Senior Research Associate- Discovery

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Salary not provided
October 29 2021
Organization Type
The Senior Research Associate is a member of the Discovery Research Group within the Research Department and will support the Vector Optimization Team in laboratory research activities towards development and testing of novel gene therapy products. He/she will be responsible for:

Performing routine assays across the different gene therapy research programs (e.g. molecular cloning, nucleic acid extraction, ELISA, qPCR, western blot, etc).

Development and Implementation of new assays (e.g. cell-based, enzymatic, immunoassays, NGS library preparation etc.) or optimization of existing assays based on in-depth knowledge of laboratory techniques.

Accurately document assay results and analyze data using an electronic lab notebook, technical documents and other reporting formats.

Provide guidance to new and existing employees that will allow them to achieve autonomous operation in the lab ensuring work is completed according to project timelines


Plan, prepare and perform experiments on the bench to support of the Vector Optimization Group programs. Assist technical staff in the performance of laboratory experiments as needed.

Analyze results, prepare technical reports and accurately document work in electronic lab notebook. Prepare PowerPoint presentations of results as needed.

Participate in group meetings, scientific discussions, and provide support to more junior staff, as needed.

Education and Experience Requirements

Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s in a relevant field preferred.

Minimum of 5 years laboratory experience.

Experience with standard molecular biology techniques (PCR, plasmid purification, restriction digest, agarose gel electrophoresis)

In-depth knowledge of a variety of cloning and recombineering techniques including ligation-dependent and homology-directed methods.

Broad understanding of the technical and equipment needs in a lab as well as extensive hands-on experience with cell culture methods including cell line propagation, cell line cryopreservation, transfection.

Working knowledge of protein detection assays including Western blotting and ELISA. Hands-on experience with either plate reader-based enzyme activity assays and/or ProteinSimple platform preferred.

Experience with AAV vectors is a plus.

Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

Experience in general and advanced lab techniques such as molecular cloning and plasmid design and construction, oligo design, qPCR, ELISA, cell culture, plate-based luciferase and/or enzymatic activity assays, SDS-PAGE/western blotting, etc.

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.

Familiarity of Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) and Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) a plus.

Familiar with computer software commonly used in bio/pharma industries.

Strong organizational skills.

Excellent communication skills (both oral and written).

Works with colleagues as a team player.

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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