Senior Scientist, AAV Virology

San Diego, CA, US
Sep 16, 2021
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time


Over 900+ clinical trials validate that gene therapies are transforming the practice of medicine. As a Process Scientist for AAV early pipeline process development, you will have an opportunity to join the NIBR Biologics Center (NBC) and be at the cutting edge, leading the development of innovative medicines that can improve lives of patients.

NBC builds the biologics pipeline in collaboration with NIBR Disease Areas and Platforms via a breadth of technologies for discovery of antibody, protein and gene therapy-based therapeutics. The Biotherapeutic Engineering and Gene Therapy (BEGT) group within NBC drives a diverse portfolio of modalities including therapeutic proteins, multi-specific antibodies, CAR-T, RNA therapeutics and rAAV. Through cell and viral engineering as well as innovative and rational protein design, the BEGT group is a global team that works collaboratively with disease area groups to broaden the use of biologics into therapeutic applications where conventional antibodies have limitations.

The Senior Scientist, AAV Virology, is part of the NBC/BEGT Next Generation AAV (NGA) group and is responsible to lead and contribute to the development of innovative medicines for patients devastated by rare diseases in collaboration with partners across the global Novartis research and development network.

  • Lead and participate in research efforts to develop safer and more potent AAV vectors in areas including, but not limited to, AAV capsid evolution and engineering, reduction of immune response, circuit engineering, and strategies for high throughput optimization of AAVs.
  • Oversee & lead AAV capsid and vector engineering programs and enable translation from in vitro/in vivo POC studies to therapeutic disease programs for preclinical development.
  • Initiate, lead and contribute to interdisciplinary research programs in a highly collaborative and matrixed manner across internal groups and with external partners.
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts and protocols, adhering to the good research practices and quality culture across NIBR. Present results at appropriate internal and external meetings and conferences.
  • Contributes to maintaining a safe laboratory environment and quality work practices.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

  • Bachelor's degree with 8 years relevant experience, Master's with 6 years relevant experience or PHD with 4 years relevant experience.
  • Advanced training in AAV virology, synthetic biology, gene therapy, bioinformatics, molecular/cell biology, or related scientific field.
  • Demonstrated expertise in AAV capsid evolution and optimization, AAV genome engineering, genomics & epigenomics fields and nucleic acid technologies and tools, including library generation, short/long-read and single cell-based next generation sequencing and characterization.
  • Experiences in transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms, genome editing (e.g. CRISPR), nonviral gene therapy, sh/miRNA biology, and/or analytical/process development for AAV production are highly desired.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across a dynamic and collaborative scientific and development environment.
  • Adaptability to emerging project/group needs, excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong publication, patent and external presentation record is preferred.
  • Previous experience as a team leader and/or matrix management are preferred.
  • Experience and familiarity with neuromuscular, cardiovascular, liver, and/or lung diseases are a plus.

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.