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Calibr-Skaggs Institute for Innovative Medicines
La Jolla, California
$64,480 to $99,360
Closing date
Apr 1, 2024

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Life Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Research Scientist
Organization Type
All Industry

Position Title: Research Associate/Assistant or Research Scientist, Molecular Biology

About Us

Calibr-Skaggs Institute for Innovative Medicines, a division of Scripps Research, is a first-of-its-kind, nonprofit translational research institute dedicated to creating the next generation of medicines.  Calibr-Skaggs was founded on the principle that the creation of new medicines can be accelerated by pairing world-class biomedical research with state-of-the-art drug discovery and development capabilities. Scripps Research is ranked one of the most influential institutions in the world for its impact on innovation. Our educational and training programs mold talented and committed students and postdocs into leading-edge scientists. Leveraging the unique scientific environment of Scripps Research, impacting translational sciences, Calibr-Skaggs has created a portfolio of drug candidates, and is shaping a new paradigm for advancing nonprofit biomedical research to impact patients while re-investing in further innovative research. We expand basic knowledge in the biosciences and use these fundamental advancements to develop profound innovations that improve wellbeing. Calibr-Skaggs’ drug development portfolio spans a broad range of human diseases, including cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, infectious and neglected diseases, as well as age-related and degenerative diseases. If you have a passion for making a difference, this could be your opportunity to join our transformative team.

Calibr-Skaggs has a significant effort developing the next generation of cell & gene therapies for patients with cancer. Our pipeline includes a unique, next-generation “switchable” chimeric antigen receptor T cell (sCAR-T) platform that was conceptualized at Calibr-Skaggs and developed through to a Phase I trial where it demonstrated efficacy in patients with lymphoma—A Phase I trial in solid tumors will start this year. Our preclinical pipeline extends beyond to biologics against novel immuno-oncology targets, antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific and trispecific antibodies, and small molecules expected to reach the clinic in 6–24 months, underscoring our bench-to-bedside approach. As part of these efforts to create transformative medicines, we are developing first-in-class gene therapy platforms expected to enable treatment of an array of indications and increase patient access. We are recruiting committed and talented scientists to join our team in developing these next-generation gene therapies for patients. 

Position Summary

We are seeking an experienced, highly motivated, collaborative, and curious Senior Research Associate/Assistant or Research Scientist to join our gene and cell-therapy team within Calibr-Skaggs Institute. We are dedicated to innovating the delivery of gene therapies for multiple therapeutic areas including cancer and autoimmune diseases. The discoveries we make can contribute directly to improving efficacy and accessibility of gene therapies to patients. As a key contributor in a dynamic, multidisciplinary team, you will be involved in the design and innovation of approaches to overcome challenges in viral vector production and therapeutic gene delivery, efficacy, and safety.

Under scientific and technical supervision, the candidate will design and produce molecular constructs that could be utilized for vector development and lentiviral production. The individual will focus and work along a group of scientists to develop small- and large-scale lentiviral vector (LVV) gene therapy vectors across various preclinical programs and disease areas.

This position offers exposure to additional areas of this cutting-edge program, such as cell biology and molecular biology, immunology, oncology, autoimmunity, and cell therapy.

What you’ll be doing:

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Apply biology and virology expertise to design and test gene expression plasmids for our gene therapy platform
  • Evaluate and implement innovative approaches to optimize viral vectors backbones, transgenes, promoters and other elements to support our gene therapy pipeline programs
  • Perform hands-on execution of mammalian cell culture experiments in BSL2 environment including DNA plasmid transfection and small-scale virus production, purification and transduction of cell lines
  • Collaborate with a cross-functional LVV team as well as colleagues in various disease areas to troubleshoot and optimize LVV production and performance both in vitro and vivo
  • Present experimental designs, protocols, results and interpretations to a varied audience
  • Maintain familiarity with current scientific literature and techniques in the field of lentivirus engineering
  • Demonstrate good organizational and communication skills
  • Expected to be accountable for effectiveness and timelines of completion of project goals
  • Details of established essential functions for this position will be addressed/discussed during the interview process.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Prior experience with LLV vector engineering
  • Extensive experience in molecular biology techniques, sub-cloning methodologies, plasmid preparation, etc is required
  • Experience with DNA, plasmid sequencing, analysis and experience with common software programs used to perform alignments, analysis, etc. is required
  • General lab skills, including sterile technique is required
  • Must be highly organized and able to work independently
  • Must be able to clearly communicate in writing and have a desire to be part of a growing organization that uses cutting-edge science
  • A high level of flexibility to support various other activities and the ability to learn new techniques outside of existing field of expertise
  • Strong team orientation and passion for continuous self-development
  • Experience in cell culture and cell-based assay development, T-cell biology, and flow cytometry is helpful but not required
  • Experience in industry is preferred but not required, applicants with academic-only experience are also encouraged to apply


  • BS degree in bioengineering, molecular biology, or closely related discipline with 2-3 years of prior experience OR
  • MS degree in bioengineering, virology, or closely related discipline with 1 -2 years of prior experience OR
  • PhD in biology, bioengineering, virology, or closely related discipline with relevant prior research experience

The above statements describe the level of work performed and expected in general terms.  The statements are not intended to list all the responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of employees so classified, and the content herein is subject to change due to the business needs of Scripps Research, with or without notice.   Furthermore, nothing in this job description shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any way the employment-at-will status of Scripps Research staff. 


May include: Stationary position for an extended period of time, traverse campus/facility as needed, operate machinery such as computer, phone, copy machine; exposure to cold or hot temperatures.


The expected hiring range for this multi-level position is $64,480 to $99,360, commensurate with experience. Consideration will be given to experience that exceeds the listed requirements.


  • Employer Contributed Retirement Plan – Depending on eligibility, employees receive an employer contributed retirement plan (no employee contribution required) and the option to contribute to a 403(b) (which is similar to a 401(k) using your own pre or post-tax dollars)
  • Full Suite of Health and Welfare plans including three medical plan options (including an HSA available option), dental, vision, life insurance, disability, EAP and more
  • Access to Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical/Dependent Care)
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave policies
  • Free, on-site parking

EEO Statement:
The Scripps Research Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote diversity of thought, culture and background in the fields of science. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status. Underrepresented individuals are encouraged to apply.

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