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Senior Research Associate - Vector Production

Date: Jan 17, 2022

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 successful candidate’s primary responsibilities will be to execute and improve established protocols for production of pre-clinical grade rAAV vectors. 

The individual will participate in (but not be limited to):

•             Technically lead the AAV vector production, purification and characterization for use in vitro and in vivo functional assays and animal models

•             Execute upstream productions in either adherent cell culture in roller bottles (up to 200 per sublot) or suspension cell culture in bench bioreactors (up to 16L) 

•             Execute downstream purification by either chromatography or gradient centrifugation and subsequent final vector formulation

•             Assist in the development and optimization of rAAV manufacturing process

•             Maintain relevant laboratory supplies and equipment as needed

•             Additionally, the individual will contribute to the implementation of documentation to adequately support research grade rAAV vector manufacturing

•             As the SME, Address complex production process challenges by demonstrating and applying cross-functional knowledge, perform supporting studies as needed

This position requires:

•             In-depth knowledge of upstream cell culture processes and downstream chromatographic purifications

•             Extensive experience with viral production platforms

•             Good written and verbal communication skills and ability to work effectively in a team environment are required


•             Hands-on manufacture of AAV vectors including upstream virus production downstream purification and characterization of rAAV vectors

•             Perform routine calculations and maintain appropriate records

•             Maintain manufacturing equipment and records

•             Maintain laboratory safety procedures and compliance records

•             Prepare laboratory reagents/raw materials for the manufacturing of research and pre-clinical grade rAAV vectors


Education and Experience Requirements

•             B.S/M.S in Virology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering or a related discipline

•             Generally, has 5+ years of relevant working experience

•             Hands on knowledge with suspension cell culture is strongly preferred

•             Experience with protein/virus purification is a plus

•             Experience in industry under regulated environment is a plus

•             Proven ability to work independently and effectively plan and organize work activities and prioritize task completion to meet schedules and deadlines

•             Strict attention to details. Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills are required

•             Excellent personal communication skills

Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

•             Strong organizational skills

•             Excellent writing and verbal communication skills

•             Independently motivated, detail oriented and good problem-solving ability

•             Highly adaptable and comfortable in an environment with dynamic priority demands

•             Ability to multitask

•             Ability to analyze and troubleshoot experiments

•             Ability to work independently and as part of a team after initial training

•             Demonstrate independent problem solving skills of technical issues

•             Develop solutions to a variety of moderate to complex problems; discuss with supervisor and refer to policies/practices for guidance

•             Improve current standard practices when needed

•             Must be comfortable in the fast-paced, biotech start-up environment and interact with multi-disciplinary research teams at Spark

•             Exercise judgment within defined procedures and practices to determine appropriate action

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