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Research Scientist - AAV Capsid Engineering

Spark Therapeutics
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hybrid and remote options available for select opportunities.
Salary not provided
Closing date
Jun 7, 2023

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Health Sciences, Drug Development
Job Type
Research Scientist
Organization Type

Job Details

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.

Spark Therapeutics does not accept unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles from any source other than directly from candidates. Any unsolicited resume/candidate profile submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Spark Therapeutics are considered property of Spark Therapeutics and are not subject to payment of agency fees.

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.

Learn more about Spark Therapeutics and view other openings.


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.

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