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Senior Research Associate, Upstream Process Development

Sana Biotechnology
Cambridge, MA
Start date
Aug 13, 2022

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Engineering, Manufacturing & Production, Process
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Genetown, NextGen Bio
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Job Details

About the role

Sana Biotechnology is growing, and we are hiring new team members who believe in the potential of engineered cells as medicines, who want to challenge status quo, and who lead with the desire to work on novel ideas. As a Senior Research Associate, you will report to a Senior Scientist in Upstream Process Development to design, scale up, and implement processes for our in vivo gene therapy programs. You will also work with team members across the process development pipeline to establish and optimize Sana’s novel viral vector manufacturing modality.  Through this role you will build expertise in the biology and manufacturing of viral vectors while gaining hands-on exposure to the broader processes of drug development in the biopharmaceutical space.

What you'll do
  • Develop robust industrialized platforms and Phase 1 processes for manufacturing novel viral vectors in support of Sana’s various gene therapy programs
  • Identify, optimize, and characterize upstream process parameters critical to the production of viral vectors
  • Utilize design-of-experiments (DoE) to create and execute studies investigating the impact of process parameters on yield and product quality attributes
  • Evaluate and implement next-generation technologies facilitating the manufacture of viral vectors
  • Collaborate with colleagues to draft critical documentation such as batch records, sampling plans, and development reports
  • Maintain an efficiently functioning bioprocess lab by assisting with equipment maintenance, critical inventory management, and routine organizational tasks
What we're looking for
  • Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering, or related field plus 4 years industry experience OR MS plus one to two years of industry experience OR equivalent combination of education and work experience
  • Practical experience with standard micro-/molecular biology laboratory techniques and instrumentation (g. micro- and serological pipetting, benchtop centrifugation, use of plate-readers and automated cell counters, PCR, electrophoresis, etc.)
  • Understanding of standard chemistry techniques such as pH/conductivity titration, dissolution, filtration, etc.
  • Hands-on experience with routine small-scale (e. flask- or plate-based) cell culture
  • