Senior Research Associate / Associate Scientist - Translational Medicine

Nkarta Inc
South San Francisco, CA, United States
Nov 11, 2020
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Associate Degree
Position Type
Full time
Senior Research Associate / Associate Scientist - Translational Medicine

Founded at the birthplace of biotechnology, Nkarta's mission is to discover, develop and deliver novel off-the-shelf (e.g. allogeneic) natural killer (NK) cell therapies that profoundly impact patients' outcomes and survival . The company is based on the proprietary, robust and well-characterized NK cell expansion technology pioneered by Dr. Dario Campana. Nkarta is focused on leveraging the inherent power of NK cells to identify and kill abnormal cells and recruit adaptive immune effectors to generate responses that are deep and durable.

Nkarta combines its NK cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies to generate an abundant supply of NK cells, engineer enhanced NK cell recognition of tumor targets, and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body for the treatment of cancer.

Founded in 2015, Nkarta became a public company (Nasdaq symbol NKTX) in 2020. Our development pipeline of engineered NK cell therapy candidates consists of two co-lead programs, NKX101 and NKX019. The IND for NKX101 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory AML and higher-risk MDS was accepted by the FDA in July 2020. We expect to begin dosing patients in this study by the end of 2020. As we broaden the development of NKX101, we also plan to initiate studies in solid tumors. Our second co-lead program, NKX019, is designed to target B cell lymphomas. We plan to file our IND for NKX019 with the FDA in early 2021. In addition, we recently completed the construction of a GMP compliant clinical manufacturing facility in our South San Francisco location designed to produce viral vector and supply our initial clinical trials.

Position Title Senior Research Associate / Associate Scientist - Translational Medicine

Location South San Francisco, CA

Reports to Scientist 2

Position Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated Research Associate/Senior Research Associate to join our translational medicine team. The ideal candidate will interact closely with group leaders, scientists, and research associates to drive forward the translational strategy for CAR-NK clinical programs.

Key Responsibilities
  • Optimizes flow cytometry panels to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of NK cell therapies
  • Develops and executes human in vitro functional immune assays
  • Generates stable recombinant cell lines and master cell banks for translational studies
  • Performs molecular biology techniques such as PCR, IHC, and ELISA

Position Requirements
  • Experience running and analyzing multi-color flow cytometry assays
  • Experience developing and optimizing in vitro functional assays and generating recombinant mammalian cell lines
  • Meticulous and detail oriented with excellent organizational skills
  • Strong verbal and written skills including drafting SOPs and documentation
  • Embodies the company culture of empowerment, diversity, and inclusion

  • Experience isolating and culturing human immune cell subsets
  • Experience with PCR, IHC, or ELISA assay development
  • Flexible, adaptable, and willing to learn new tasks

Education / Background
  • Masters degree in Cell Biology, Immunology, or related discipline or BSc. degree with a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience

Work Environment / Physical Demands

This position requires the ability to occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities for this job include close vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. The common requirements of an office environment (computers, computer screens, workstations, etc.) apply when not working in or around the laboratory environment. Car and airplane travel might be requirement of this role.

About Nkarta

The 70+ team members at our South San Francisco, California headquartered location describe working at Nkarta, along with opportunities for improvement, in some of the following ways:

"Work is interesting - lots of projects in the pipeline (so I don't have to worry about the one project failing). Leadership is open, straight forward."

"Smart, capable, nice people. People I work with day to day are enjoyable."


"I like that the company is open minded with a (people) -(looking for) a set of skills that can grow (as opposed to thinking you have to have exactly what's in a job spec now) Things that broaden their (employees) skills and growth."

"Like any startup there are fires to put out; feel confident we have the people to control those fires."

"Diverse people from different backgrounds."

To learn more about our work at Nkarta and the career opportunities that will drive us forward to serve patients, please visit the company's website at