leaders working on innovative research across our organization. Our Postdoc Training Programme will support you to develop transferrable skills from influencing others to shape the agenda, to data analysis.

Are you ready to explore this exciting next step in your research career? Apply today!

About the Opportunity:

Our Biopharmaceutical Development (BPD) department comprises a team of industry leading scientists who are passionate and innovative in delivering new medicines to patients. Working with diverse and novel molecular modalities across all therapeutic areas, BPD integrates cell biology, process science, molecular structure & function, solution and solid-state chemistry, advanced data analytics, and engineering, to develop ground breaking technologies. BPD drives high-yielding, efficient production of the most challenging and novel biologics, as well as delivery of new medicines through design of stable formulations and the development of drug delivery systems. As part of BPD, our cell line development team have created the next generation of cell lines, and together with our analytical scientists seek to develop a fundamental understanding of these cell lines that will enable desirable properties to be combined at will.

This research project aims to develop a new generation of super-hosts for biotherapeutic protein production. To do this we propose using state of the art spatial proteomic approaches to understand the molecular changes underlying the desirable properties of evolved cell lines and to identify novel gene engineering targets. Recent (unpublished) data reveals significant and unexpected changes to sub-cellular structures that occur in response to expressing biotherapeutic proteins; here we will investigate morphological differences using high resolution imaging. Combinations of engineering targets will be selected that are specifically beneficial for biotherapeutic production, either by increasing titres, improving product quality or improving cell line performance in a manufacturing setting. Novel high throughput screening will be employed to support the rational selection of these candidate genes. Finally, these learnings will be combined and through novel engineering strategies lead to a new generation Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) super-hosts that will be further characterised and validated.

With the support of a multidisciplinary supervisory team including leading academics in the field, you will establish state of the art spatial proteomic techniques such as localisation of organelle proteins by isotope tagging (LOPIT). You will work independently to characterise the proteomic and spatial proteomic differences of phenotypically distinct cell lines. To complement your characterisation of organelle constituents, you will have the opportunity to learn, acquire and interpret high resolution images of sub-cellular organelles to investigate associated morphological changes. As the project evolves you will have the opportunity to learn emerging gene editing techniques such as CRISPRa and CRISPRi technologies and explore high-throughput transient screening methods. Our ambition is that you will present your results at scientific conferences and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Qualification, Skills & Experience


  • A PhD (or equivalent) in proteomics, with extensive practical experience
  • Strong planning and organisation skills
  • Ability to see opportunities, learn, and apply that learning to drive innovation
  • Good networking, collaboration and teamworking skills
  • Confident communicating with a wide range of stakeholders


  • Prior experience in spatial proteomics
  • R coding skills
  • Experience in imaging techniques
  • Exposure to Hight Throughput Screening (HTS)
  • Gene editing skills (e.g. CRISPR)

This is a 3-year programme. 2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1-year extension which will be merit based.

Ready for an exciting, rewarding challenge? Apply today!

Advert Opens: 26th October, 2021

Advert Closes: 5th December, 2021

If you require any reasonable adjustments or accommodations during your application or interview process, please let us know.

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