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Principal Scientist, Molecular Design and Optimization

  • Titel Principal Scientist, Molecular Design and Optimization
  • Funktion R&D
  • Unterfunktion Biology
  • Standort Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Gepostet
  • Stellenangebotsnummer 2206076316W


Janssen Research & Development is recruiting for a Principal Scientist, Molecular Design and Optimization, located in Cambridge, MA.

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at  www.janssen.com  and follow us @JanssenGlobal. Janssen Research & Development is part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.

The Principal Scientist is a newly created leadership position in Cambridge, MA, to build a Molecular design and optimization group. This 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 multispecific 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. This group will also collaborate with many other functional groups such as antibody generation, in vitro display and biophysics. The position responsibilities also include 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.

Key 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 phage display.
  • Establish and enhance lab infrastructure and automation for protein engineering.
  • Collaborate with in silico design and bioinformatics groups.
  • Responsible for carrying out the optimization of multiple projects in parallel to deliver NME-ready molecules or components.
  • Establish and enhance current molecular 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.



  • PhD in molecular biology, bioengineering, biochemistry and biophysics, structural biology, computational biology with hands experience or a related field with 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 and Skills:


  • Hands-on experience in antibody generation and optimization (affinity modulation, humanization, PTM mitigation, etc.) in an industrial setting with strong track record of delivery of candidates ready for clinical development. Experience must include successful completion of antibody generation/optimization projects using high throughput techniques such as display technologies, library design and construction (such as design of naïve libraries), affinity maturation, and rational and rapid protein optimization techniques.
  • Strong understanding of antibody structure-function relationship with a proven record using (semi-) rational and computational design methodologies to achieve excellent functional and biophysical and manufacturing properties.
  • Working knowledge of AI/ML application to biologic optimization.
  • Strong background in automation and high throughput screening assay development including library construction and screening, ELISA and FACS.
  • Strong knowledge of antibody sequence analysis including NGS and clustering methods to select optimized lead antibody candidates.
  • Solid understanding of various protein expression and purification techniques; and analytical methods for protein characterization and developability assessment of drug candidates.
  • Strategic problem solver with outstanding scientific excellence and accomplishments in antibody discovery and engineering as demonstrated by strong publication record, patents, and/or conference presentations.
  • Innovative approach and ready to step out of the box for creating and exploring new ideas with calculated risk taking.


  • Strong understanding of antibody structure-function relationships.
  • Demonstrated hands-on experiences and expertise in phage display library design and screening are highly desirable.
  • Hands-on experience with automation and high throughput screening for protein and property.
  • Demonstrated experience in areas of using rational and computational approaches as well as other methods to design and optimize antibody/protein function and property (affinity, stability, humanness, solubility, etc.).
  • Strong knowledge of innovative high-throughput molecular biology methods for designing and building new libraries, and their manipulation.
  • Knowledge of strategies for the sequence analysis, including NGS, for structure-function relationships.
  • Strong scientific accomplishments such as a peer-reviewed publication and/or patents.
  • Programming/scripting skills in Python and molecular modeling tools (MOE, Schrodinger, etc.) are highly desirable.
  • Molecular modeling including molecular dynamics and other simulations are a plus.
  • Experiences with computational assessment of protein properties are a plus.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience supervising research scientists/associates in industry is preferred.


  • Excellent communication skills in writing and presentation.

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.

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.

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 .

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