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In Vivo/In Vitro Translation Industrial Placement

Salary notes: 
Job/scheme locations: 
Stevenage, Ware
Type of opportunity: 
Application deadline: 

GSK are a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops innovative Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare products. Our challenging and inspiring mission is to enable people to do more, feel better and live longer by developing innovative products and improving access to healthcare for patients around the world.

Whatever the role, you will experience working in a fast-paced research environment with access to cutting edge technology, whilst interacting with industry-leading scientists across multiple disciplines and sharing different experiences. During the internship, the IP student will be supported, given training (laboratory and office practices) daily where applicable until confident to work independently and within GSK health and safety requirements, enrolled in several GSK internal courses as part of company policy, enrol in personal development courses and networking opportunities throughout the year and attend seminars led by GSK scientists.

We recruit on an on-going basis and prioritise applications based on the application date.  

Please read below about the positions we are recruiting for, when you apply you will be able to select 3 preferences. We will accommodate your preference where possible.

Role 1: Preclinical In Vivo Imaging Scientist

Location: Stevenage

We have a unique opportunity for an Industrial Placement Student to take up a one-year placement as an in vivo Imaging Scientist, commencing in August 2021. This bespoke role will be within the in vivo Bioimaging group based in Stevenage and offers a large variety of opportunities to gain an insight into multiple therapeutic areas that align with the company strategy, as well as supporting key functions within the research and development (R&D) process.  

The in vivo Bioimaging department uses several non-invasive imaging modalities (such as magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], computerised tomography [CT] and in vivo fluorescence and bioluminescence), all of which play an important role in the different aspects of the discovery and development process, such as lead identification, optimisation and the understanding of safety of our molecules.  

Core tasks involved in this role include liaising with scientists across R&D groups, organising all aspects of imaging studies from performing routine imaging to processing, interpreting, and presenting data to project teams. In addition, there may be opportunity to gain practical experience of animal procedures during the placement. Further opportunities may also exist to gain experience in other functional areas within the wider Bioimaging department, that may include other groups within Bioimaging. 

The successful applicant would be given an exciting opportunity to develop a varied skill set in this unique role. This can then be applied to an assigned independent project, as well as gaining experience of working in a diverse research environment. 

Role 2: Discovery drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK)

Location: Stevenage

You will join a pioneering discovery drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) group, dedicated to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to Do more, Feel better and Live longer. The placement will integrate you within the group where chemistry, biology and pharmacology disciplines are utilised to characterise the DMPK profile of new compounds as research programmes progress towards developing a new medicine.  

The group design and carry out in vitro and in vivo DMPK studies and you will work closely with your supervisor to plan and carry out experimental work in support of these studies. The data you help to generate will be used to guide the design of future compounds, define the pharmacokinetic / pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) relationship and help to ensure that compounds are optimal for development into medicines. 

The placement will provide excellent hands on training in performing in vitro assays as well as in quantitative bioanalytical analysis using state of the art instruments as well as providing a unique insight into the Research and Development organisation at GSK. Techniques used will include use of automated platforms to perform in vitro assays and preparation of analytical calibration standards, protein precipitation extraction and analysis by HPLC-MS/MS. Placement students will learn to perform experiments, develop bioanalytical methods and process data using MS software as well as be involved with the interpretation and reporting of results. 

Role 3: Biomarker scientist

Location: Stevenage

We have an exciting position working in the Exploratory Biomarker Assay Group within Bioanalysis, Immunogenicity and Biomarkers (BIB). The role of the Exploratory Biomarker Scientist is to work closely with pre-clinical and clinical project teams to define and deliver biomarker strategies to support translation of GSK’s rapidly expanding biopharmaceutical and small molecule portfolio into successful early phase clinical studies.

Working as part of a dedicated biomarker team, your role will be to develop and validate new biomarker assays to assess target expression, target engagement and pharmacodynamic drug effects. This placement provides the opportunity to work on a broad spectrum of techniques and technologies, including Ligand binding assays with Meso-Scale Discovery technology, ELISA,  Jess (automated western blotting platform) and high sensitivity platforms such as Single molecule counting (SMCxPRO) and ELLA. 

