Cell line Development Scientist - Upstream PD

Date: May 10, 2023

Location: Philadelphia, PA, US, 19104

Company: Spark Therapeutics

Join the Spark Team


We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable – until now.


We don’t follow footsteps. We create the path.

The Cell line Development Scientist is involved in the execution of recombinant adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV) production processes. The Scientist executes experiments, develops production procedures and other relevant documentation, and works under supervision.  This position requires experience with molecular biology, biochemistry, and gene expression analyses. He/she will be responsible for:

  • Culturing mammalian cells for viral production in shake flasks, spinner flasks, spin tubes, deep well and/or benchtop bioreactors.
  • Performing experiments in the development, optimization and scale-up of pre-packaging/ packaging/producer cell lines for rAAV production
  • Optimization of transfection and induction protocols for newly engineered cell lines.
  • Execution of molecular engineering strategies to improve AAV production for gene therapy purposes. 
  • Support manufacturing and characterization of cell banks
  • Participating in process development programs focused on cell line and vector engineering, facilitating translation from small scale to large scale AAV production in support of current and future therapeutic programs. 
  • Design and execute low complexity scientific experiments; analyze, interpret, and present experimental results to deliver on Spark’s pipeline as well as technical platform development objectives.
  • Maintaining an accurate laboratory notebook following ALCOA+ principles.
  • Collaborating with other teams at Spark to design and conduct in vitro studies
  • Participating in joint programs and collaborations with external parties. 
  • Author study reports, manuscripts and presenting results at appropriate meetings. 
  • Designing, executing and analyzing data related to experimental studies utilizing in vitro models.
  • Preparing and reviewing process development protocols, data analysis summaries, technical reports, and other relevant process documentation.
  • Ensuring work conforms to applicable quality and safety standards.
  • Other duties as assigned including but not limited to contributing to lab organization and cleanliness, consumables stocking, and routine equipment maintenance.



% of Time

Job Function and Description


Perform laboratory support work and execute laboratory experiments.


Analyze data from experiments and draft presentations.


Draft protocols for studies and the subsequent technical reports as needed.


Attend meetings and perform administrative duties as needed.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • BS/MS in in chemical engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, or biology/molecular biology or related area with 1 to 3 years of experience
  • Experience in cell culture including materials, instruments and technologies is essential.
  • Experience with viral vector production is preferred.  

Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

  • Experience in general and advanced lab techniques such as aseptic cell culture methods, plasmid cloning, SDS-PAGE/western blotting, gene expression assays, etc.
  • Hands-on experience in cell culture processes.  This includes small scale (shaker flasks, spinner flasks, spin tubes) and/or benchtop bioreactor scale.
  • Ability to adhere to operations guidance and deliver on defined objectives.
  • Strong analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities. 
  • Proven ability to work independently in hands-on laboratory setting, self-motivated to learn and develop new techniques, perform multiple tasks simultaneously, keep accurate records, follow instructions, and comply with company policies. 
  • Working knowledge of state-of-the-art principles, technologies, and instrumentation.
  • Effective communication skills (verbal, written, interpersonal).
  • Must be able to draft protocols and technical reports.
  • Must be able to interact with cross-functional teams. 
  • Ability to manage time effectively.
  • Ability to communicate and negotiate with vendors in a strategic manner.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency in MS Office, JMP, Phyton and R/RStudio is a plus.


Complexity and Problem Solving

The Cell line Development Scientist is expected to use scientific principles and practices to solve a range of problems in creative and practical ways. The Cell line Development Scientist is expected to work with The Cell line Development and rAAV Vector Engineering Teams in executing experiments, interpreting results, and performing any necessary troubleshooting.

Internal and External Contacts

  • Fellow Upstream PD Team Members.
  • Cross-functional Team Members such as: PD Downstream, PD Analytical, Automation, PEO, Facilities, and Service Personnel/Vendors.
  • External Vendors that offer equipment and/or services for various aspects of Process Development. 

Other Job Requirements

  • Must be able to lift 25 pounds.
  • Due to the inherent nature of cell culture, some weekend work and/or work on holidays may be needed. On occasion, long work hours may be required depending upon the experiment schedule.
  • Handling large volumes of cell culture or related materials, such as tens of liters, may be required. Also, several viral materials, including AAV, adenovirus and lentivirus may be involved in the work.

Please be aware that Spark mandates COVID-19 vaccination of all employees regardless of work location.  Accommodations may be made in accordance with applicable law.

Spark Therapeutics does not accept unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles from any source other than directly from candidates.   Any unsolicited resume/candidate profile submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Spark Therapeutics are considered property of Spark Therapeutics and are not subject to payment of agency fees.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia