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Director/Associate Director, Project Toxicology (R-135654_Waltham)





Waltham, Massachusetts, United States

Project Toxicologist / Safety Specialist – Vaccines and Immune Therapies

AstraZeneca is looking to recruit a Project Toxicologist / Safety Specialist in the Respiratory & Immunology, Neuroscience, Vaccines & Immune Therapies Safety department. The position is based at one of AstraZeneca’s vibrant R&D hub sites in Gaithersburg, MD, US, Cambridge, UK or Gothenburg, Sweden.

Our Function

Respiratory & Immunology, Neuroscience, Vaccines & Immune Therapies Safety is a leading organization that develops and integrates innovative safety science with toxicology excellence to drive the design, selection and successful development of novel treatment in these therapeutic areas. We are a diverse international department that comprises project toxicologists, discovery safety specialists, safety experts and experimental scientists. As part of Safety Sciences, which contains all non-clinical safety functions that support the entire AstraZeneca Portfolio, we have a strong focus on talent development. You will be able to develop your skills, competences and scientific leadership by working together with leaders in investigative toxicology, regulatory toxicology, drug discovery and development, cell biology, and predictive safety science.

We are looking for a Project Toxicologist, who will combine their experience in regulatory and/or investigative toxicology and drug development with strong communication and interpersonal skills, to progress biotherapeutics and vaccines for treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases.

As a Project Toxicologist, your main responsibilities will include:

  • Develop and deliver nonclinical safety strategies and provide insight and judgement to enable successful development of projects in the Vaccines & Immune Therapies portfolio as part of multi-disciplinary teams

  • Design and/or execute safety strategies with in vitro and/or in vivo experiments to evaluate potential risks of therapeutics (e.g. monoclonal antibodies, nucleotide-based modalities, peptides, etc) in projects from early discovery through clinical development

  • Operate across international boundaries within Safety Sciences and across R&D functions in AstraZeneca to lead and manage projects and stakeholders

  • Author high-level regulatory documents (e.g. INDs and IMPDs) and contribute to regulatory interactions with health authorities

  • Provide specialist nonclinical expertise for evaluation of in-licensing and out-licensing opportunities

  • Contribute to the delivery of our Right Safety strategy and departmental objectives


  • A PhD in toxicology, immunology, biology or related field. Candidates without a PhD but with extensive relevant experience are welcome to apply

  • Solid understanding of drug discovery and development from experience working within a pharmaceutical project environment, preferably with a primary focus on toxicology science

  • Experience in providing expert design and interpretation of toxicology programs

  • Clear project leadership skills required to lead and manage the safety assessment contribution to a portfolio of projects, ability to operate with sensitivity and flexibility within an ever-evolving organisational matrix of project and line management, both functionally and across the business

  • Significant skills of influencing and persuasion

  • Eagerness for scientific excellence, investigation of mechanisms of toxicity and translation of insights to risk assessment

  • Willingness to challenge conventional thinking and implement creative ideas balanced with a high regard and understanding for the regulatory framework in which AstraZeneca operates is expected

  • Ability to contribute to our team culture in which trust, cooperative support, diversity and inclusion enable engaged and motivated colleagues to deliver and develop

  • Experience in development of vaccines, biotherapeutics and/or nucleotide-based modalities is considered an advantage

Come and join our journey - Apply today!

Where can I find out more?

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AstraZeneca is a global, science-driven biopharmaceutical company. We turn ideas into life changing medicines. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. Here, we see the impact of our collective ideas and expertise, and the power of science to deliver them. AstraZeneca is proud to provide a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and cross-boundary collaboration. Within this environment employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives, and are made to feel valued, energized and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.