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Associate Director, Molecular Biology

Orna Therapeutics
Watertown, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Sep 19, 2023

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Orna Therapeutics is a Cambridge-based biotechnology startup on a mission to create therapies for diseases inaccessible to existing approaches. Built on novel circular RNA technology developed at MIT, Orna is leading the next wave of RNA therapeutics with our best-in-class expression and delivery platform.

We are seeking an innovative scientific leader, to lead an RNA engineering team. Reporting to a Senior Director in our Platform team, the ideal candidate is an RNA molecular biologist with demonstrated experience innovating in the RNA space and working in cross-disciplinary research teams. They will apply their expertise to drive the design and implementation of novel oRNAs using both synthetic sequence elements and components from nature, interrogate the cell biology of oRNA, and demonstrate new applications for the oRNA platform. This role will have a major impact on the innovation and future applications of our platform.

Job Description:


  • Lead the RNA Engineering team to identify and drive innovation in the oRNA platform, including novel oRNA design to maximize circularization, expression, and stability.
  • Work with management to help shape and inform key RNA strategy and execution.
  • Partner with cross-functional teams and contribute to the advancement of pipeline programs and explore novel applications for the oRNA technology.
  • Lead and contribute to patent applications and scientific publications related to the oRNA technology.
  • Provide mentorship and career development opportunities to a team of scientists, manage relationships, and support their growth.
  • Foster collaborative relationships across the team and company and engage in a positive and exciting work environment.
  • Work with managers to define budgets, allocate resources, and meet departmental objectives, and communicate findings in various forums across the company.
  • Ph.D. in molecular biology or related field with 9+ years of experience (>4 years in industry)
  • Experience engineering long, protein coding synthetic RNA
  • Strong track record of productivity in RNA research with experience in using cutting-edge technologies to investigate RNA structure and function relationship.
  • Broad knowledge in RNA biology or biochemistry, such as RNA sequence and structure principles, RNA innate immunology, translation initiation mechanisms, splicing, RNA modifications, and cellular RNA metabolism.
  • Demonstrate high learning agility regarding grasping and exploiting new scientific concepts and methods across multiple teams.
  • Proven track record of collaboration and positive influence across the organization
  • Ability to present complex technical topics to a wide range of audiences with varying technical depth.

Orna is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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