Expert Scientist - RNA Engineering

Rockville, MD
January 25 2021
The Vector Biology group at the US Research and Development Center, GSK Vaccines, is responsible for designing, characterizing and optimizing viral vector platforms for vaccine delivery, with a focus on RNA vaccines.

The goal of this Expert Scientist position will be focused on devising and executing experiments in the areas of RNA vaccine discovery and research with a focus on developing and understanding GSK's mRNA vaccine platform. The successful candidate should have the demonstrated expertise in molecular biology, vector biology and RNA virology. She/he will be a key member of the diverse team of vaccine scientists, to design, characterize, and select RNA vaccine candidates, dissect their mechanism of action, and support platform technology development

Why You?

Basic qualifications:

  • Ph.D. degree plus at least 2 years of experience or Masters with at least 5 years of experience in RNA biology, RNA virology, biochemistry or related scientific discipline
  • Highly skilled in molecular and cellular biology, including molecular cloning, RNA design, generation and characterization
  • Prior experience in molecular biology of RNA, RNA sequence design, RNA folding and structural elements, RNA synthesis and purification
  • Strong track-record of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, with at least 3 first author research manuscripts
  • Hands-on experience in current technologies supporting the interrogation of nucleic acid research
  • Basic skills in statistical analysis
  • Fluency in English, spoken and written

Preferred qualifications:

  • Prior experience with RNA based vaccines or therapeutics
  • Prior experience in RNA virology, especially alphaviruses, and viral engineering for viral-vector based vaccine design and/or mRNA based vaccines or therapeutics
  • Experience on RNA structure and/or knowledge of innate immune responses
  • Background in eukaryotic post-transcriptional gene expression mechanisms is a plus
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills

To be successful in the role, this person must:
  • Demonstrate a detailed fundamental knowledge in molecular RNA biology and molecular virology, particularly RNA virology
  • Have practical knowledge in molecular cloning, molecular and biological characterization, virus-host interactions, or viral pathogenesis.
  • Demonstrate willingness to spend ~70% of one's time in the research laboratory
  • Adaptive and quick learner, efficient in multi-tasking and problem solving
  • Be comfortable conversing with opinion leaders regarding highly technical information
  • Be a self-starter able to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Possess a good balance of creativity and analytical thinking faculties
  • Display an ability to be productive and successful in an intense work environment as a Team Player

  • Design and generate novel RNA molecules that encode a wide variety of proteins
  • Optimize RNA sequence and structure for enhanced modularity and function
  • Utilize RNA biology and virology expertise and new cutting-edge technologies to design best-in-class RNA vector based vaccines
  • Develop and apply novel processes for mRNA synthesis
  • Guide selection of new vaccine platforms design
  • Determine mechanism of mRNA-based antigen expression, innate immune activation and presentation to the adaptive immune system
  • Provide effective and inspiring leadership with an enterprise mindset, ensuring support to professional development and qualification of staff
  • Possesses strong scientific leadership to enable collaboration with key scientific internal and external stakeholders.
  • Publish in peer reviewed journals
  • Supervise students and junior lab personnel as needed

Why GSK?

Our values and expectationsare at the heart of everything we do and form an important part of our culture.

These include Patient focus, Transparency, Respect, Integrity along with Courage, Accountability, Development, and Teamwork. As GSK focuses on our values and expectations and a culture of innovation, performance, and trust, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:
  • Agile and distributed decision-making - using evidence and applying judgement to balance pace, rigour and risk, governance and control, managing ambiguity and paradox.
  • Managing individual performance.
  • Creating a performance culture and driving results, prioritization, execution, delivering performance.
  • Setting strategic direction and leading on-going organizational transformation.
  • Building a resilient organization.
  • Building strong relationships and collaboration in service of common goals, engaging the organization and building trusted external networks for mutual benefit.
  • Managing P&L and capital allocation.


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