1 Scientist Founder / Group Leader (all genders)
2 Scientist Co-Founders / Postdoctoral Group Therapies (all genders)
What we are looking for
AION Labs the Israel-based alliance of AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Teva, Israel Biotech Fund, and
Amazon Web Services (AWS), powered by BioMed X is supporting the establishment of a new, fully
funded startup company in the field of:
AI Powered Discovery to Enable Molecular Glue Therapies
If you hold a PhD or master’s degree with an outstanding track record or strong interest in the fields
of computational biology, bioinformatics, proteomics, protein engineering, protein design or other
relevant field, we invite you to apply with a project proposal for a position in our new startup team.
Each AION Labs startup team is sponsored by AION Labs partners and supported by the Israel
Proteolysis-targeting small molecules hijack the cellular protein degradation machinery to selectively
reduce a target protein’s abundance. This new drug modality has the potential to degrade proteins
that have been considered undruggable with existing approaches. The field is divided into two main
types of molecules: PROTACs (PROteolysis Targeting Chimeras), which are bifunctional molecules
designed to bind a protein of interest (POI) to a chosen E3 ubiquitin ligase; molecular glues, which are
monovalent small molecules designed to modulate a natural POI-E3 interaction. Molecular glues are
in general easier to develop as oral drugs since they resemble small molecules that have been
developed by pharma for many years.
The main challenge for developing molecular glues is the identification of naturally occurring
endogenous POI-E3 pairs. There are over 600 human E3 ligases that differ in functionality across
different tissues, cell types and conditions. We invite you to propose the development of a platform
that enables molecular glue discoveries focusing on the following key challenges:
▪ An approach to the identification of naturally occurring protein-E3 pairs in specific organs, cell
types and conditions.
▪For a given protein of interest, identify and rank the E3 ligases most likely to degrade it in the
specified organ, cell type and condition.
▪ For a chosen E3 ligase, predict the proteins degraded in a specific organ, cell type and
▪ For a selected pair of POI-E3, provide a 3D structure of the complex to enable the
computational design of molecular glue.
The new technology developed by the company will be tested using the protein MYC as POI. There are
multiple validated E3 ligases for MYC and the technology will be employed to test the predicted
efficacy of specific E3 ligases to degrade MYC in a variety of cell lines. We also expect to test a few
novel E3 ligases predicted to degraded MYC if available. Very original ideas which go far beyond the
current state-of-the-art are particularly encouraged.
The group leader / startup founder position is intended to suit candidates who would like to develop
themselves towards an entrepreneurship path, and who typically have a PhD or equivalent plus four
to eight years of additional research experience in academia and/or industry.
Candidates for postdoctoral researcher / scientist co-founder positions are expected to have
completed a PhD or equivalent within the last four years and a certain degree of specialization in one
or more relevant cutting-edge technologies and scientific areas including computational biology,
bioinformatics, computer science / machine learning, medical and life sciences.
What we offer
▪ A position in a fully funded new startup company: the funding package covering salaries,
consumables, services, travel costs, as well as access to the core facilities and data repositories of
major research institutions, hospitals, and health management organizations in Israel and beyond.
▪ Equity in the new startup company.
▪ An initial funding term of at least $1M for first two years, with the possibility of prolongation for
up to two additional years with at least $1M, with working space provided in the AION labs
premises including wet and computational labs.
▪ Continuous guidance and support from experienced mentors from academia, the pharma
industry, the tech industry, and venture capital.
▪ An exciting research opportunity in a multidisciplinary and international startup incubator
embedded in one of the strongest biomedical innovation ecosystems in Israel.
There is flexibility over starting dates, but successful applicants are welcome to take up post in Israel
starting October – December 2023.
Application & Selection Process
▪ Please apply online at https://career.bio.mx/call/2023-AIL-C05
▪ As part of the online application procedure, you will be asked to submit: (i) A competitive project
proposal addressing the challenge of this call (3-5 pages describing your core hypothesis, scientific rationale, and unique approach to solve the challenge); (ii) Your curriculum vitae including your
▪ Deadline for applications: May 7, 2023.
▪ After a first selection round, candidates will be invited to a five-day innovation boot camp in Israel
from June 18 to 22, 2023. With guidance from experienced mentors, candidates will jointly work
on their project proposals and present them in front of a jury on the final day. Successful
candidates will be offered a position as founders in the new startup company at the AION Labs
innovation lab in Israel.
About AION Labs
AION Labs is a first-of-its-kind alliance of AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Teva, the Israel Biotech Fund and
Amazon Web Services (AWS) that have come together with one clear mission: to create and adopt
groundbreaking new AI technologies that will transform the process of drug discovery and
development in order to contribute to the health and well-being of all people world-wide.
Located within the Israeli biotech hotspot in Rehovot adjacent to Weizmann Institute for Sciences,
AION Labs is a unique venture hub where brilliant innovators convene from around the world to solve
the biggest R&D challenges guided by years of accumulated know-how, data and experience in
pharma. The lab leverages its partners’ wealth of knowledge and a new multidisciplinary mindset with
the ingenuity, agility and innovative power of Israel’s start-up ecosystem, to develop strong companies
with clear long-term strategies, that will pave the way to the future of healthcare. AION Labs cultivates
innovation from within; its unique venture creation process bridges the gap between outstanding
academic research in the field of AI and the biggest R&D needs in the discovery and development of
new medicines for the benefit of patients.
About BioMed X
BioMed X is an independent research institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg
in Germany, with a world-wide network of partner locations. Together with our partners, we identify
big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing
with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse
research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously
guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of
two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical
research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.
4 Oppenheimer St.
Rehovot Science Park
7670104 Rehovot, Israel
Phone: +972 50-831-8505
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