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HTPD Downstream Scientist

Date: Feb 22, 2021

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.



The downstream and formulation process development team is seeking a highly motivated and innovative process develop engineer to implement high-throughput process development (HTPD) technologies for downstream development. This is a unique opportunity to build key strategic capabilities, as Spark prepares to mature its gene therapy platform and support a growing pipeline. The position resides within the HTPD core of the Downstream and Formulation Process Development team.


A successful candidate will implement high-throughput experimental strategies to support chromatography development. Key responsibilities include:

  • Work with the HTPD core team to mature HTPD strategies and capabilities
  • Collaboration with downstream and formulation scientists to use the HTPD capabilities to advance both process technology and pipeline projects.
  • Statistical (eg multivariate) and/or fundamental (transport) modelling to efficiently utilize HTPD data across studies, projects, and viral serotypes
  • Keep experiments records and write reports to summarize data


Primary responsibilities will focus on the efficient utilization of HTPD techniques for downstream process development, including both technology and downstream project development. Secondary responsibilities include collaboration with the Automation and Data Science teams to implement new automation and data modelling tools, and HTPD support of formulation process development.


Essential to the role is strong fundamentals in chromatography and protein science. Strong quantitative skills are required to effectively utilize HTPD data in statistical (eg multivariate) and fundamental (eg transport) models of chromatography and viral degradation behavior. Proficiency in at least one computer language (especially python, MATLAB, or R) is required. Experience in statistical, numerical, or structural modelling is required. Strong communication skills will be important to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.  Experience with viral particles, chromatography development, and automation technologies (eg Tecan, Hamilton, or Unchained Labs liquid handlers) are preferred but not required.




30%       Develop and mature HTPD strategies for downstream process development. Design workflows for measurement of key chromatography parameters. Create key statistical and/or modelling capabilities to enable effective usage of HTPD data.


30%       Utilize HTPD strategies to support technology innovation and pipeline development. Membership on technology development or pipeline projects. Mentoring and training of downstream team members in effective experimental design, analysis, and interpretation.


25%       Collaboration with automation and data scientists to implement new automation and modelling tools.


15%       Effective communication of work through reports and presentations.




  • BS (+5years relevant experience), MS (+3 years relevant experience), or PhD (with relevant thesis work) in chemical engineering, bioengineering, biochemistry, or related area.
  • Expertise in chromatography and adsorption fundamentals
  • Experience with scientific computing for statistical (multivariate) or numerical modelling, with proficiency in at least one programming language (MATLAB, PYTHON, R preferred).



  • Experience with liquid handling systems (TECAN, Hamilton, Beckman)
  • Experience with downstream process development (chromatography, filtration) of biologics in the biopharma industry.
  • Experience with biophysical characterization (HPLC, DLS, etc)
  • Experience with viral vectors, especially adenosine associated virus (AAV)




  • Strong working knowledge of chromatography fundamentals
  • Strong quantitative analysis and programming skills
  • Creative, independent thinker with strong initiate to find new solutions
  • Ability to collaborate with coworkers with a wide range of backgrounds
  • Work to establish best practices for routine HTPD usage.
  • Mentor and advise other scientists to effectively leverage HTPD tools
  • Leverage HTPD tools to solve difficult technical challenges as a member on technical or project teams

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia