Synthetic Biology Senior Research Scientist

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Salary not provided
October 26 2021
Organization Type

The Synthetic Biology Senior Research Scientist is a key member of the Discovery Research Team and participates in the development of novel vectors with improved safety and efficacy profiles.

He/she will be responsible for:

  • Participating in and/or overseeing discovery programs, facilitating translation fromin vitrothroughin vivoproof of concept in support of current and future therapeutic programs.
  • Implementing strategies to develop more potent vectors incorporating spatial and/or temporal control of transgene expression for gene therapy purposes.
  • Enhancing the efficacy and tolerability profiles of vector expression cassettes through by engineering non-coding regulatory elements. These may include but are not limited to constructing and screening novel promoter elements, utilizing genetic circuit engineering for cell- and state-specificity and optimizing introns, UTRs, or post-transcriptional mRNA modifications to enhance transgene expression.
  • Collaborating with other Therapeutic Areas at Spark to design and conductin vitrostudies and design and coordinatein vivoexperiments to optimize development of expression vectors with improved potency and regulatory control.
  • Initiating and overseeing joint programs and collaborations with external parties.
  • Writing study reports, manuscripts and present results at appropriate scientific meetings.

The Senior Research Scientist position requires extensive experience with genome biology, library generation and screening, and deep understanding of molecular regulation of gene expression:

  • Design and construction of controllable gene expression cassettes for spatial and/or temporal regulation of transgene expression from target cell types.
  • Practical experience with designing, generating and screening DNA-based libraries using high throughput approaches.
  • Experience with design, execution and data analysis related to experimental studies utilizing bothin vitroandin vivomodels.
  • Familiarity with gene therapy and/or AAV is preferred.


70%Participate in the design, characterization and validation of novel gene expression cassettes. This includes executing experiments on the bench, extensive literature review and championing product candidate development.

15%Design experiments, organize, discuss, and record experimental data.

10% Generate technical reports, prepare presentation slides, generate novel concepts

5%Trainings, lab meetings and administration work


  • Typically has a Ph.D. in a biological discipline and 3-5 years of related experience. Candidate may also have a master’s degree and 3-5 years of related experience.
  • Hands-on research experience with high-throughput screening of shRNA or CRISPR libraries, or transgene expression libraries.
  • Familiarity with designing genetic control elements using a combination of molecular, cellular andin vitro/in vivotechniques.
  • Experience using single cell transcriptomics and epigenomic profiling to identify cis-regulatory modules that encodes specificity for rare cell types is preferred.
  • Hands-on experience conducting atleast one of the following techniques is preferred: scRNA-Seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, TRAP-seq, or Ribo-seq.
  • Experience with studies in laboratory animal models is preferred.
  • Experience with AAV vectors or non-viral gene therapy is preferred but not required.


  • Experience in general and advanced lab techniques such as plasmid design and construction, molecular cloning, protein expression, qPCR, cell culture, ELISA, plate-based luciferase and/or enzymatic activity assays, SDS-PAGE/western blotting, gene expression assays, etc.
  • Experience with studies in laboratory animal models is preferred.
  • Strong analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Proven ability to work independently in hands-on laboratory setting, self-motivated to learn and develop new techniques, perform multiple tasks simultaneously, keep accurate records, follow instructions, and comply with company policies.
  • Excellent communication skills (both oral and written).
  • Familiar with computer software commonly used in bio/pharma industries.
  • Works with colleagues as a team player.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Highly adaptable and comfortable in environments with dynamic priority demands.
  • Strong publication record is a plus.
  • Experience managing external collaborations is a plus.

#LI- JW1

Please be aware that Spark mandates COVID-19 vaccination of all employees regardless of work location. Accommodations may be made in accordance with applicable law.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia

Join the Spark Team

We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable - until now.

We don't follow footsteps. We create the path.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs