Research Associate II (in vivo)
We are a gene therapy company changing lives with every genetic advancement.
Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio) is a leading, clinical-stage gene therapy company founded in 2001 based on the work of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy visionary and pioneer, Jude Samulski, PhD. Since that time, our commitment to developing life-saving medicines that cure genetic diseases has never wavered.
As the only end-to-end gene therapy company in the industry, we’ve built a foundation of therapeutic programs, AAV manufacturing and a rich portfolio of patented technology. Our therapeutic focus includes neuromuscular, central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases with clinical trials underway for Pompe disease, Parkinson’s disease and congestive heart failure. Our gene therapy platform includes Pro10™, an industry-leading proprietary cell line manufacturing process, and an extensive AAV capsid and promoter library.
We became a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Bayer AG in late 2020 as a cornerstone of its newly formed Cell & Gene Therapy Platform. Our global headquarters are in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, a thriving biotechnology hub, and we maintain additional research and development operations in Scotland and France and gene therapy manufacturing in Spain.
We have an opportunity for a Research Associate II (in vivo) to join the AskBio team in our Research Triangle Park (Durham), NC location and be part of our continued success!
About the role
This position will report to the Group Leader for in vivo biology (IVB) and conduct experimental bench work and provide technical expertise in the development of rAAV gene therapy clinical candidate vectors.
The Research Associate is expected to contribute to the function of the in vivo biology (comparative medicine) team. IVB has responsibility for executing in vivo work related to rAAV vector evaluation and development and characterization of the animal disease models. IVB contributes to the delivery of the lead and back-up clinical candidate vectors for various indications. Areas of interest to AskBio include CNS, neuromuscular, liver systemic and liver metabolic rare diseases. Therapeutic strategies may include gene replacement, gene knock down, gene modulation and combinations of those approaches.
Therapeutic modality is rAAV, thus experience working with rAAV vectors is highly preferred. The associate will be well versed in tail vein injections, orbital vein injections, hydrodynamic injections, temporal vein injections, colony breeding, necropsies, blood and tissue collection and processing. Aseptic surgical experience in vascular cannulations is desired for delivery of the rAAV vectors to specific target tissues/organs. Experience is highly desired in vector biodistribution studies, dose-ranging studies and functional in vivo readouts, including behavioral studies, biomarkers and other efficacy readouts.
Responsibilities & Accountabilities
- Develop and maintain relationships with key internal leaders and organizations, collaborating laboratories and CROs
- Collaborate with capsid development group in R&D and aid in characterization of the novel AAV capsids
- Assist in animal husbandry
- Perform all study procedures, including animal handling, daily observations, sample collections (for example, blood draws and processing), necropsies (and tissue processing, anesthesia and other duties
- Perform vector injections, including tail vein, orbital vein, temporal vein, injections into CSF, intramuscular injections, and other procedures. Knowledge and expertise in surgical vascular cannulations a plus as some projects will require minor surgery to deliver the vector to the target organ/tissue
- Maintain comprehensive understanding of scientific advances related to rAAV vectors and transfer appropriate information to the direct manager for business-related or product development purposes
- Report all observations and study deviations to the supervisor
- Working knowledge of biostatistics is highly desired
- Ensure high quality, reproducibility and timeliness of results
- Serve as a representative on cross-disciplinary teams
- Contribute to/author study reports, study protocols, SOPs and regulatory filings
- Excellent communication skills and work well in a group work environment
- Contribute to technical discussions and investigations within the cross-disciplinary program and project teams
- Detailed and organized
- MS with 2 (BS with 3-5) years of progressive post-degree experience in gene therapy, vaccines or complex biologics (in order of preference)
- Direct experience with characterization of rAAV gene therapy products is highly desired. Working knowledge of biostatistics
- Ability to develop rAAV products, regardless of the therapeutic area, by collaborating with the subject matter experts in research, translational, clinical and regulatory organizations
- Ability to multi-task among projects and teams and work independently in a fast-paced, highly interactive environment
- Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively with people, internally and externally is required
- Must be self-motivated, organized, capable of working independently, as well as in a collaborative/group environment
- Should possess strong oral and written communication skills
- Good judgment and innovation to achieve a solution within standard practices and procedures
- Experience with global teams, especially Spanish and French speaking, a plus
- Experience working in cross-functional teams with a mindset of innovation and collaboration
- Post-doctoral training in bioanalytics a plus
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