Principal Scientist, High Throughput Biology

Emeryville, CA
Oct 05, 2021
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
4D Molecular Therapeutics, Inc. (“4DMT”) is a clinical-stage gene therapy company pioneering the development of product candidates using targeted and evolved AAV vectors. 4DMT seeks to unlock the full potential of gene therapy using its platform, Therapeutic Vector Evolution, which combines the power of directed evolution with approximately one billion synthetic capsid sequences to invent evolved vectors for use in targeted gene therapy products. The company is initially focused in three therapeutic areas: ophthalmology, cardiology, and pulmonology. The 4DMT targeted and evolved vectors are invented with the goal of being delivered through clinically routine, well-tolerated and minimally invasive routes of administration, transducing diseased cells in target tissues efficiently, having reduced immunogenicity and, where relevant, having resistance to pre-existing antibodies. 4DMT is currently conducting three clinical trials: 4D-125 is in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for XLRP, 4D-110 is in a Phase 1 clinical trial for choroideremia and 4D-310 is in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for Fabry disease.

4DMT is focused on attracting and retaining the best people in the industry who identify with our mission and innovative results-driven approach. We offer an inspiring and collaborative environment that encourages individual contributions, recognizes performance in multiple ways, offers competitive salary and benefits, and provides challenging opportunities for career development.  4D Molecular Therapeutics is located in Emeryville, CA.

4DMT seeks a talented and motivated Principal Scientist to join our Innovation & Technology team.  This position will focus on assay development and high throughput biology.  Utilizing 96- and 384-well tissue culture models, combined with RT-qPCR, NGS, ELISA and image-based readouts, the Principal Scientist will play a key role in new capsid discovery, payload optimization and lead characterization.  Current and near-term future projects include:
·       Establishing gene editing and RNAi assays/screens in therapeutically relevant cell types
·       Screening-guided design of new promoters and engineered payloads in support of new disease indications.
·       Parallel characterization of hundred-to-thousands of AAV library screening hits, from AAV production properties through biological activity (payload delivery).   
  • Lab Activities: 50%
  • Assay development to enable gene editing screens (indel assays), RNAi (RT-qPCR and RNASeq), and promoter/payload engineering screens (cell-based readout), as well as AAV transduction assays
  • Develop automation and high throughout workflow as necessary
  • In collaboration with the Bioinfomatics team, perform real-time quality control of data to ensure robust results and refine/troubleshoot as needed. 
  • Collaboration, Design and Literature Review:  50%
  • Design new assays (InDel assays, ELISA, RT-qPCR, immunofluorescence), guided by prior experience, new ideas and collaborative discussion
  • In collaboration with the bioinformatics team, design new libraries (RNAi, CRISPR, promoter, payload) for screening
  • Attend and contribute to project and team meetings
  • Keep up-to-date with the literature, emerging commercial technologies and instrumentation, and conferences
  • Effectively mentoring junior level staff and acting as a resource for providing scientific expertise
  • Writing and editing preclinical study reports and preclinical sections in support of regulatory submissions
  • Other:
  • Other duties as assigned, nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time 

  • PhD in a relevant field
  • Experience:
  • 5+ years industry experience, including substantial hands-on wetlab work in 96+ well cell culture models
  • Demonstrated ability to train others in the successful execution of new assays and screens
  • Experience managing direct reports in an industry setting (preferred) or a substantial academic focus on mentoring students and teaching new techniques
  • Skills:
  • Ability to execute plate-based high throughput screens and pooled selections in a rigorous and reproducible manner (such as gene editing screens (indel assays), RNAi (RT-qPCR and RNASeq), and promoter/payload engineering screens (cell-based readout), as well as AAV transduction assays)
  • Successful demonstrated ability to conduct research with strong attention to detail and rigorous analysis and interpretation of data
  • Ability to handle large-scale (dozens of plates at a time) and parallel experiments in an organized and efficient manner
  • Ability to multi-task and support more than one project simultaneously
  • Highly organized and motivated; strong analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong work ethic, flexibility, and cooperative can-do attitude
  • Proven interest and ability to build a culture that embraces continuous learning, improvement, and innovation
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team-based environment; supportive of multiple viewpoints and approaches
  • Strong communication skills (both written and oral) with demonstrated ability to present ideas, information and data effectively via one on one discussions, team meetings, and external partnership interactions
  • Contribute to building a culture that embraces continuous learning, improvement, and innovation and encourages team members to expand their technical skill base and deepen their gene therapy expertise.
  • Physical Requirements:
  • In lab and lab support activities may require occasional maneuvering of items of 25 lbs. during operations and/or storage of consumables.
  • Prolonged periods of standing or sitting at the laboratory bench.
  • Must be willing to conform to the safety and social distancing practices established by 4DMT while on-site (4-5 days/week).
  • Since plate-based assays and screening require repetitive liquid handling, even with robotic assistance, the incumbent will be expected to adhere to safe lab practices to prevent repetitive motion injury. 
  • During COVID-19, this person will need to be in the lab up to five days a week
  • Adhere to 4DMT Covid protocols and policy

4DMT provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, status as a covered veteran and any other category protected under applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities