Axxam is a leading provider of integrated discovery services for the entire Life Sciences industries such as Pharmaceutical, Crop protection, Animal health, Cosmetics and Nutrition. We have a strong expertise across a broad range of drug discovery areas, including assay development, high-throughput screening, and hit-to-lead programmes. Axxam is also engaged in developing novel innovative therapies for diseases with a high unmet medical need. An open and dynamic working environment supported by an industrialized organization ensures high-quality results.

Development of Biochemical Assays – Enzymologist 

Axxam is opening a position for a scientist, to join the group of Biochemistry. The position requires strong scientific and technical expertise and proven track records of development of biochemical assays suitable to be configured for high-throughput screening and characterisation of enzyme kinetics and/or protein interaction and their modulation, as well as an excellent understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

The experienced enzymologist will be responsible to devise the project strategy to accomplish proof of principle studies by scouting different assay systems and to develop high-throughput homogeneous assays in miniaturized format with fluorescent and luminescent readout systems. The assays are intended to measure the catalytic activity of target enzymes or the interaction between proteins, or between proteins and biologically relevant macromolecules. The assays will be applied in screening campaigns and to assess potency, selectivity, and mechanism of action of small molecule modulators of the target proteins. Besides, the successful scientist will be occasionally in charge of the recombinant expression of the target proteins in insect cells with the baculovirus system and/or in high-density mammalian cells cultured in suspension, and their purification through different chromatographic techniques. The position requires extensive collaboration with colleagues and effective communication skills in English with internal and external international partners.

Core job responsibilities:

  • Strategy design, development, and optimization of biochemical assays for high-throughput screening in 384 well/plate format for the detection of the catalytic activity of the target enzymes and/or of the interaction of the target proteins with partner proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, and other molecular effectors
  • Accomplishment of proof-of-principle studies with different assay setup applying matrix-based assessment to shortlist the most effective experimental conditions for HTS assay development
  • Detailed biochemical and enzymatic characterization of the assays, to include determination of kinetic parameters and/or affinity parameters, together with fulfilment of key quality criteria for the adaptation to automation for HTS
  • Characterization of the potency, selectivity, and mechanism of action of reference modulators and of small libraries of compounds
  • Recombinant expression of the target proteins in eukaryotic expression hosts i.e., insect cells with the baculovirus system and/or mammalian cells cultured in suspension at high scale, their analytical and preparative chromatographic purification by FPLC, and their biochemical characterisation
  • Design of the experiments in miniaturized and parallelized format, analysis of the data, generation of suitable graphical representations, interpretation of the results, identification of possible inconsistencies and liabilities, and proposal of action steps and contingency plans
  • Preparation of regular bi-weekly updates in PowerPoint format, with presentation of the data to international clients in face-to-face meetings and teleconferences, with active discussion of the results and their perspective implications for the progression of the project
  • Initiative-taking support to colleagues in collaborative projects, by ensuring reliability, accuracy, robustness, and confidentiality for data generated in cooperation with external clients
  • Keeping pace with the technological and scientific developments and innovation in the fields of interest.

Required knowledge and skills:

  • Degree in Biology, Pharmacological Sciences, or related Life Sciences Academic Faculties with at least five-year traceable hands-on experimental research in Enzymology/Biochemistry, preferably spent in an industrial environment
  • Significant expertise in enzyme kinetics and inhibition/activation applied to drug discovery projects, or alternatively in the determination of the binding affinity parameters for protein interaction systems using state-of-the-art methods
  • Expertise in one or more of the following readout systems is essential: fluorescence intensity, FRET, fluorescence polarization, TR-FRET, and luminescence. Prior experience in biophysical techniques such as NMR, X-ray crystallography, MS-LC, SPR, TSA, MST, ITC, DSF, is highly regarded
  • Prior experience with miniaturized and parallelized 96 or 384 well/plate assay formats and lab automation systems
  • Experience in expression of recombinant proteins produced with eukaryotic host cells i.e., insect cells with the baculovirus system and/or mammalian cells cultured at high scale in suspension, and their purification of through different chromatographic techniques using FPLC systems (ÅKTA platform)
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Knowledge of GraphPad Prism, or equivalent 2D graphing and statistics software for analysis and graphical representation of kinetic measurements and dose-dependent modulation of biochemical events.

Please apply for this position only if your CV includes at least three of the above required skills, otherwise your resume will not be considered.

Additional professional and soft skills

  • Ability to work effectively under strict deadlines within a team framework in cross-functional projects as well as an independent scientist, in compliance with contracted timelines and with project turnover
  • Effective communications with colleagues at all levels and with external international partners in frequent face-to-face meetings and teleconferences
  • Collaborative attitude, showing initiative, critical scientific thinking, reliability, self-criticism, accuracy, flexibility, problem solving, work ethic, and accountability
  • Adherence to protocols and to corporate policies on Quality and Health & Safety
  • Fluency in English, written and spoken is mandatory. Fluency in written and spoken Italian is a plus.

Axxam is an equal opportunity employer

Axxam offers a stimulating work environment and a competitive salary. If your background and personal experience fit this profile and requirements, please send your complete application to the address below or upload it at our on-line contact centre, including:

1.       Cover letter in English with a brief description on how your experience fits with the job profile, and motivations

2.       Your CV in English, underlying the matching competences and skills with the job profile

3.       A list of up to three references

Please, include in the message subject “Ref. Enzymol_2022” and add to your CV the following statement: "I hereby grant permission to use my personal data in accordance with the Italian Leg. Dec. 196/2003".


Axxam S.p.A.

OpenZone - via Meucci 3 - 20091 Bresso (Milano, Italy)

Sede di lavoro: Bresso, MI (Italia)
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Information on the processing of personal data – Article 13 EU GDPR 679/2016

With the entry into force of the aforementioned Regulation, Axxam S.p.A. (with registered office in via Meucci 3 - Bresso - Italy) as "Data Controller” is required to provide some information regarding the use of personal data.

Source of data and purposes for the processing

Personal data are given directly by the data subject when filling in the "form" specifically designed to send curriculum (outsourced specialized service).

The data provided are processed exclusively for purposes related to the selection and evaluation for the purposes of a possible recruitment or collaboration, including any interview. The aforementioned data may be processed by third parties (companies or qualified professionals in Italy or abroad) for support activities for the purposes set out above.

Data processing methods

The data will be entered in the "database" and will be processed using appropriate tools to ensure security and confidentiality. The processing can be carried out either manually or automatically (with computer and telematic tools which can store, manage and transmit data).

Categories of subjects to whom data can be communicated

The personal data provided may also be communicated to associated companies if your profile is interesting or to consultants or training and personnel selection companies when involved in the selection process, for example employment centers, labor consultants or services of occupational medicine.

Retention period

The data will be kept for the entire duration of the checks referred to above and will not be stored for more than two years from the date of receipt.

Data subjects’ rights

We inform you that you will be able to access your personal data at any time and may request correction or cancellation, limitation or object to the processing by our company. For the withdrawal of consent, it will be sufficient  to write to and ask for the specific forms. For any information




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