Your development

Making possibility a reality

Creating an environment where people can achieve extraordinary things

Go further with Immunocore Academy

We formally launched in 2018, but the idea for our academy was born at almost the same time as we formed the company, around 18 years ago. It brings to life the people, spirit and culture of our organisation as we help each other grow and develop.

Our two-day foundation programme will begin to open discussions on culture, values, transparency, inequality and innovative, forward thinking, and it lays the foundation for bringing your ‘whole self’ to work.

Leader vs. Individual Contributor

We understand that not everyone wants to manage other people, even though it’s often seen as the only way to progress. So we’ve developed two career ladders that mean our employees can choose their own path.

As an individual contributor, we’ll help you become an expert in your field and have the maximum impact in your role. As a leader, we’ll help you develop your skillset in management fundamentals. We offer great platforms for both and the best part is that you can move between each stream as you progress.

CASE STUDY

Emma Baston

Emma Baston

Head of Candidate Transition and Process Development

Emma is a Team Leader on the CMC Development Team. Initially unsure of which career path to follow, she's continued to follow her passion to explore different roles within Immunocore and discover where her strength really lies.

"It's an exciting team to work in and we get to contribute to a wide range of activities across the company. There's never a dull moment and with the success of the pipeline and support of on-going clinical products, our workload increases on a daily basis."

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Emma Baston

Emma Baston

Head of Candidate Transition and Process Development

I loved school and I've always loved learning, but when I was younger I was unsure on my exact career path. I chose my A-levels with pharmacy or medicine in mind and in the end, I chose to study microbiology and follow my interest in pathogenic diseases and antibiotics. Even after university, I didn't know which path to take, so I decided to continue with higher education.

It was my PhD which finally helped to guide my career aspirations. My honours project was on bioremediation, so for my PhD I chose to explore the use of bacteria to break down chemical components used in hydraulic fracturing of oil wells. At first I struggled with the discipline of setting my own deadlines, hypotheses and goals, but over the years I became more motivated as the results began to form some clear conclusions. So I began to recognise that being part of a results-driven team with organisation and planning at the core was important to me.

At the start of 2001, I began work at Avidex working with Malkit on refolding CD8 and TCRs. The company was really small back then; we were the protein purification part of “development” and I loved the control and deadline-driven elements of the job. A couple of years later, I had the opportunity to move over to research and was keen to understand more of the early phase work and learn some new techniques. Soon I was enveloped in the biochemistry work: cloning out TCRs, making mutants etc. It involved lots of inclusion body preps and refolds and Biacore. It still fascinates me that changing one or two amino acids can have such an impact on the yield or binding affinity.

I felt that I'd finally found a place that was me – but there was still a little niggle. The science was exciting, the people were lovely with a great sense of teamwork, but I wanted to be more involved in the next steps to ensure more consistency and control. IMCgp100 brought me back to the development group where I was able to use the skills I'd picked up in research; screening for the best constructs for manufacturing, and working on the scale-up with Malkit and Penio. Seeing IMCgp100 transition from a wild type TCR (I cloned it out and did the first refold and Biacore) to a fully-fledged GMP-grade clinical protein was so motivating.

More recently, I moved back to the protein science pipeline and began working with the team on the GSK partnership. This project ticked a lot of boxes for me: cloning, mutant screening, Biacore, deadlines, cross-functional team-work, project management and preparation for manufacturing. It was a great experience and a fantastic project team. Along with some of the biochemists on this team, Katrin, Jacob and Viren, we started to help out on other projects in pipeline to look at optimisations for manufacturing and we started to bridge the gap with development.

In my current role I'm responsible for candidate transition and process development for manufacturing. We work closely with pipeline on new ImmTAXs coming through, with the manufacturers on process development and transition of methods and with the analytical development team to support quality and control of ImmTAX production. We're also involved in the regulatory submissions and work closely with the clinical project teams. We're always looking for ways to improve things and make processes more efficient and with every project, we're learning more. It's an exciting team to work in, fast paced and we get to have insight and contribute to a broad range of activities across the company. There's never a dull moment and with the success of the pipeline and support of on-going clinical products, our workload increases on a daily basis.

Becoming a Leader

Our four-day Fundamentals programme is specifically designed to build our next generation of leaders. The programme develops the expectations of leadership in our managers. They’ll learn how to clarify direct & inspire, deliver goals and plans, work collaboratively, optimise potential in others and become a role model for our values.

Continuous Learning

We encourage our employees to develop and learn by becoming experts in their field, and by encouraging them to grow into new areas; whether that’s moving away from the bench and into the clinic, or into a support function like business development. We also spare no expense in sending our people around the world to the leading conferences and expos. Here are two case studies from Emma and Joe who, closer to home, have developed and reskilled in very different areas from where they began with us.