Lead Immunology and Assay Scientist

New York, New York
Jun 21, 2022
Pharm Country
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Helaina is a VC-backed biotech startup creating a new category of functional food products. We're the first company to put human proteins into food, starting with making the most human-like infant formula in order to empower and equip parents with more choice in their infant’s nutrition.

Helaina’s R&D harnesses the power of naturally occurring biological processes in tandem with modern advances in the space of synthetic biology, fermentation, and improved industrial processing. We developed a novel precision fermentation platform to unlock a suite of functional proteins, which allows us to create infant formula with health benefits previously only available through breast milk.

Helaina is backed by top VCs in the industry including Spark Capital, Siam Capital, Primary Venture Partners, and Plum Alley. We are a team of change-makers looking for our next team member who is intensely passionate about advancing synthetic biology for food and beverage products and redefining the future of nutrition. 

In this role, you will work in our NYC lab to understand the immunomodulatory mechanisms of infant formula ingredients. The successful candidate will be a hands-on, motivated self-starter with a strong sense of initiative. You will be responsible for contributing directly to Helaina’s company milestones by designing, performing, and troubleshooting experiments for the Clinical Assay team’s objective of understanding the immunomodulatory properties of infant nutrition ingredients. You will also be responsible for managing other scientists. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is hungry to work in a startup environment and ready to do the best work of your career.
Primary responsibilities (Develop and troubleshoot cell-based assays to assess immunomodulatory function infant formula and ingredients):
  • Using immunological, cellular, and molecular principles and techniques including primary lymphocyte isolation and culture, mammalian cancer cell lines, multicolor flow cytometry, FACS, RNA isolation, quantitative PCR, multiplex ELISA/Luminex.
  • Sorting primary T cells based on biomarkers e.g. CD4+ CD25+ etc.
  • Quantitative assessment of pro-inflammatory, regulatory and anti-inflammatory levels of cytokines through in-vitro and ex-vivo cell assays.
  • Data analytics using PRISM, FACS analysis, FlowJo and Luminex softwares.
  • Handling of ex-vivo samples not limited to urine, blood, saliva, spleen in a BSL2 aseptic environment.
  • Design and execution of Natural killer cell based mechanistic assays
  • Evaluating IgE responses from serum samples

Who you are:
  • PhD in Immunology or related discipline with 5-10 years of industry experience in neonatal immunology
  • Experience with tight junction assays
  • Background knowledge of T cells and their role in T cell mediated autoimmune disease.
  • Strong background in neonatal immunology especially innate immunity.
  • Skilled in cell culture and experience with in-vitro functional assays using human primary immune cells is highly desirable
  • Prior applied experience with macrophages and macrophage based cell lines.
  • Strong background in innate immune system, T helper cell responses, phagocytosis, autoimmune responses.
  • Energetic, creative, and personally motivated by the future of food and/or biological products.
  • Effective communicator, both within a collaborative scientific team and in communicating science to non-technical audiences

Helaina is an Equal Opportunity Employer 
For more information, please contact careers@myhelaina.com