Ph.D. level NK cell molecular Scientist

San Diego, California
Based on experience
Apr 23, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Position Summary

ONK Therapeutics is an innovative cell therapy company dedicated to the development of best in class, off-the-shelf/allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK) cell therapies for patients suffering from both hematologic and solid tumors. The company’s innovative approach to CAR therapy harnesses the innate biology of NK cells, whose function is further optimized through additional genetic engineering of the cells to improve their cytotoxicity and their function, even in the hostile tumor micro-environment.  It is widely postulated that CAR therapy based on NK cells will be capable of overcoming some of the shortcomings that have been experienced with CAR therapy using conventional cytotoxic T cells.  ONK therapeutics has further developed a dual-targeting approach to enhance activity of CAR-NK cells along several fronts.

We are seeking a talented scientist who would help initiate and develop several of the cell therapy programs.  He/she will be responsible for establishing strategies, techniques and approaches in support of consolidating current NK cell therapy programs and developing next generation ideas and products.  The individual will develop and implement approaches to assess the phenotype, function, potency, and functional attributes of unmodified and engineered NK cells.   Experience with novel cellular technologies, especially experience with approaches for CAR-based modification and gene editing of primary NK cells is important.  Experience in in vivo evaluation of CAR-based cell therapy modalities in an oncology setting would be a plus.

Essential Functions

·        Develop, execute and document strategies for isolating and modifying NK cells from primary sources.

·        Demonstrate exceptional skills at isolating and handling NK cells.

·        Has extensive cell culture experience that includes handling of primary effector cells

·        Demonstrate exceptional skills at understanding and designing CARs and CAR-based modification of NK cells using viral or non-viral based methods.

·        Has extensive experience with CRISPR/Cas based gene editing.  NK cell experience would be preferred in this context.

·        Experienced in vivo researcher who is able to plan out and execute oncology-targeting experiments in mice models.


Education/Experience Requirements

·        Possession of a PhD and 2 years of post-doctoral experience in one of the following disciplines:   cancer immunology, immunology or cell biology or related field.

·        Prior experience with cellular therapies is important.  Experience with developing lymphocyte-based cell therapies, especially in an industry setting would be preferred.

·        Significant experience with both liquid and solid tumor mouse model development  and interrogation with anti cancer modalities to generate and present in vivo efficacy data.

·        Ability to be flexible, innovative and highly organized to work quickly and efficiently in a growing biotech start-up environment is necessary

Required Competencies – Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

·        Experience in different techniques used in molecular biology, immunology and cancer cell biology for characterizing native and modified lymphocytes for product development.

·        Knowledge and experience selecting and planning proof of concept studies in different cancer models both in vitro and in vivo are desired.

·        Competent in various routes of administration such as intravenous tail vein, intraperitoneal and intratumor

·        Experience with isolation and culturing of lymphocytes from various sources is necessary.

·        Significant experience with working in a team setting.

·        Well organized and has good experience in designing and documenting protocols and data generated from them in an industry setting

Location and address:

ONK Therapeutics Inc.

      3210 Merryfield Row,

      San Diego, California, 92121