The research scientist is an important member of the Discovery Team and participates in the development of Spark’s gene delivery platforms. She/he/them will be critical for the development of novel AAV capsids with enhanced properties, in particular the ability to transduce specific cell types and/or organs. The discovery of such capsids will greatly facilitate the translation from in vitro through in vivo proof of concept and ultimately the clinic.
He/she will be responsible for:
- Developing and implementing the production of improved AAV capsid libraries.
- Establishing approaches that allow the isolation of AAV capsid variants that transduce specific cell types and/or organs in both small and large animal models.
- Actively collaborating with the NGS and bioinformatic groups to further enhance the power of using directed evolution to isolate AAVs with tailored properties.
- Writing drafts of manuscripts and present results at appropriate internal and external scientific meetings.
The Research Scientist position requires experience with molecular biology and/or virology:
- Expertise in the design and construction of AAV/bacterial/phage libraries is desirable.
- Basic knowledge in NGS and bioinformatics (in collaboration with experts in these fields) to design improved second generation libraries.
- Familiarity with AAV gene therapy is not required
70% of time- Design, characterize and validate novel AAV capsid libraries. Use these libraries to select for cell-type and/or organ-specific AAV variants and AAV variants with other improved properties. This includes executing experiments at the bench and literature review.
15% of time- Organize, record, and discuss experimental data.
5% of time- Support and advise junior colleagues.
5% of time- Generate technical reports, prepare presentation slides.
5% of time- Lab meetings and administrative work.
- Typically has a PhD in molecular/cellular biology or virology or a lower degree in these scientific areas with at least 3-5 years of relevant experience.
- Experience in general and advanced lab techniques such as plasmid design and construction, molecular cloning, qPCR, cell culture, ELISA, plate-based luciferase and/or enzymatic activity assays, SDS-PAGE/Western blotting, etc. is required.
- Strong analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities.
- Proven ability to work mostly independently in hands-on laboratory setting.
- Self-motivated to learn and develop new techniques, keep accurate records, follow instructions and comply with company policies.
- Ability to support junior colleagues to help them achieve their scientific goals.
- 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.
- Strong publication record is a plus.
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.
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