Postdoctoral Fellow - AAV Capsid Engineering

Date: May 20, 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 postdoctoral fellow for this position will be a key member of the Discovery Research group but will also work closely with the CNS (Neuroscience) Therapeutic Area and In vivo teams.  Specifically, the fellow will play a critical role in the isolation of capsid variants that have improved transduction of cells in the CNS of both small and large animal models.  The isolation of such variants will include selection of AAV variants that can achieve enhanced transduction either after simple systemic injection or with more experimental routes of vector administration.  Ultimately, the isolation of novel capsids that globally or regionally transduce cells of the CNS following intravenous injections of the AAV vectors, which will greatly facilitate the translation from in vitro through in vivo proof of concept and ultimately clinical evaluation. 


He/she/they will be responsible for:


  • Produce AAV capsid libraries necessary for this project.
  • Actively collaborate with the In vivo and CNS teams in the isolation of AAV capsid variants that transduce CNS cells upon systemic administration in both small and large animal models. The selection of CNS transducing AAV variants will be performed with both high complexity AAV libraries as well as computationally chosen AAV libraries using various routes of administration.
  • Actively collaborate with Genomic and Data Science, as well as the machine leaning groups to further enhance the power of using directed evolution to isolate AAVs with tailored properties.
  • Write study reports, manuscripts and present results at appropriate scientific meetings.


The postdoctoral fellow position requires experience with molecular biology and/or virology and basic knowledge of CNS research to collaborate effectively with the CNS therapeutic area:


  • Expertise in the design and construction of AAV/bacterial/phage libraries highly desirable.
  • Working knowledge in CNS research and in vivo models.
  • Basic knowledge in NGS and bioinformatics (in collaboration with experts in these fields) is a positive.
  • Familiarity with AAV gene therapy is desirable but not required.




% of Time

Job Function and Description


Design, characterize and validate novel AAV capsid libraries and select variants that can transduce cells of the CNS via different routes of administration. This includes executing experiments at the bench, analyzing results of in vivo studies, extensive literature review and identifying lead candidates for preclinical work.


Organize, record, and discuss experimental data (within the Capsid Engineering and CNS teams).


Generate technical reports, and drafts of manuscript(s). If possible, the postdoctoral fellow will also present her/his/their work as posters or oral presentation at scientific conferences, for instance at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.





  • PhD in a biological discipline.
  • Extensive experience in lab techniques such as plasmid design and construction, molecular cloning, qPCR, cell culture, ELISA, plate-based luciferase and/or enzymatic activity assays, SDS-PAGE/Western blotting, etc. is required.  
  • Familiarity with NGS and bioinformatics is preferred but not required.

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