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Formulation Research Lead

Spark Therapeutics
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Salary not provided
Closing date
Feb 1, 2022

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Job Details

Spark Therapeutics is seeking a highly talented individual to lead its formulation discovery research. The Formulation Research Lead will manage one or more research programs as part of Spark’s Discovery group where s/he will define and prioritize the challenges posed by AAV gene delivery and find innovative solutions to address those. Responsibilities will include directing and overseeing discovery programs that support translational research of gene therapies enabling existing and future therapeutic programs. Specifically, these will involve implementing strategies to overcome limitations of current gene therapy approaches by leveraging a strong understanding of targeted nucleic acid delivery methods. A robust background in gene delivery systems, including experience with lead identification and optimization of non-viral vectors, as well as analytical and characterization techniques is required. The Formulation Research Lead will be responsible for expanding and/or developing novel formulations and capabilities related to non-viral gene transfer including:

• Directing and overseeing discovery programs, facilitating translation from in vitro through in vivo proof-of-concept in small and large animal models with an objective to synthesize, screen and/or engineer targeted formulations in support of developing non-viral delivery platforms for current and future gene therapy programs.

• Providing leadership within a group of scientists/research associates.

• Initiating and overseeing cross-functional programs within the company and collaborations with external academic and industry partners.

• Establishing and managing project timelines and ensuring work is completed according to schedule.

• Training and developing staff at varying levels of experience.

• Writing study reports, manuscripts and presenting results at appropriate scientific meetings.

The Formulations Research Lead position supports research of gene therapies including:

• Developing novel bioengineering and formulation strategies to generate non-viral vectors with cell-specific tropism and/or enhanced functional delivery properties.

• Implementing various approaches that synthesize and screen libraries of biomaterials and allow for assessment of variants in high throughput fashion to enable the development of improved molecular entities.

• Delivering rigorous, interpretable and scientifically sound workflows to facilitate product development (e.g. generation and implementation of ideas, validation, in vivo proof-of-concept, etc.).

• Independently evaluate and implement non-viral delivery approaches cross-functionally with other parts of the research organization including therapeutic areas.


Lead a team of scientists initiating and developing discovery programs through to preclinical development. Mentor and develop staff. Ensure departmental goals and objectives are met and aligned to the broader organizational goals and objectives.

Devise and evaluate novel strategies to address limitations of current non-viral gene therapy approaches through novel design, engineering and screening of biomaterials and formulation parameters. Design and trouble-shoot experiments based on personal experience and literature review. Prepare study reports and deliver scientific presentations at internal and external meetings.

Set project priorities, plan workload, manage resource and personnel scheduling

Participate in evaluation of external business development and collaboration opportunities.

Hands-on execution of experiments on the bench.

Education and Experience Requirements

• Ph.D. in a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemical/Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, etc.).

• Typically has 8+ years of related work experience related to lipid nanoparticle formulation and/or bioengineering.

• Subject matter expert in the fields of nucleic acid therapeutics and targeted delivery.

• Hands-on research experience with designing novel biomaterial libraries (e.g. lipids, polymers, etc.) and evaluating these using high-throughput screening and selection schemes.

• Experience using various in vitro expression systems and in vivo models.

• Experience in gene therapy and/or in key therapeutic areas, such as hematologic, metabolic, ocular or CNS disorders is preferred.

• 2+ years of management or supervisory experience is required.

• Strong publication record is a plus.

• Experience managing CROs and external collaborations is a plus.

Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

• Strong organizational skills.

• Able to advance multiple research projects in parallel.

• Excellent communication skills (both oral and written).

• Strong leadership, analytical and problem-solving skills.

Complexity and Problem Solving

• Internal consultant with significant Subject Matter Expertise.

• Considered expert in field within Translational R&D.

• Develops solutions to complex problems which require the regular use of ingenuity and innovation.

• Ensures solutions are consistent with organization objectives.

• Work is performed without appreciable oversight.

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.


At Spark Therapeutics, a fully integrated, commercial company committed to discovering, developing and delivering gene therapies, we challenge the inevitability of genetic diseases, including blindness, hemophilia, lysosomal storage disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Founded in March 2013 as a result of the technology and know-how accumulated over two decades at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), our investigational therapies have the potential to provide long-lasting effects, dramatically and positively changing the lives of patients with conditions where no, or only palliative, therapies exist. Greater understanding of the human genome and genetic abnormalities have allowed our scientists to tailor investigational therapies to patients suffering from very specific genetic diseases. This approach holds great promise in developing effective treatments to a host of inherited diseases. Our initial focus is on treating orphan diseases.

Headquartered in dynamic Philadelphia, we are a diverse, experienced team united in our goal to break down barriers for people and families affected by genetic diseases. As our name suggests, our investigational, one-time therapies are designed to spark healthy biology, and deliver potentially life-altering transformation for people and families affected by genetic disease. Spark is a member of the Roche Group.

Find Us
3737 Market Street
Suite 1300
United States
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