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Discovery Research Lead

Date: Nov 17, 2018

Location: Philadelphia, PA, US

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.


Spark Therapeutics is seeking for a highly talented individual to lead its Discovery Research platform. The main responsibility of the selected candidate will be to define & prioritize the challenges posed by AAV gene delivery and to find innovative solution to address those. To this end, this leader will design, conduct and supervise studies in-house as well as with external collaborators and contract research organizations to develop novel gene therapy delivery tools such as those based on engineered and optimized recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs).

Strong analytical skills combined with ingenuity, a passion for science and gene therapy as well as a robust background in gene delivery systems (especially, but not only, AAV-based) are required.

The individual will be responsible for hands-on experimental design, execution, data analysis and generating reports. S/he will lead a team of scientists and research associates.

Extensive prior hands-on expertise in molecular and cellular techniques, and significant experience with lead identification/optimization are required.



  • Experimental design and data analysis.
  • Lead a team of scientists. Ensure departmental goals and objectives are met and aligned to the broader organizational goals and objectives.
  • Design/development, potentially in collaboration with external partners, of novel tools and technologies that could be applied to optimize and further improve Spark’s gene transfer toolbox.  


  • Hands-on execution of experiments.


  • Write study reports, manuscripts and present results at appropriate scientific meetings. Generation of materials to update senior management regularly.


  • We are looking for an individual who is passionate about gene therapy and novel technologies.
  • Ability to design and implement scientific plans and working independently in the laboratory with minimal supervision.
  • In-depth expertise and strong laboratory skills with a diverse range of molecular biology techniques relevant to gene therapy based investigational products, including DNA cloning, construction of libraries, cell-based assays, quantitative PCR, microscopy and sterile cell culture.
  • Self-motivated to learn and develop new techniques, perform multiple tasks simultaneously, maintain accurate records, develop procedures, and comply with company policies.
  • Strong team player who works closely and effectively with colleagues.
  • Ability to multi-task and a thrive for working efficiently.
  • Knowledge of next-generation sequencing and AAV library generation is a plus.
  • Knowledge on immunology and cell signaling is a plus.
  • Knowledge of non-viral gene transfer systems is a plus.
  • Vector production and purification experience is a plus.
  • Knowledge on protein drug development is a plus.
  • Energetic and eager to manage multiple activities and priorities.
  • Dedication to quality in all work tasks and deliverables.
  • Comfortable with responsibilities in an entrepreneurial, fast–paced, start-up company environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage performance and talent.


  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline (biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, molecular virology).
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant hands-on experience in recombinant viral vectors or other relevant gene transfer tools is required.
  • Previous management or supervisory experience strongly preferred

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia

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