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Job Details

Co-op Assay Development for Cancer Drug Discovery Jan - June 2022

Cambridge, MA, United States

Posted on
Sep 21, 2021

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At Bristol Myers Squibb, we are inspired by a single vision – transforming patients’ lives through science. In oncology, hematology, immunology and cardiovascular disease – and one of the most diverse and promising pipelines in the industry – each of our passionate colleagues contribute to innovations that drive meaningful change. We bring a human touch to every treatment we pioneer. Join us and make a difference.

Current Six-Month Co-op Opportunity

Oncology Drug Discovery (CAM)

Goa l: Development and optimization of cell-based assays to support drug discovery efforts :

The advent of precision medicine has opened up a realm of possibilities to revolutionize treatments for cancer. However, many patients are either intrinsically resistant or acquire resistance to many precision medicines currently advancing in pre-clinical and clinical development. There is an overwhelming need to understand the biological mechanisms that underlie this resistance so new drugs can be developed to overcome it. The BMS site at Cambridge is focused on identifying tumor intrinsic targets that contribute to mechanisms of cancer resistance. This co-op role will focus on aiding drug discovery efforts for one or more such targets. More specifically, the role will involve hands-on lab-based work to design, develop and optimize novel mechanism-based assays that will help increase understanding of underlying target biology as well as test compounds for activity in these assays.

To achieve the above goal, this project will involve the following assignments:

Work/plan with manager to identify relevant cell-based assays for development (10%)

Complete requisite safety trainings for working in laboratory
Meet and interact with team members to understand scope and remit of site and group’s focus and priorities
Familiarize self with target biology and on-going research
Work with manager to plan strategies to be explored to better understand biological mechanism-of-action based assays for development

Development, optimization and execution of cell-based assays (80%)

Learn and master basic laboratory skills
Design cell-based assays based on a good understanding of published and/or emerging biology
Expand and grow relevant tumor cell lines and optimize methods/conditions for cell-based assays
Utilize established methods to monitor key cell-based assay readouts/biomarkers of relevance
Develop novel assays to monitor target relevant end points
Test activity of program compounds in optimized assays to enable chemistry efforts

Education and Training: 10%

Attend lab meetings, group meetings and site wide invited speaker seminars
Present project progress at lab/group meetings as appropriate


Enrolled in Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program in the Sciences. Desired backgrounds/degrees include:

Natural Sciences (Chemistry or Biology)

Key Learnings:

Basics of cancer drug discovery process, including how drug targets are selected and validated and how compounds are identified, optimized and progressed to clinical trials

Essential laboratory skills including design and optimization of assays for drug screening
Problem solving skills
Skills required to work in a team-environment with all members focused on a common goal

Key Deliverables at Project Completion:

At end of the co-op assignment, the student will be required to create a presentation reflecting their learnings and recommendations.

Around the world, we are passionate about making an impact on the lives of patients with serious diseases. Empowered to apply our individual talents and diverse perspectives in an inclusive culture, our shared values of passion, innovation, urgency, accountability, inclusion and integrity bring out the highest potential of each of our colleagues.

Bristol Myers Squibb recognizes the importance of balance and flexibility in our work environment. We offer a wide variety of competitive benefits, services and programs that provide our employees with the resources to pursue their goals, both at work and in their personal lives.

Company: Bristol Myers Squibb

Req Number: R1547431

Updated: 2021-09-23 02:34:23.137 UTC

Location: Cambridge,Massachusetts

Bristol Myers Squibb is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, pregnancy, citizenship, marital status, gender expression, genetic information, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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