Associate Scientist - Biochemistry

Location: Leiden, South Holland Salary: competitive
Sector: Life Sciences Type: contract

Progressive is currently seeking a fulltime Associate Scientist (Biochemical Assays and Antigenicity Screening)


The Bacterial Vaccines department is working on the discovery and early development of novel vaccines for bacterial infectious diseases. It strives to address unmet medical needs, such as bacteria (sepsis), meningitis, and respiratory tract and nosocomial infections. Projects at the Bacterial Vaccines department are primarily structured on scientific and technical collaboration with external biotechnology partners (governmental and industrial) that are innovative leaders in their field. This working process includes 'state of the art' vaccine discovery, with subsequent in vivo evaluation of these vaccine candidates in animal models for immunogenicity and/or efficacy. In addition, manufacturing processes are optimized and established, and the resulting clinical trial material is evaluated in human clinical studies.

Job Description:

The Bacterial Vaccine department is seeking a talented Associate Scientist (M.Sc. or B.Sc. with equivalent experience) to join the Biochemical assays and Antigenicity Screening group. The successful candidate will be part of a dynamic and highly motivated team driving the characterization/ and evaluation of large molecule entities that are being developed in different vaccine programmes. During your work, you will interact with various Bacterial Vaccines teams, and with Janssen Vaccine support departments. You will be expected to perform laboratory work in person and help contract research organizations (CROs) plan and execute their assignments. The Bacterial Vaccines department is strengthening its biochemical assay capabilities, which are centered mainly on carbohydrate, protein and glycoprotein antigens. This position has therefore a strong focus on biochemical and immunological expertise. Apart from Bacterial Vaccines own resources, access to complementary analytical facilities is also possible within Janssen.

Your main responsibilities will be:

* Chemical modification of bacterial surface molecules
* Analysis of antigen-antibody interactions
* Analyze carbohydrate, protein-, or glycoconjugate-based antigens.
* Know, implement and improve established tests for carbohydrates, proteins, glycoconjugates, and particle-based vaccines.
* Develop new biochemical methods (evaluate LoD, LoQ, accuracy, etc.)
* With help from product development specialists, design and implement biochemical assays for in-process control (IPC), product characterization, and product release.
* Support CROs to plan, execute, document, and review their work.


The qualified individual will possess a

* M.Sc. or B.Sc. with equivalent experience in Biological Science with at least 2-4 years of relevant experience in academia or biotech industry.
* The position requires an in-depth knowledge of glycoprotein biochemistry and/or antigen-antibody interactions.
* Candidate is expected to have knowledge of biochemical literature with emphasis on carbohydrate antigens, biochemical assay development, optimization and troubleshooting. Familiarity with automated or semi-automated instrumentation, while not required, would be advantageous, as would familiarity with the multi-disciplinary activities involving antigen-antibody interactions. This role is intended to be a hands-on lab-based job with plenty opportunity to learn and develop new skillsets.


* M.Sc. or B.Sc. with equivalent experience (PhD is overqualified)
* Biochemical assay specialist


* Minimal 2-4 years of professional experience (experience at a biotech industry setting is a must).
* Experience with Biochemical analysis of carbohydrates, proteins and glycoconjugates.
* Knowledge of protein purification methods is desirable

Specific knowledge:

* Knowledge of biochemical literature, with emphasis on carbohydrate antigens, biochemical assay development, optimization and troubleshooting.
* Very good knowledge on bacterial cell surface molecules
* Hands on expertise on biochemical analysis of large biomolecules with focus on antigen-antibody interactions
* Experience and knowledge on chemical modification of microbial surface components
* Significant knowledge on purification and enrichment of large biochemical entities
* Must have: Hands on experience on HPLC, colorimetric assays, ELISA, Cell based assays, labelling of biomolecules.
* Nice to have: SPR/ Biolayerinterferometry/Mesoscalethermophoresis/ITC based screening of biochemical interactions etc.


* Problem solver, performing hands-on laboratory experiments.
* Communicates clearly and efficiently.
* Team player.
* Leadership: able to manage and monitor work contracted to CROs.
* Organize data efficiently (e.g. databases) and with data security in mind.
* Operate and maintain analytical laboratory equipment. * Safety-conscious.
* Language skills: fluent English.
* Computer skills (Excel, statistical analysis, databases, etc.)

Are you the new Associate Scientist Progressive is looking for? Send us your most recent CV + Cover letter to j.vanbaalen(@) for more information and to apply!