Principal Research Associate, Immuno-Oncology

Cambridge, MA
June 15 2019
Organization Type
Principal Research Associate, Immuno-Oncology

The Role:

Moderna is looking for a talented and motivated laboratory research associate to focus on developing new mRNA-based immunotherapies for cancer. Successful candidates will primarily work with in vitro systems and contribute to the cellular and biochemical characterization of novel leads that direct immune cells against cancer. Applicants should be both great team members and have a demonstrable track record of independent research accomplishments. The ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with others, as well as a passion for drug discovery are required. Immuno-oncology or immunology experience is a plus.

Here's What You'll Do:
  • Collaborate with internal teams on initial testing of mRNAs (cellular and biochemical endpoints)
  • Develop and validate cellular models to test various mRNA therapeutics
  • Collect, archive, organize and analyze samples, including those from in vivo studies, for downstream analyses
  • Deliver reproducible and impactful results under ambitious timelines
  • Execute and troubleshoot standard protocols, adapt new protocols into practice with little assistance, and query literature to incorporate additional assays as needed
  • Independently plan experiments
  • Analyze, interpret and present data
  • Faithfully document scientific work
  • Contribute to reports, regulatory submissions and presentations

Here's What You'll Bring to the Table:
  • B.S. in a biological science with >8 years' relevant, full-time experience; or M.S. in a biological science with >6 years' relevant, full-time experience
  • Solid background in immunology and/or tumor biology
  • Expertise in cell-based assays (e.g. co-culture functional assays, high content imaging of live cells, ex vivo multi-parameter flow cytometry, etc.)
  • Experience with cell-based functional assay development
  • Nucleic acid quantification expertise:
    • Isolation of nucleic acids from cultured cells and harvested tissue
    • Quantification via qPCR, other formats such as bDNA-based approaches
  • Protein quantification expertise:
    • Isolation of protein lysates from cultured cells and harvested tissue
    • Protein quantification via Western, ELISA, MSD, Luminex-based assays
  • Experience with biodistribution, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynatic analysis using biochemical and flow cytometry assays
  • Tissue/cell culture expertise:
    • Cell passaging, archiving, transfection and cell-based functional assays
    • Primary cell isolation and culture, particularly with hematopoietic cells
  • Extremely sound tissue culture and general laboratory techniques

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Proficiency in flow cytometry and cell sorting
  • Experience with isolating and utilizing primary cells from human and laboratory animal donors
  • Familiarity with immune-oncology animal models
  • Experience with preparation and handling of lipid nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo nucleic acid delivery
  • Experience with developing adoptive T cell therapy for cancer
  • Experience in drug discovery or translational research in a biotech setting
  • Some experience with in vivo rodent studies:
    • Sample collection
    • Dosing
    • Tumor volume/body weight measurements
    • Imaging studies

  • Strong work ethic
  • Technical expertise
  • Scientific rigor
  • Attention to detail
  • Results orientation
  • Readily adaptable to change and new challenges
  • Highly effective oral and written communication skills

Here's What We'll Bring to the Table:
  • Daily on-site catered lunches
  • Company-provided iPhone
  • Free parking, monthly subway pass or a subsidized commuter rail pass
  • Free annual corporate membership to Bluebikes
  • Highly competitive healthcare coverage including: medical offered through BCBS (HMO/PPO), dental, and vision offered through VSP
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for medical expenses and dependent care expenses
  • 16 weeks of 100% paid parental leave for all new parents
  • 16 weeks 100% paid family caregiver leave
  • 20 weeks 100% paid medical leave
  • Adoption assistance and discounts to local childcare centers, as well as access to
  • 401k (traditional and Roth offered) with 50% match on first 6% deferred. Match is vested immediately
  • A suite of Moderna paid insurance coverage, including: life insurance, short-term and long-term disability
  • Voluntary legal assistance plan
  • 15 days' vacation and 7 sick days per year, in addition to a discretionary winter shut down and 11 company paid holidays (includes 2 floating holidays)

Why join Moderna

At Moderna, we believe messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the "software of life." Every cell in the body uses mRNA to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins necessary to drive all aspects of biology, including in human health and disease. Given its essential role, we believe mRNA could be used to create a new category of medicines with significant potential to improve the lives of patients.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Moderna currently has strategic alliances for development programs with AstraZeneca, Plc. and Merck, Inc., as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense; and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Moderna has been ranked in the top ten of Science's list of top biopharma industry employers for the past four years. To learn more, visit .

Our Mission:
Deliver on the promise of mRNA science to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients.


Moderna is a smoke-free, alcohol-free and drug-free work environment.

Moderna is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Moderna will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.

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