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Lilly Research Scientist-Protein Engineering in San Diego, California

At Lilly, we unite caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We are a global healthcare leader headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our 35,000 employees around the world work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. We give our best effort to our work, and we put people first. We’re looking for people who are determined to make life better for people around the world.

At Lilly, we serve an extraordinary purpose. For more than 140 years, we have worked diligently to discover medicines that make life better. These discoveries start in Lilly Research Laboratories, where our scientists work to create new medicines that will help solve our world’s greatest health challenges.

The Biotechnology Discovery Research group at Lilly’s Biotechnology Center in San Diego discovers medicines that address significant unmet needs by integrating biology with innovative scientific capabilities in protein engineering and computational sciences. We collaborate with colleagues in both the discovery and development organizations, including scientists in therapeutic area biology, biomolecule formulation and developability, ADME, Toxicology, PK/PD, Statistics, Computational Sciences, clinical development, and more. Our team is looking for a motivated scientist with a background in protein engineering and/or protein sciences/chemistry to join us and to make a difference for patients and the communities we serve! The successful candidate will support and lead efforts to discover, design, and engineer protein therapeutics for desired biological function, potency, time action, stability, developability, and low immunogenicity. Additionally, there will be opportunities to engineer proteins and/or antibodies for targeted delivery of bioconjugates or nucleic acids to cells.

If you are a highly motivated teammate, with a passion for goal-oriented scientific research, with a background in protein engineering and/or protein biochemistry and possess a sound practical knowledge of molecular biology and understanding of structure/function relationships we urge you to join the Lilly Team today!


  • Discover and engineer first- or best-in-class protein therapeutics by combining a strong understanding of molecular properties, molecular biology, and protein engineering skills.

  • Contribute to cross-functional project teams as protein engineering lead.

  • Improve core technologies (antibody and protein engineering), implement and develop new platform technologies.

  • Critically analyze, interpret, and report experimental results. Draw appropriate conclusions and identify new strategies to design and optimize novel biotherapeutics.

  • Organize and present data to support decisions in cross-functional teams.

  • Review the literature, attend meetings and conferences.

  • Contribute to the preparation of scientific products, such as original research publications and presentations, writing reports, protocols, and regulatory documents when appropriate.

  • Supervise and mentor up to 2 Research Associates.

Basic Qualifications:

Ph.D. in protein engineering, protein biochemistry, protein biophysics, molecular biology, protein structural biology, or related field.

Additional Skills/Preferences

  • Hands-on experience in molecular biology and working with proteins with demonstrated success in independently driving research projects through designing, analyzing and interpreting experimental results.

  • Proven record of productivity, scientific creativity and independence in the field of protein sciences as evidenced by scientific publications and external presentations.

  • Self-motivated and strong work ethic.

  • Team player with strong commitment to foster diverse and inclusive environments.

  • Ability to collaborate cross-functionally and function in a fast-paced environment.

  • Effective written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to independently write study reports and deliver impactful oral presentations to project teams.

  • Learning agility.

  • Ability to multitask, prioritize, and meet timelines.

  • Attention to detail and critical thinking.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and advanced scientific software (e.g., Spotfire, JMP, MOE).

  • Additional relevant experience from postdoctoral training and/or from working in a pharmaceutical, biotech, or research organization is advantageous.

  • Comprehensive knowledge in protein sciences (cloning, expression, purification, characterization), structural biology, protein-protein interactions, and SAR is preferred.

  • Understanding of antibody generation and biologics drug discovery research is preferred.

Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly USA, LLC and our wholly owned subsidiaries (collectively “Lilly”) are committed to help individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce and ensure equal opportunity to compete for jobs. If you require an accommodation to submit a resume for positions at Lilly, please email Lilly Human Resources ( ) for further assistance. Please note This email address is intended for use only to request an accommodation as part of the application process. Any other correspondence will not receive a response.

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Our employee resource groups (ERGs) offer strong support networks for their members and help our company develop talented individuals for future leadership roles. Our current groups include: Africa, Middle East, Central Asia Network, African American Network, Chinese Culture Network, Early Career Professionals, Japanese International Leadership Network (JILN), Lilly India Network, Organization of Latinos at Lilly, PRIDE (LGBTQ + Allies), Veterans Leadership Network, Women’s Network, Working and Living with Disabilities. Learn more about all of our groups.

As a condition of employment with Eli Lilly and Company and its subsidiaries in the United States and Puerto Rico, you must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination satisfactory to the company (subject to applicable law).