Research Scientist

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Salary not provided
October 26 2021
Organization Type
Primary Duties

The CNS Research teams design and evaluate therapies for neurological conditions. Research Scientists drive research efforts forward from early discovery through proof-of-concept efficacy studies and safety testing, towards the clinical setting.

The Scientist will conduct experiments in the area of neurodegeneration and gene therapy particularly involving modern methods in neural cell biology and immunofluorescence histology.

This CNS Research Scientist will:

  • Design, construct, evaluate, and optimize AAV gene therapy vectors to drive therapeutic transgene expression in neuronal tissues.
  • Design in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo experiments to test efficacy and safety of novel potential gene therapies.
  • Execution of experiments either individually or through teamwork (in-house or outsourced).
  • Data analysis and visualization.
  • Analyze data for CNS-directed research programs.
  • Accept independent ownership of one or more scientific programs.
  • Write study reports, manuscripts and present results at appropriate scientific meetings.

  • Design in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo experiments. Execute experiments on the bench either independently or through teamwork (in-house or outsourced). This may include seeking and validating new targets; optimizing gene expression cassettes for new programs in the pipeline; evaluation of AAVs in vitro and in vivo in disease models.
  • Data analysis and visualization, writing study reports, presenting results.
  • Literature review; Identify potential indication targets; Draft plans for evaluating targets.
  • Participate in group meetings and scientific discussions, and provide support to more junior staff, as needed.
Education and Experience Requirements

  • Typically has a PhD in a relevant scientific discipline and up to 3 years of relevant research experience such as in neuroscience, gene therapy, molecular biology, cell biology and/or in vivo animal models.
  • Alternatively, may have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with significant related experience; generally 8+ years. Individual experience may vary based on skillset and expertise.
  • Evidence of 1+ years of hands-on experience with mammalian models of disease and/or injury (e.g., stereotaxic surgery, behavioral testing, immunofluorescent histological staining, confocal microscopy, analysis).
  • Preferred: Evidence of 1+ years of hands-on experience with cell biology methods (e.g., neural cell culture, transfection/transduction, immunocytochemical staining, analysis).
  • Preferred: Evidence of 1+ years of hands-on experience with molecular biology methods (e.g., AAV plasmid design, cloning, evaluation of gene expression).
Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

  • Will accept ownership of a project and be responsible for its execution.
  • Has experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting in vivo, in vitro and ex vivo experiments (preferably related to CNS gene therapy).
  • Proven ability to work independently in a hands-on laboratory setting.
  • Self-motivated and effective at managing multiple projects in parallel.
  • Proactive and collaborative mindset, exhibiting an enthusiastic team attitude.
  • Self-motivated to read and critique the relevant scientific literature.
  • Keen to learn and develop new techniques.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Track record in excellent communication skills (both oral and written).
  • Familiar with computer software commonly used in bio/pharma industries or academia.
  • Advanced technical lab skills.
  • Rigorous and conscientious, exhibiting care and thoroughness in data interpretation
  • Meticulous record keeping, documentation, and reporting of research.
  • Continuous independent learner, consistently developing and improving scientific understanding and methodology.
Complexity and Problem Solving

  • Experience in analyzing problems and in identifying/evaluating potential solutions.
Internal and External Contacts

  • Will build productive working relationships internally and externally

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.

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