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Principal Scientist, Molecular Biology Assay Development

Affini T
Watertown, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
May 23, 2022

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS, Development
Genetics, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Job Summary
Affini-T Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company focused in building a best-in-class TCR therapy platform. Our innovative method of discovering high affinity TCRs specific to oncogenic mutations is used to develop solid tumor therapies. Through the application of gene editing and synthetic biology, our focus is enhancing T-cell fitness to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.

Affini-T Therapeutics is announcing a Principal Scientist opportunity at their Boston, MA Headquarters.
The Principal Scientist, Molecular Biology Assay Development, works within the Analytical Development Organization, reporting directly to the Senior Director of Product Sciences,and will be responsible for the molecular assay development efforts, both internally and in collaboration with industry partners, to deliver best-in-class methods that will drive the development of Affini-Ts manufacturing technology platform for autologous and allogeneic (gene edited) transgenic TCR T-cell therapy bioproduction. The position will contribute to product characterization and quality control of TCR T-cells as well as viral (e.g., LV, AAV) and non-viral (e.g., sgRNA, dsDNA, ssDNA and pDNA) vectors by providing assay development, qualification, troubleshooting, and analytical assay transfer and support to a QC environment. The role will be responsible for building and leading a small of associates and scientists.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position. This list contains the major duties and requirements of the job and is not all-inclusive. Incumbent(s) may be expected to perform role-related duties other than those contained in this document.

Set-up and run molecular biology laboratory and build and lead Molecular Biology Assay team.
Ensure development, optimization and qualification/validation of molecular biology methods as appropriate for product characterization, process development, quality testing and release.
Support analytical technology transfer of molecular biology assays to QC laboratories of qualified CMOs, development partners, and/or internal manufacturing sites.
Conceptualize, design, and execute study plans to develop novel assays as part of continuous improvement for product and process characterization and understanding to support existing product platform as well as new therapeutic candidates and/or new product platforms (e.g., gene edited allogeneic TCR T cells).
Molecular biology assays include multiple techniques (qPCR, ddPCR, RNA seq, sequencing) used in vector and cell product release assays (identity, integrity, purity) and stability and characterization testing (e.g., genomic DNA integrity, translocation, off target cleavage, etc.).
Stay current with cutting-edge techniques in cell therapy bioanalytic to support deeper cell characterization and orient quality control strategy.
Perform routine characterization testing as needed to support product and process development and manufacturing activities.
The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required to perform this job successfully.


PhD in the life sciences (e.g., Immunology, Molecular Biology or Genetics) with a minimum of 8+years related biopharmaceutical experience, or MS with a minimum of 12+ years of related biopharmaceutical experience, or equivalent.
Familiarity with immunology and T cell biology is required, and assay development for CAR-T or TCR cell therapies is highly preferred.
Demonstrated, extensive hands-on experience with various molecular biology techniques such as., Gel/Capillary electrophoresis, Sanger sequencing, NGS, RNA seq, qPCR, ddPCR (incl. DNA isolation, quantitation, primer and probe design) and accompanying software proficiency and applicable bioinformatics tools.
Molecular cloning skills (PCR-based or fragment assembly, transformation) is preferred.
Familiarity with the analytical development of flow cytometric analysis assay and cell-based bioassays including cytotoxicity, proliferation, and potency assays is preferred.
Understanding and experience regarding the principles of analytical test methods that must be defined during development and validation including, sensitivity, specificity, linearity, accuracy, precision, intermediate precision, and dynamic range.
Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, and the ability to interface effectively with process engineering, regulatory, clinical, quality, discovery research, and administration. Additionally, strong communication skills with outside vendor organizations are required.
Drive and desire to build and sustain a high performing team of associates and scientists within a highly patient- and people-centric company culture
Personal alignment with Affini-Ts values, mission, and vision.

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