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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Postdoctoral Research Positions In Biosciences Division Oak Ridge National Laboratory

With the UNSURPASSED FEDERAL EMPLOYEE BENEFITS and JOB SECURITY, it is always ideal to work for the federal government, even as a postdoc.

Postdoctoral positions are available in the Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for individuals with training in microbiology, biochemistry, or genetics. Successful candidates will join a multidisciplinary team working to identify and characterize protein interaction networks in microbes. This research is part of the ORNL Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems (CMCS) which was established in 2002 as part of the Department of Energy’s Genomics: GTL program with the goal of understanding the molecular basis of biological function in a broad range of environmental microbes. Projects include validation of predicted protein interactions and functional analysis using molecular methods (e.g. gene deletions, microarray analysis), comparative genomic and proteomic studies, and structural analysis of protein complexes. There will likely be additional opportunities for involvement with other projects at ORNL.

The position requires a Ph.D. in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics or a related field. A successful candidate will have a strong publication record, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to perform effectively in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research environment. Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.

How to Apply:
Qualified applicants may apply online at All applicants will need to register before they can begin the online application. For complete instructions, on how to apply, please see the instructions at When applying for this position, please reference the position title and number -ORNL08-50-BSD.

This appointment is offered through the ORNL Postdoctoral Research Associates Program and is administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). This appointment is open to all qualified U.S. and non-U.S. citizens without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or disabled veteran.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


While, Outsourcing continues...

Major biopharmaceutical companies are downsizing their research operations in US through outsourcing and offshoring.

Here is one of recent moves I found: "GSK to Double China R&D Stuff"

GlaxoSmithKline announced that it will increase its China-based research and development staff to 350 people in the next few years. Currently, the company has 170 employees on its R&D roster at is Shanghai facility. That number will move up to 200 by the end of this year, and it will jump to 350 within a year or so. At that point, staffing will level off for three or four years while new facilities are built.

These increases are lower than the numbers projected at the end of 2007. In December 2007, GSK said it expected to have invested $100 million in its Shanghai facility by the end of 2008 and have 1000 staff members employed there by 2010.

When it was started, GSK’s Shanghai R&D center had the stated goal of focusing on neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Shanghai center was tasked with eventually directing GSK’s R&D activities in this therapeutic area, coordinating with other GSK centers around the world and research institutions in China and globally. The Shanghai center began operations in the summer of 2007.

From ChinaBio® Today

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Big Pharma Companies Cut Research Expenditures

I read an article published on by Ben Hirschler and Lewis Krauskopf, and like to share...

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Faced with sickly investment returns, the world's top drugmakers are taking the knife to research and development.

GlaxoSmithKline disclosed plans on Tuesday to cut up to 850 jobs in research and development, on top of 350 such cuts announced by the drug maker in June, while Pfizer Inc revealed its decision to drop efforts to develop medicines for heart disease, obesity and bone health.

The moves promise to be the latest examples of a trend towards rethinking leaner R&D operations that analysts expect to gather pace on both sides of the Atlantic.

"There is a feeling that bigger is not better and you have to concentrate your innovation. Trying to do everything doesn't seem to have worked," said Ben Yeoh, an industry analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort. "A lot of companies are thinking along these lines."

The pharmaceutical industry is exploring ways to improve productivity because many companies have brought few successful medicines to market, despite spending billions of dollars a year on research and development.

Drug companies initially focussed on sales, marketing and manufacturing, but are now turning to research to generate savings.

"What the industry now is focussed on is reallocation of scarce resources in R&D," said Deutsche Bank AG analyst Barbara Ryan. "They have to behave like portfolio managers and identify the best opportunities for a finite pool of capital."

Some companies have already made strategic decisions.

AstraZeneca spun off much of its research on medicines for gastrointestinal diseases into a new company called Albireo, backed by private equity, in February.

Others moved even earlier. Sanofi-Aventis SA, for example, spun off bone health research into what is now ProStrakan Group, while Roche Holding SA's move out of antibiotics led to the creation of Basilea Pharmaceutica AG.

In 2005, Merck & Co Inc announced it would focus research and development efforts on nine therapeutic areas.

Other companies are increasingly farming out research and development. Eli Lilly and Co unveiled a 10-year, $1.6 billion (900 million pound) lab services deal in August with testing company Covance Inc.

The shake-up at Pfizer, however, may make bigger waves -- partly because it is the world's biggest drugmaker, but also due to its decision to exit heart medicine, a traditional mainstay of the industry.

Pfizer, in particular, is heavily reliant on sales of Lipitor, the world's top-selling $12 billion-a-year drug for lowering cholesterol. But Lipitor revenues are set to fall off dramatically in 2011 when generic versions hit the market.

And following the high-profile failure of torcetrapib, another cholesterol treatment, Pfizer has been unable to come up with a replacement.

Ryan said cardiovascular research is increasingly expensive and it may be difficult to improve on the effective heart drugs already on the market.

Cardiovascular products also have faced a tougher regulatory road in recent years, said Morningstar analyst Damien Conover.

"R&D is no longer the sacred cow it was in the past," Goldman Sachs analyst John Murphy wrote in a research note earlier this month.

"The current R&D model is not delivering. Ten years ago that would have been a staggering suggestion to make; today it is one generally accepted by companies and investors alike."

Glaxo, whose cuts amount to around 6 percent of the company's overall R&D work force, reflects a tough approach by new Chief Executive Andrew Witty, who has pledged to make the drug maker a lower-cost company as part of his strategy to improve returns to investors.

Morningstar's Conover said Glaxo appears poised to do more partnering with their research, including more outsourcing.

"Because they're going to do more of that they're not going to need their internal research organisation as much," Conover said.

"This is largely being spurred by the fact that the productivity of these large pharmaceutical companies just hasn't been that good. And if they can outsource some of their development efforts to increase their productivity, they're going to do it."

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

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