Institute Research Scientist - ORBIT

Houston, Texas
October 17 2019
Organization Type
Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.

The ORBIT platform drives the development of novel biologic therapies for Therapeutics Discovery. Our team works with MD Anderson clinicians and researchers to identify novel cancer targets and develop monoclonal antibodies that we can advance for new therapeutic options. Our model unites the advantages of a biotech-like environment with the science and clinical care for which MD Anderson is known. Through our integrated platform, we work with greater agility to avoid the traditional barriers that hamper monoclonal antibody development, and already we have seen our discoveries advance into clinical trials to improve the lives of patients.

As part of the ORBIT team, the Institute Research Scientist will lead efforts in discovery and development of cell and gene therapy for cancer. These efforts will allow us to advance novel therapeutics currently under development by our Therapeutics Discovery teams and partners.

By joining the Therapeutics Discovery Division, you have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. We are seeking a highly motivated and collaborative individual to become a part of our team. Ideal candidates will have PhD with a minimum of 7 years of related experience in cell biology immunology, biochemistry or related discipline of relevant experience in biologics and cell therapy development.

Essential Functions:

- Preclinical development of cell and gene therapy including CAR-T, CAR-NK and other type of engineered cell therapy.

- Design a process development plan to evaluate technologies, media and process conditions to optimize a viral vector process of Lentiviral and retroviral systems.

- Perform as a liaison between preclinical development and GMP manufacturing of cell therapy.

- Working closely with manufacturing to develop clear SOPs and batch records and transfer processes into Manufacturing. Experience with GMP operations is required.

Education: Master's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, enzymology, pharmacology, chemistry or related field.

Preferred: PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.


Required: Six years experience of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, two years of required experience.


•Highly motivated Institute Research Scientist with experience in biologics and cell therapy discovery and development

•The candidate is expected to lead projects of cell therapy engineering and process development for GMP manufacture

•The candidate must have strong knowledge and experience in viral vector engineering for cell therapy like CAR-T and CAR-NK

•Knowledge of oncology is preferred, and working knowledge of oncology disease processes and preclinical models

•The candidate will work independently and participates in cross-functional research team to discover innovative biologics for oncology

•The position needs to have aligned experience in biopharmaceutical drug discovery

•Having knowledge of intellectual properties protection would be of interest.

•Excellent written oral, interpersonal, presentation skills, and the ability to effectively interface with senior management and staff.

•Demonstrated skills and comfort in proactively building relationships with potential partners.

•Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

•Ability to operate as an effective tactical, as well as strategic thinker.

•Ability to develop and stick to project timelines with project management tools.

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.

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