Postdoc - Postdoctoral Fellow: Discovery Tool and Lead Generation Chemistry

AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.


At AbbVie, our vision is to be recognized as a biopharmaceutical company delivering a consistent stream of innovative medicines that solve serious health issues and have a remarkable impact on people’s lives.


To be successful, we need outstanding individuals willing to challenge themselves to find the best solutions for our patients. The AbbVie Postdoc program is one way we are doing just that.


Through our Postdoc program, we are hiring postdocs from key academic institutions for preferred areas of science in the U.S., while providing a unique opportunity for participants to build a solid career foundation in the pharmaceutical industry while building the AbbVie brand as an employer of choice for scientific talent.


The program offers a balance of structured learning and work experience, with accessibility to high-level knowledge building across the drug development continuum to help participants understand how everything fits together and is put into practice. It also provides them with a chance to establish working relationships with some of the world’s most respected scientists and leaders in the industry.


Participants in the Postdoc program play an integral part in our continued success and will help us to further grow as a leader in our industry.

1. During 2017 Abbvie will continue to recruit highly talented postdoctoral associates across its drug discovery organization. The incoming class will join a community of over 20 postdoctoral associates within AbbVie as we position ourselves for another significant year of growth and advancement of our patient-focused science and strategic priorities. In a collaborative, resource rich environment, you and your scientific mentor will be exploring key areas of foundational medicinal chemistry research. Publication of the work in high impact peer reviewed journals constitutes the desired end point of this two or three year role. We have an immediate exceptional postdoctoral opportunity within our Tool and Lead Generation Chemistry group based in North Chicago, Illinois.


2. The Tool and Lead Generation Chemistry group has significant impact across all of AbbVie’s therapeutic areas by providing optimized lead compounds for early stage projects, suitable for in vivo proof-of-concept studies. The team further designs and provides novel small molecules which enhance our screening and proprietary building block collections.

3. The postdoctoral associate will conceive and execute organic synthetic chemistry research and development with a focus toward the invention of novel chemical matter that contains elements like boron and phosphorus, that are beyond what is typically employed by medicinal chemists (i.e. -C, -N, -O, -F, -Cl, -S). These novel molecules will be designed to address specific strategic properties (i.e. off-rate, permeability, solubility, target affinity) and will be thoroughly profiled and chemically expanded via collaboration with the High Throughput Chemistry, DMPK, and Immunology groups. The synthetic chemistry and pre-competitive profiling of this novel chemical matter will form the basis of several publications.


4. Key Responsibilities:

  1. Maintain a high level of productivity in the laboratory setting, demonstrate strong problem solving abilities
  2. Demonstrate the ability to resolve key project hurdles by effectively utilizing available information and technical expertise
  3. Proactively seek out new information from various (digital) resources and effectively incorporate this knowledge into individual projects as well as the overall program
  4. Effective writer and communicator of research
  5. Publish project-related research in high-impact factor peer-reviewed journals and present work at scientific conferences
  6. Demonstrate a high degree of responsibility in maintaining scientific standards and safe laboratory practices
  7. Participate in establishing project goals, defining short and long-term scientific strategies, and contribute to the generation of project-related documents and presentations
  8. Use external information to gain competitive intelligence. Act as advocate to integrate this knowledge into the group's research efforts.
  9. Keep accurate and current records of research and/or project related activities according to AbbVie policies







  • PhD in Organic or Medicinal Chemistry or Chemical Biology
  • Authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Strong proven track record of hands-on synthetic organic chemistry and problem solving skills
  • Familiarity with utilizing online databases (SciFinder, Reaxys, etc.) for the design of synthesis strategies and to keep up-to-date with the field of research
  • Understanding of using physicochemical properties for the design of target molecules
  • Clear and concise written and oral communication skills



  • Experience with the synthesis of boron and phosphorus containing small molecules and heterocycles and/or handling of boronic acid reagents
  • Previous exposure to structure-based drug design
  • Familiarity with the interpretation of ADME and PK data
  • Record of publications in well recognized journal(s)
  • Ability to effectively work independently and collaboratively
  • Graduate of accredited and nationally ranked university Provide a narrative on why your academic training would qualify you for this position and why you have a sustained interest in this program
  • Provide three letters of recommendation, one at least from your PI, and preferably, one from the Chair of your department or a member of the thesis committee
  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication, leadership, and project management skills
  • Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative, and integrity.
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment


Key Leadership Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of the immediate team to enable higher performance
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change course quickly where indicated
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation to drive the science in the field of interest
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages innovation to reality

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled