Principal Scientist, Protein Optimization

Auris Health

Auris Health

United States
Posted on Saturday, April 29, 2023


Janssen Research & Development, LLC, a member of Johnson & Johnson's Family of Companies, is recruiting for a Principal Scientist, Protein Optimization, located in Cambridge, MA.

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, what matters most is helping people live full and healthy lives. We focus on treating, curing and preventing some of the most devastating and complex diseases of our time. And we pursue the most promising science, wherever it might be found.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC discovers and develops innovative medical solutions to address important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, cardiovascular and metabolism, and pulmonary hypertension. Please visit http://www.janssenrnd.com for more information.

The Principal Scientist is a newly created leadership position to build a Molecular Design and Optimization group. The group will be responsible for antibody design and optimization with a strong focus on affinity, developability and other critical attributes using structure and modeling-based design and other emerging computational methods for protein property assessment and design. The group will also be responsible to implement high throughput screening and/or selection for the optimized antibody/protein variants to support the development of biologics such as multi-specific antibodies, CAR-T/NKs, ADCs in various disease areas. The position offers a great opportunity to not only engage in the discovery and molecular engineering of biotherapeutics, but also to develop new processes and technologies for biologics optimization. Collaborate with many other functional groups, such as antibody generation, in vitro display and biophysics. Portfolio project leadership and an opportunity to interact with world-class scientists in different therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, metabolic diseases, neurology and infectious diseases.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Build and lead a team of scientists for protein/antibody design and engineering using a variety of computational and high throughput screening techniques including yeast display and other in vitro display platforms.
  • Establish and enhance lab infrastructure and automation for protein engineering.
  • Collaborate with in silico design and bioinformatics groups.
  • Carry out the optimization of multiple projects in parallel to deliver NME-ready molecules or components.
  • Establish and enhance current protein design and optimization workflows.
  • Contribute to a number of due diligence activities for a variety of in-licensing opportunities, patent application examples, writing scientific publications and presenting at conferences.
  • Lead/participate on project teams to advance discovery portfolio projects from portfolio entry to IND-ready in partnership with the therapeutic area leader.
  • Independently present/defend scientific findings in multi-functional project teams/initiatives.
  • Train, mentor and empower associates and scientists on the team and assist with their career development.


  • A minimum of a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Structural Biology, Computational Biology or a related discipline is required.
  • A minimum of 7 years of biologics experience in a biopharmaceutical organization and a track record of driving therapeutic antibody/protein programs from early discovery into development ready stages is required.
  • Experience supervising research scientists/associates in industry is preferred.
  • Experience in antibody generation and optimization in an industrial setting is preferred.
  • Strong understanding of antibody structure-function relationship using semi-rational and computational design methodologies is preferred.
  • Working knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) application to biologic optimization is preferred.
  • Experience in automation and high throughput screening for protein, property and assay development, including library construction and screening, ELISA and FACS, preferred.
  • Solid understanding of various protein expression and purification techniques, and analytical methods for protein characterization and assessment of drug candidates preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of antibody sequence analysis, including Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and clustering methods, is preferred.
  • Demonstrated hands-on experiences and expertise in yeast display library design and screening highly preferred.
  • Strong knowledge with innovative high-throughput molecular biology methods for designing and building new libraries, and their manipulation is preferred.
  • Experience with molecular modeling, including molecular dynamics and other simulations preferred.
  • Programming/scripting skills in Python and molecular modeling tools (MOE, Schrodinger, etc.) highly preferred.
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Must have strategic problem-solving skills.
  • Must have the ability to take an innovative approach and be ready to step out of the box for creating and exploring new ideas with calculated risk taking.
  • The ability to demonstrate scientific excellence and accomplishments in antibody discovery and engineering through publication records, patents, and/or conference presentations is required.
  • This position will require up to 10% domestic and international travel.

At Johnson & Johnson, we’re on a mission to change the trajectory of health for humanity. That starts by creating the world’s healthiest workforce. Through cutting-edge programs and policies, we empower the physical, mental, emotional, and financial health of our employees and the ones they love. As such, candidates offered employment must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or secure an approved accommodation prior to the commencement of employment to support the well-being of our employees, their families and the communities in which we live and work.

For more information on how we support the whole health of our employees throughout their wellness, career and life journey, please visit www.careers.jnj.com.

Johnson & Johnson is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.