Scientist Viral Vector Analytical Development

Houston, Texas
November 25 2020
Organization Type
The mission of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.

MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), the largest research-based Cancer Center in the nation, is taking a unique approach in the battle against cancer. It is well-known that MDACC is home to an esteemed academic faculty that cover all aspects of cancer research, publish prolifically in leading journals and present extensively at all major conferences. In addition MD Anderson boasts a vast oncology clinic that runs more clinical trials than any other institution and has created unparalleled capabilities is cell therapy trials. In between the basic science and the translation, MDACC has created a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: The Therapeutics Discovery and Development (TDD) Division. TDD 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 allows the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

Biologics Product Development

Biologics, be it monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) or cell therapies are complex therapeutics that are revolutionizing the treatment of cancer and yet are difficult to robustly develop and manufacture. To unlock the potential of these modalities MDACC is investing in Biologics Development capabilities within TDD accelerate the results we have already achieved, with multiple programs currently in clinical development. The goal will be to develop industrial biologics with a commercial horizon within the innovative environment of an academic cancer center. The group will be a composite of industry veterans who are interested in applying their experience to develop innovative therapeutics and see them impact patients, as well as academics looking to turn science into products. We work in a fast-paced, milestone-driven environment with a focus on team science and interdisciplinary research. Our unique approach has created a biotech-like engine within the walls of the nation's leading cancer center to bring life-saving medicines to our patients more quickly and effectively.

Scientist, Cell Therapy Analytical Development

This Scientist will focus on Analytical Development of geneticly engineered therapies and is a key talent reporting directly to the Head of Analytical Development and Characterization. MDA is the leader in clinical trials for cell therapies, including the lead site for Kymriah. These clinical capabilities are matched by a faculty that is pressing the boundaries of new cell therapy modalities. In order to advance these promising concepts to and through the clinic, we are investing in new internal process development and manufacturing capabilities.

The successful candidate will lead assay development for genetically engineered therapies with major efforts to:

•Design assessments to address viral titer, viral potency, and transduction efficiency for therapeutics.

•Identify key metrics to help further characterize genetically modified products and identify potential Critical Quality Attributes.

•Identify sources of error and risk in repeated use of assessments over time and multiple users.

•Design stability studies of intermediate and final products.

•Coordinate efforts with the Product Development team for in-process or intermediate product assessments.

Since this is a new team being built with the successful candidate among the first hires, initial efforts in the first quarter may also include activities related to starting a new program, such as identifying equipment to purchase, setting up procedures for equipment use, input into the design of laboratory space, etc. In addition, leadership within the Analytical Development team in terms of subsequent hires, establishing processes, and outreach to external groups is expected.

The successful candidate has directed junior associates and developed viral vector-based assays for in-process or QC assessment. The most relevant technical skills include cell culture and genetic analysis. The successful candidate also has strengths in thorough documentation, data presentation & statistical analysis, and oral & written communication to multi-functional teams.


Required: Bachelor's degree in a related field.

Preferred: Ph.D. in related scientific /engineering field


Required: Seven years of relevant experience to include three years of supervisory or managerial experience. With Master's degree, five years of required experience to include four years of lead or supervisory experience.


- Experience in viral vector analytics, particularly as related to genetically engineered therapies.

- Extensive experience with cell culture and genetic analysis.

- Experience directing junior associates.

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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