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PreClinical Histopathology Lead- CNS, Ocular

Date: Mar 30, 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.


Primary Duties

This individual will have primary responsibility for designing and executing histopathological studies aiming to evaluate histopathological changes in CNS and ocular tissue after administration of genetic therapies. This individual will, in time, establish a small team dedicated to carrying our histopathological studies and will be responsible for building capacity to evaluate biodistribution of gene therapy vectors in different species. This Lead will also be charged with expanding the organization’s capacity for using imaging technologies (PET, MRI) to evaluate neurodegenerative processes as well as the modulation of those processes after treatment. This position will require deep subject matter expertise, as well as the ability to manage and contribute to diverse cross-functional teams.





% of Time


Job Function and Description



Analysis of histological specimens


Preparation of study reports or otherwise communicating and/or presenting results


Management of staff and operations



Manage a team to achieve business goals and objectives.

  • Foster Spark’s Culture.  Role model the Spark Values. Create an environment where team members thrive by living our truths, always in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Emphasize to employees that “how” they achieve performance objectives is just as important as “what” they accomplish.
  • Hire & Integrate.  Know what skills, experiences and capabilities are needed to achieve current and future business goals. Take an active role in attracting and selecting talent who are inspired by our Mission, Vision and Values.  Consciously create a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skill sets and perspectives.  Help new team members successfully integrate into Spark so they can actively contribute and add value as quickly as possible.
  • Manage performance.   Ensure every team member knows what is expected of them, what it takes to be successful, and how they are progressing.  Provide team members with continuous and on-going performance feedback, holding everyone accountable to achieve results while demonstrating the Spark Values. Help team members understand how their work contributes to the overall success of Spark by continuously communicating priorities, decisions and changes; adjusting goals as needed.
  • Develop people.   Understand each individual team member’s career goals. strengths and motivators.  Partner with your employees to identify areas for development, conduct coaching conversations regularly and provide guidance on ways to develop through on the job experiential learning and stretch opportunities.


Education and Experience Requirements


  • PhD, MD or DVM in pathology, neuropathology or a closely related field
  • 8+ years of related work experience in an academic or industry setting
  • Generally 2+ years of management experience
  • Extensive experience in histopathology of neurodegenerative and/or ocular disease
  • Strong publication record in neuroscience and/or neurodegeneration
  • Demonstrated success in mentoring students/postdocs or research associates
  • The ability to work independently and to manage multiple projects in diverse CNS and ocular disease indications



The following are desirable but not required:

  • Experience in in vivo imaging technologies (PET/MRI)
  • Experience in pre-clinical gene therapy studies (viral vectored and/or non-viral delivery mechanisms)
  • Familiarity with neurosurgical techniques including stereotaxic surgery



Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies


Neuropathology; ability to identify and characterize pathologic changes in the brain of multiple species; deep knowledge of CNS cell types (neurons, astrocytes, microglia etc) and ability to use histological techniques to identify those cells in CNS tissues

Ocular pathology; ability to identify and characterize pathologic changes in the eye of multiple species, in particular non-human primates. Familiarity with retinal cell types including RPE, photoreceptors, Muller cells and ganglion cells.

Histology; experience in performing and analyzing histological specimens from CNS and ocular tissues of multiple species




Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia