Scientist, Synthetic Biology

South San Francisco
Sep 28, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

About the role

You will contribute to innovating, developing, and testing a repertoire of genetic circuits and functional payloads in the context of cell and gene therapy. This bench scientist will join a safety strategies team focused on developing innovative methods and genetic payloads for regulated cell killing (e.g., safety switches). You should be passionate about adapting existing methods and developing cutting edge technologies to enhance the safety of our therapies and contribute to Sana's pipeline. You will report to the Senior Scientist, Safety Strategies and collaborate with Research, Technology Sciences, Technical Operations and Development Sciences to design, engineer, and test safety switches in vitro and in vivo that are focused on direct applications to therapeutic programs. 

What you’ll do

  • Develop, implement, and optimize functional payloads for regulated cell killing in engineered pluripotent stem cells and lentiviral-based gene therapy vectors with appropriate experimental controls under manager supervision; this may include designing and testing new biological circuits to detect cues from the cell’s environment by leveraging novel promoters and switchable protein or RNA components.
  • Develop PCR-based and flow cytometry assays to measure editing efficiency, payload expression and function. Demonstrate PoC of method/assay through literature and/or benchmark data with appropriate controls and test samples
  • Design under manager supervision in vitro and in vivo testing strategies with go/no decision criteria to prove out payload efficacy and safety in partnership with our pharmacology and toxicology team
  • Collaborate closely with Analytical Genomics and Computational Biology to develop methods and analyze data for payload testing
  • Document protocols in a traceable and detail-oriented manner that can be rolled-out across the company. Write up experimental results in an electronic lab notebook, maintain good lab notebook procedures, and ensure data and reports are properly stored in LIMS
  • Present results on a regular basis at the Safety strategies and Technology Sciences group meetings
  • Communicate to a broad audience with a range of technical, analytical, and biological expertise

What we’re looking for

  • Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Synthetic Biology, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering or related discipline with a minimum of 2 years of directly related experience in academia or the biotech/pharmaceutical industry
  • Direct hands-on experience with gene and genome editing such as CRISPR-Cas9 or equivalent, lentiviral biology and/or gene therapy vector and payload design
  • Knowledge of molecular biology techniques for cloning and gene circuit assembly such as MoClo, Golden Gate or Gibson assembly
  • Expertise in multi-color panel flow cytometry
  • Expertise in synthetic biology and mammalian cell culture
  • Hands-on experience with regulating protein expression (e.g. promoter design and/or screening)
  • Working knowledge of qPCR and/or ddPCR
  • Data analysis in FlowJo and graphing in Prism or Excel
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills for technical and non-technical audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to work in cross-functional teams as a strong team player as well as independently

What will separate you from the crowd

  • Experience with engineering of safety switches
  • Experience working with stem cells including differentiation
  • Experience in high throughput screening methods
  • Working knowledge of NGS methods

What you should know

  • Working safely on a predictable and regular basis is an essential job function for this position and the Company requires that all individuals, subject to certain exceptions, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

How we work together

  • Lead from every seat – we seek to understand, act with honesty, and engage in the crucial conversations
  • Thrive as a team – we hire amazing people, are intensely curious, and cultivate inclusion and personal connectivity
  • Make it happen – we value vigorous debate, alignment around our decisions, and resilient execution

Get to know us

At Sana, we believe that a diverse workforce strengthens us as a company and helps us to achieve our mission to meaningfully change the outcome of many human diseases. This belief is a pillar of our business and is critical to our success. Our goal is that Sana is the place for talented people to bring their authentic selves to work, to have a great career and to deeply, positively impact patients.

Core to our values, we believe there is nothing more important than the health and wellness of you and your family. For benefit eligible employees, we cover 100% of the cost for employee health coverage and offer generous time-off, parental leave, short- and long-term disability, financial wellness programs, a 401(k) Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, commuter subsidy and a variety of wellness offerings to support each person individually.

We are committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental or sensory disability (including the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability), genetic information, actual or perceived HIV or Hepatitis C infection, medical condition (cancer or a record or history of cancer and genetic characteristics), marital status, sexual orientation, sexual preference, pregnancy (including childbirth and related medical conditions), disability, veteran status, political ideology, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

To perform this job successfully, you must be able to perform each job responsibility satisfactorily. The job description listed above is representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required for this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions described above.