Senior Principal Scientist, AAV Technology

San Diego, CA, US
Jul 08, 2021
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Imagine\u2026 2 weeks after the birth of your child you realize they aren't meeting critical developmental milestones and after months of doctor's appointments you are told your baby has a rare neurological disease that would impact how they would live their lives. This is the reality of parents whose children have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and it's the reason why we at Novartis Gene Therapies are laser focused on bringing hope and possibility to those devastated by rare genetic diseases.

The Senior Principal Scientist, AAV Technology, leads the Technology Team in the Gene Therapy Unit in NIBR Neuroscience to develop next generation AAV gene therapy clinical candidates for a range of therapeutic areas. This role reports to the Head of the Gene Therapy Unit in NIBR Neuroscience.

  • Liaisons extensively with collaborators and partners across Novartis to build and execute a world leading AAV gene therapy pipeline.
  • Visible and vocal spokesperson in driving the implementation of new technologies for AAV gene therapy.
  • Evaluates strategic external licensing opportunities.
  • Performs due diligence activities.
  • Provides leadership and strategy for new gene therapy platform technology development.
  • Leads and directs a team of talented scientists dedicated to engineering next generation AAV technologies by providing scientific, technical, and strategic direction.
  • Evaluates and implements innovative approaches to optimize viral vectors, transgenes, promoters, and gene expression cassettes to achieve specific targeting, robust efficacy, transduction and safety for a variety of pipeline programs.
  • Uses in vivo models to bridge next generation platform innovations to ensure clinical translatability.
  • Directs technical projects with external collaborators to drive innovative technology for AAV therapies.
  • Partners directly and extensively with teams across Novartis to plan, coordinate, and monitor the timely execution and completion of various research projects.
  • Presentation of data at external scientific presentations, conferences, and internal meetings.
  • Oversees the maintenance of accurate, comprehensible, and current laboratory notebooks.
  • Timely provision of data and documentation in reports to support intellectual property filings and regulatory submissions.
  • Supports regulatory submissions and interactions with the FDA around new products.
  • Other relates duties as assigned.

  • Advanced degree (PhD preferred) in Biology, cell biology, pharmaceutical sciences, or related field with relevant experience - Bachelor's with 12 years relevant experience or Master's with 10 or PHD with 8.
  • 5 years of experience managing and mentoring direct reports including PhD level scientists.
  • Outstanding collaboration skills required, as this is an extensive matrix collaboration role.
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience working in cross-functional teams.
  • Demonstrated AAV biology and gene therapy development expertise.
  • Expertise in AAV vector biology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, genetics or virology.
  • Demonstrated experience in the use of in vivo mouse models for viral vector development.
  • Specific laboratory experience desired includes, but is not limited to: culture of mammalian cells in cell culture, molecular biology including cloning and ddPCR, and protein expression.

The level of this position will be based on the final candidate's qualifications.

Why Novartis?

769 million lives were touched by Novartis medicines in 2020, and while we're proud of this, we know there is so much more we could do to help improve and extend people's lives. We believe new insights, perspectives and ground-breaking solutions can be found at the intersection of medical science and digital innovation. That a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment inspires new ways of working.

We believe our potential can thrive and grow in an unbossed culture underpinned by integrity, curiosity and flexibility. And we can reinvent what's possible, when we collaborate with courage to aggressively and ambitiously tackle the world's toughest medical challenges. Because the greatest risk in life, is the risk of never trying! Imagine what you could do here at Novartis!

Novartis Gene Therapies Benefit Summary:

Annual bonus, long term incentive, health insurance, paid vacation/holidays, potential flexible working arrangements (based on role) and an employee recognition program are available for this position, among many other benefits provided to employees of Novartis Gene Therapies.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Novartis Gene Therapies is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, sexual orientation or veteran status.