 The Industrial Placement student will be working across multiple disease areas, such as oncology, respiratory and immuno-inflammation. An understanding of working in a regulated environment may also be gained.

Our aim is to develop students to be highly independent in planning, executing and interpreting scientific data as well as presenting results and collaborating with other scientists. Working within the Exploratory Biomarker Group also provides ample access to scientific presentations and seminars as part of the vibrant Stevenage GSK science hub. 

 Role 4: Bioanalyst scientist

Location: Stevenage/Ware

Bioanalysis is an essential part of drug development and is a worldwide group within Bioanalysis, Immunology and Biomarkers. Our team of experts have the capability to deliver high quality data for preclinical and clinical studies for both NCE and biopharmaceuticals.  This is done by developing robust bioanalytical/analytical assays to provide drug concentrations in a variety of matrices.  

You will have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technologies, including LC-MS/MS and ELISA. The nature of our multi-disciplinary projects will also expose you to a plethora of different experts and functions within the drug development process. We offer extensive training to develop you to become highly independent in planning, executing and interpreting scientific data as well as presenting your results and collaborating with other scientists.  

Main activities: 

  • Perform routine analysis of drug and metabolites in biological media to applicable standards using defined analytical methods 
  • Use and maintain standard analytical instrumentation for sample identification and quantitation purposes 
  • Process analytical results from analytical runs using appropriate software and evaluate routine analytical data 
  • Produce reports/report contributions on studies performed 
  • Develop and validate analytical methods for the measurement/characterization of drug and metabolites in biological samples and /or formulation media. 
  • Elucidate the structures of metabolites from biological matrices using a selection of techniques 
  • Incorporate use of analytical, chemical, biochemical methods to solve analytical problems and troubleshoot instrumentation 
  • Ensure that work is conducted in compliance with the relevant GLP regulations 
  • Follow safe working practices and be responsible for the health and safety of themselves and other.

Role 5: Global Investigative Safety

Location: Ware

The placement will be positioned within the Global Investigative Safety group, who design and execute customised transcriptional and cellular assays to investigate and validate mechanistic hypotheses regarding safety across all phases in development, with expertise in mitochondrial, lysosomal, gastrointestinal and liver toxicity. There will be the opportunity to develop skills in in vitro cell culture working with cell lines or primary cells.  The project will include using a range of techniques typically used within the laboratories, including aseptic technique and may include specifically, measuring cytotoxicity using a range of multiparametric plate-reader assays, transcriptomics, bioenergetic assays and high content imaging analysis to explore and identify mechanisms of toxicity.  

Role 6: Cell Imaging & Dynamics Biologist 

Location: Stevenage

The Bioimaging department brings together key areas of in-vivo and ex-vivo imaging to understand drug distribution and the effect of that distribution on intact biological systems. The focus of the newly formed Ultrastructural and Cellular Bioimaging group is to support all aspects of Research, and the wider GSK, using Bioimaging at cellular & ultrastructural resolutions. As well as using existing modalities we keep aware of developing technologies and analytics through an extensive internal and external network. We work closely with in vivo, clinical and MALDI Bioimaging, making use of resources available across R&D. Determining the distribution of unlabelled drug related material and endogenous metabolites at cellular resolutions give us the ability to address key factors for compound efficacy and safety. You will work as part of the Cell Imaging & Dynamics group within the Ultrastructural and Cellular Bioimaging team and provide critical mass spectrometry imaging data to progress the development of new medicines. Your role will focus on the application of advanced mass spectrometry, a highly desired skill set in biological analysis. You will learn to use cutting edge technology to study the uptake of compounds into cells and determine the effect such perturbations have on the underlying biology. In addition, you will perform cell culture and live cell imaging.  

