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Location: Gothenburg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Job reference: R-003906
Posted date: Mar. 24, 2017

At AstraZeneca, we believe in the potential of people who share our passion for science. By thinking boldly and working collaboratively to pursue discoveries beyond imagination, you’ll develop further and faster than you thought possible. We’ll complement your drive and determination to meet unmet patient needs around the world with the inspiration and opportunities to enhance your niche expertise and build your skills. So if you’re curious about what science can do, come and make a difference.

In January 2016, Pharmaceutical Sciences was established in the IMED organisation to ensure we implement intelligent design of medicines and delivery systems. The department is focussed on three priority areas – early chemical development, early product development and advanced drug delivery – while it supports synthesis, formulation and delivery for IMED’s portfolio across the main therapy areas, from early discovery to Phase llB clinical trials.  

Main duties and responsibilities

Gene therapies such as mRNA have the potential to fill unmet medical needs and, hence, significantly improve human health.  A major hurdle inhibiting the clinical testing of nucleic acid drugs such as RNAs is the design of efficacious delivery vehicles that do not induce immunogenicity. A frequently used delivery vehicle is the lipid nanoparticle (LNP), which, in addition to mediating effective mRNA delivery, can also cause toxicity and immunogenicity depending on the chemistry.

You’ll be part of a project to test novel and safe, biodegradable lipids to replace traditional cationic lipids without sacrificing efficacy, as well as understand intracellular trafficking for the mRNA-loaded LNPs. More specifically, you’ll characterise novel lipid library hits, develop LNP formulations, and test these models in biological systems for effects and side effects including detailed exploring of intracellular trafficking pathways. This part of the fellowship will be placed in AstraZeneca’s facility in Gothenburg, Sweden. The knowledge gained will be used to design new and potentially even further improved lipids with our collaborator, Professor. Kathryn Whitehead, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. There will be opportunities to contribute to publications in the areas of lipid design, drug delivery and cell biology.

Essential requirements

  • PhD or equivalent qualification with specialisation in chemistry, drug delivery or molecular biology
  • Experience of writing scientific publications in peer reviewed journals
  • Verbal and written English fluency
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills.

Desirable requirements

  • Knowledge of intra cellular trafficking mechanisms, endocytotic pathways, and assay design relevant to understanding cellular uptake and vesicle trafficking

  • Experience in lipid drug delivery system development and characterisation
  • Understanding of excipient design principles.

To apply for this position, please click the apply link below

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 only employs individuals with the right to work in the country/ies where the role is advertised.

This is a 2-year, fixed-term contract based in Gothenburg, Sweden, although a portion of the research will be undertaken at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, with a competitive salary on offer.

Applications open:     17 February 2017

Applications close:    18 April 2017

If you share our passion for scientific excellence, find out more at

Post Doc Fellow - Designing non-immunogenic and effective lipid nanoparticle formulations for messenger-RNA (mRNA) delivery

AstraZeneca in Sweden

At AstraZeneca in Sweden we'll make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you. To do this, we've created a great working environment that's full of world-class talent, and opportunities for collaboration and innovation. If you're inspired by the possibilities of science to make a difference and ready to discover what you can do - join us.

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