Research Associate 2, Experimental Virology

San Diego, CA
Salaried, negotiable according to experience and fit; package includes company stock options, as wel
May 11, 2018
No One Should Die of Cancer™
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Tocagen is a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene-therapy company focused on developing first-in-class, broadly applicable product candidates designed to activate a patient’s immune system against their own cancer from within.

Every member of our team plays a significant role in our success.  Tocagen hires individuals who share our passion for ending cancer mortality and have exceptional talent that will contribute to this goal.


The Research Associate 2 will be responsible, with minimal supervision, for the execution of tissue culture including handling of adherent and suspension cell culture ranging from 96-well plate scale to 10-layer cell stacks, performing transfection and transduction and subcloning. Specific duties include cell line development using GLP, in vitro experiments and assisting in the development of new assays to support product development needs.

Duties and Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Understands the goals of the R&D group and their relationship to strategic R&D and corporate goals and objectives. Develops personal goals and maintains strategies to meet such goals within set   timeframes.
  • As part of a team, plans collaborative cell line development and researches experiments; within defined procedures and practices; makes technical decisions that show good judgment and initiative.
  • Works on problems of defined scope with minimal supervision; identifies, analyzes, and interprets experimental results.
  • Prepares written reports of scientifically/technically complex experiments and participates in oral    presentations at the R&D meetings on all phases of laboratory and/or field experimental work.
  • Conducts experiments and prepares written reports conforming to defined documentation practices in support of regulatory filings and other company documents including well documented notebook.
  • Complies with the company safety policies and minimize risk to self, others and the environment, consistent with the community and industry standards.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Desired Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Mammalian tissue culture techniques including dilution cloning, transfection and transduction,
  • Competency in molecular biology techniques including DNA and RNA analyses (qPCR, RT-qPCR), immunoblotting, ELISA and flow cytometry.
  • Established knowledge of discipline including knowledge of protocols, scientific method and its applications, and use of specialized equipment, low pressure scalable purification systems preferred.
  • Demonstrated potential for technical proficiency and creativity, collaboration with others and independent thought.
  • Excellent verbal/written communication skills
  • Proficient computer skills including word processing, graphing, spreadsheet, and data base programs.
  • Demonstrated technical capability; enjoys working in a fast paced dynamic environment.
  • Flexible and cooperative spirit with strong commitment to team efforts.


Education and Experience:

  • B.S. or M.S in biology, biochemistry or related scientific discipline.
  • Minimum of 2 years of industrial experience with tissue culture.
  • Technical documentation experience is a plus.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties the employee is:

  • constantly required to sit, and to reach to use computers and other office equipment
  • occasionally stand for extended periods of time, up to four (4) hours/time.
  • occasionally required to lift up to 25 pounds
  • constantly required to view objects at close and distant ranges
  • frequently required to communicate with others
  • required to travel up to 30% of the time

    Note: For the purpose of this summary, occasionally is used to represent up to 1/3 of the time given to the work day, frequently represents 1/3 to 2/3 of the time and constantly represents 2/3 or more of the time.

    Work Environment:

    Employee frequently works in a professional office environment and computer lab with lots of computer equipment, machinery, tools, and moderate amounts of noise and activity. Employee may occasionally be exposed to fumes, airborne particles, toxic chemicals, vibration, and biohazardous materials. The work environment is fast-paced and demanding. This position has the utmost responsibility for compliance with the rules and regulations regarding a safe and healthy work environment relative to their actions and conduct. Off-shift, weekend and overtime duties may be required as assigned by the lead operator or manager.