Role 7: Evaluation of different xeno-free synthetic ECMs for suitability in supporting biological function in complex in vitro models

Location: Stevenage

Our group Complex In Vitro Models (CIVM) sits under the In Vitro In Vivo Translation (IVIVT) Department and our mission is to develop more predictable, physiologically relevant in vitro models to increase clinical translation. We are utilising a variety of technologies to create relevant complex models ranging from 3D organoids to microfluidic systems and Organ on Chip. Almost all these models heavily rely on the presence of a supportive, tissue relevant extracellular matrix (ECM) as a barrier, scaffold, or a 3D support. Currently, like many other scientists, we are using mainly animal derived ECMs e.g. Matrigel, collagen, fibronectin etc. In many cases these matrices show high variability from batch to batch and are not fully characterised. Additionally, using animal derived matrix is not ideal when creating fully human in vitro models, and can change the translatability of the model to the clinic. We are looking to improve our models by replacing these animal derived matrices with xenofree synthetic ECMs that are fully characterised and validated in our systems. The aim of this project is to evaluate synthetic ECMs and demonstrate how they could support cells in organoids, 3D multicellular in vitro systems, tissue on chips, and 3D printing of cells in tissue systems. A crucial part of this evaluation is the characterisation of these matrices within these tissue systems in order to demonstrate that they can support physiological relevance of the tissues we are building.

Role 8: Comparative and Translational Sciences

Location: Stevenage

Comparative and Translational Sciences (CTS) contributes to the development of medicines for patients by improving the choice and validation of translational preclinical models and enhancing the conduct of efficacy and safety studies. CTS comprises of veterinarians, PhD investigators and scientists who work in partnership with drug discovery, pathophysiology, pharmacology, toxicology and welfare experts to select, design, develop, and report highly reproducible, translatable models. Each team member in CTS specialises in a different research area, from palatability and immunology to oncology and biomarkers, allowing a placement student to develop knowledge and gain experience across a range of topics within preclinical research and development.

CTS is highly diverse, rapidly moving group, our research is aligned with current and prospective business requirements. Recent areas of research have included: design of custom gene expression cards for transgenic model characterisation; bespoke immunofixation assay to assess clinical trial endpoints; development of CAR T-cell therapy; and gut microbiome assessment of in vivo models.

The placement student will provide scientific support to project teams for the utilisation of models and novel biomarkers in drug discovery and development. Furthermore, the student will contribute to the characterisation of human relevant models such as those used for dermal, respiratory, liver or oncology diseases. In addition to assay development and evaluation skills, the candidate will develop scientifically through hands on lab work, in-depth literature reviews, data analyses and correlating findings with pathophysiological endpoints. Students will be encouraged to publish and present their work within and external to GSK.

Role 9: Immunological Toxicology 

Location: Ware

Increasingly, new medicines for a diverse range of diseases are designed to act by modulating the immune system, bringing significant benefits to certain patient populations. GSK has made a specific commitment to developing novel medicines with immune-mediated mechanisms-of-action, such as T cell therapies where T cells are genetically engineered to express receptors specific for tumour antigens, to treat cancer, infectious diseases, and diseases with inflammatory and/or autoimmune components. Alongside the exciting opportunities that immune-mediated therapies present, there is an important need to identify and understand any potential undesirable effects of our drug candidates on the immune system, in order to maximise the opportunities for therapeutic immuno-modulation while protecting patients from immune-related drug toxicities.

GSK’s Immunological Toxicology team are a group of immunologists who support drug development across the business by providing vital immune safety data to enable the selection and development of medicines with favourable immune-related benefit-risk profiles. We are looking for a hard-working, ambitious and intellectually curious IP student to join us, to contribute to our work supporting advanced drug modalities such as adoptive cellular therapies. The successful candidate will gain insights into experimental non-clinical safety assessment relating to immunological toxicology, as well as broader experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry. You will learn in vitro techniques such as multi-colour flow cytometry, ELISA/MSD, transcriptomic analysis, cell culture, and associated analysis techniques. If you are interested in immunology, safety assessment and drug discovery/development then we look forward to hearing from you!

Degree Requirements:
Must be studying an undergraduate Life Sciences degree in a Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology related field. A-levels in Biology and Chemistry or equivalent. 

You will have completed a minimum of 2 years of your undergraduate degree but will not have graduated at the start of your placement. You will be expected to provide evidence from your university to show you will be an undergraduate student for the duration of the placement year.

Close Date: Friday 16th October 2020

Applications will close when we have filled our virtual assessment centre dates.

If you have what we’re looking for apply today!

This opportunity has the following recruitment stages you must successfully pass to be offered a placement year with GSK for 2021!

  1. Eligibility Form
  2. Online Assessment
  3. Application Form
  4. Virtual Assessment Centre​

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