Principal Research Associate, Cell Technology

South San Francisco, CA, United States
Mar 24, 2021
Science/R&D, Research
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Sana Biotechnology seeks a highly motivated and experienced Principal Research Associate with experience in genome engineering, synthetic biology and pluripotent stem cell/primary cell culture to join our team developing engineered cells as medicines. As part of the Safety Strategies team, the qualified candidate will contribute to our work engineering genetic circuits as safety switches in our cell therapies for Research and process development. Furthermore, the candidate will characterize stable cell lines using existing phenotypic assays, as well as developing new assays. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability to work effectively with experts in cell and molecular biology to design studies, analyze and interpret data. The candidate will collaborate with teams throughout the company to design and engineer safety switches to meet project needs. This work will require experience in cell culture, gene editing, molecular biology and excellent collaboration and communication skills.

  • Cell culture/engineering
    • Design and implement strategies to produce engineered cells through standard techniques including gene editing, homology directed repair (HDR), viral transgenesis and clonal cell expansion
    • Generate engineered pluripotent cell lines with safety switches using a range of current techniques for gene repression, transgene expression, and synthetic cis-regulation.
    • Characterize the genotype of engineered cells by applying and developing molecular biology assays
  • Characterization of engineered cells
    • Use molecular biology tools to assess the performance of new vector designs Utilize standard genomic and functional readouts to confirm gene editing of desired cell lines including amplicon sequencing, western-blotting, ELISA, flow-cytometry, imaging
    • Perform detailed mechanistic studies to characterize the behavior of engineered cells in phenotypic assays to determine cell killing in vitro
  • Organization & communication
    • Maintain excellent electronic lab notebook records of protocols and experimental details
    • Participate in team meetings and provide regular oral and written communication on projects and milestones to relevant cross-functional project teams and at department meetings
    • Stay up to date on current literature in the stem cells and synthetic biology fields.


Basic Qualifications
  • BS/MS in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, or a related discipline
  • BS+6 years or MS+4 years of laboratory work experience in an academic or industry setting
  • Extensive hands-on experience with the culture of mammalian cell lines with demonstrated competence in sterile cell culture technique and standard laboratory procedures
  • Experience culturing and editing different mammalian cell types including human iPSCs, immortalized cells, and primary cells.
  • Knowledge of multi-color flow cytometry principles and flow cytometry data analysis
  • Expertise in molecular biology, with hands-on skills in primer design, PCR, molecular cloning, qPCR, ddPCR, DNA and RNA isolation/purification/quality control
  • Familiarity with cellular biology techniques including immunostaining, imaging, image analysis, western blot
  • Working knowledge of DoE methods for experimentation and statistical analysis
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in teams
  • Excellent communication, documentation, and presentation skills
  • The candidate should be a team player, highly organized and demonstrate curiosity and scientific rigor with excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to engage in crucial conversations - providing and receiving feedback

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience working with engineered nucleases (CRISPR/Cas9, ZFN, TALENs) for gene editing
  • Familiarity with techniques for gene delivery including viral vectors (lenti, AAV, &/or adenovirus), homologous recombination, and piggy-bac transposases
  • Familiarity with Electronic Lab Notebooks

  • Carrying, handling and reaching for objects up to 25 lbs
  • Prolonged standing and/or sitting
  • Exposure to hazardous/toxic/dangerous chemicals
  • Manual dexterity required to operate office and lab equipment