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CAR Design/Synthetic Biology Scientist/Senior Scientist/Principal Scientist

ONK Therapeutics Ltd
San Diego County, California, US
Closing date
Nov 29, 2022

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Provide support to specific cell therapy programs. Responsible for establishing infrastructure, participating in developing strategies, techniques, and approaches in support of consolidating current NK cell therapy programs and developing next generation ideas and products. Experience with novel cellular technologies, in vivo evaluation of modalities in an oncology setting and experience with approaches for gene editing or acumen to pick these up is important. According to their level of responsibility this individual will help drive and/or provide leadership in company efforts to develop next-generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) based NK cellular therapies to support company pipelines. The scientist will help optimize and select lead CAR designs to enhance NK cell functions in-vitro and contribute to design of in-vivo CAR-NK experiments. At Principal Scientist level, the individual will lead these efforts.

Essential Functions
  • Member of scientific research team
  • Contribute to the establishment of laboratory capability and laboratory systems.
  • Provides input into developing research work plan and associated experiments.
  • Input into identifying technical and quality requirements required to complete work plan.
  • Other duties as required, in line with a start-up biotechnology environment, maximum flexibility is essential.
  • Develop, execute, and document strategies for isolating and modifying primary NK cells.
  • Has cell culture experience that includes handling of primary cells.
  • Highly proficient in molecular and cell biology
  • Experience with oncology-targeting experiments in mice models or ability to pick these up rapidly.
  • Capability to work with nucleic acid constructs and modification of effector lymphocytes.
  • Lead development of next generation CAR products and optimisation of CAR design, constructs and related engineering (Principal Scientist)

Education/Experience Requirements
  • Possession of an MSc or PhD in immunology and lymphocyte biology with post-doc experience, or a Bachelor's with at least 2 years of experience, preferably in an industry environment in one of the following disciplines: cancer cellular therapy, cancer immunology, immunology, or related field.
  • Prior experience with cellular therapies is important. Experience with developing lymphocyte-based cell therapies, especially in an industry setting would be preferred. Experience of working with NK cells, including isolation, culture, differentiation/activation, cell transfection and transduction is desirable.
  • Thorough understanding of CAR based cell therapy; a working knowledge of CAR engineering and both in vitro and in vivo cell therapy assays is preferred (essential for Principal Scientist)
  • Previous experience in NK or CAR-T based cancer therapy (essential for Principal Scientist)
  • Proficient in immune phenotyping of cultured immune cells using multi-color FACs and FlowJo-based data analysis
  • Capability to work with nucleic acid constructs and modification of effector lymphocytes.
  • Ability to be flexible, innovative and highly organized to work quickly and efficiently in a growing biotech start-up environment is necessary.
  • Experience in different techniques used in immunology and cancer cell biology for characterizing
  • native and modified lymphocytes for product development
  • Capability to assist with planning proof of concept studies in different cancer models both in vitro and in vivo are desired.
  • Experience with isolation and culturing of lymphocytes from various sources is necessary.
  • A team player and significant experience with working in a team setting.
  • Well organized and has good experience in designing and documenting protocols and data generated
  • A methodical approach to analysing and processing data
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Good time management and organisational skills
  • The ability to work independently on experimental design, execute and troubleshoot experiments
  • The ability and desire to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams
  • Good track record in delivering projects on time and on budget.
  • Ability to learn specific experimental and computer-based techniques and apply them to practical tasks and assignments.
  • Ability to contribute and promote ideas and research proposals.
  • Ability to take responsibility for smaller, discrete projects and sub-projects without detailed supervision.
  • Ability to supervise the work of less experienced laboratory staff.
  • Flexibility to provide support to several senior scientists at the same time.

Team focused (Principal Scientist)
  • Senior member of the scientific team responsible for managing a team of scientists.
  • Effectively communicate scientific results to a technical and non-technical audience.
  • Experience with guiding junior level research associates

· Contribute to building out team, establishment of laboratory capability and lab systems.

Project Management/Planning (Principal Scientist)
  • Lead discrete project work streams within own discipline
  • Input into developing research work plan and associated experiments.
  • Management of study planning to deliver on milestones.
  • Responsible for identifying technical and quality requirements required to complete work plan.
  • Planning conduct and reporting of experiments.

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