Preclinical Principal Histopathologist, Veterinary Pathologist

Date: May 13, 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.



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 provide guidance to the Histopathology Core group at Spark and will help design and oversee studies evaluating biodistribution of gene therapy vectors in different species. This Principal Histologist 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.




  • Analysis of histological specimens
  • Preparation of study reports or otherwise communicating and/or presenting results. Interaction with CROs handling Spark projects.
  • Management of operations


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
  • Strong understanding and experience in histopathology of neurodegenerative and/or ocular disease
  • Strong publication record in pathology/histopathology
  • Demonstrated success in mentoring students/postdocs or research associates
  • The ability to work independently and to manage multiple projects in diverse 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
  • Familiarity with ocular surgical techniques including subretinal and intravitreal injection
  • Strong understanding of histology techniques including immunohistochemistry.


Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies


  • Neuropathology; ability to identify and characterize pathologic changes in the central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS) of multiple species; deep knowledge of CNS and PNS cell types (neurons, astrocytes, microglia etc) and ability to use histological techniques to identify those cells in CNS tissues. Good familiarity with current terminology applied to morphologic changes.
  • Ocular pathology; ability to identify and characterize pathologic changes in the eye of multiple species. Familiarity with ocular anatomy and histology, including retinal cell types including RPE, photoreceptors, Muller cells and ganglion cells as well as species specific differences in ocular anatomy and histology.
  • Histology; experience in performing and analyzing histological specimens from CNS and ocular tissues of multiple species. Knowledge of trimming approaches, histologic fixation, processing and staining techniques (including histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and in situ hybridization).



Complexity and Problem Solving


  • The candidate will contribute to teams working on various projects and will use his/her expertise to help that team make decisions. The candidate’s expertise as a histopathologist and scientist will contribute to decisions about the safety and efficacy of clinical candidates and approaches to treatment, and/or to approaches to evaluation and investigation.


Other Job Requirements

  • Ability to be on-site in Philadelphia 2-3 days per week.
  • Ability to travel occasionally to CRO performing Spark studies (<10% of time).





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.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia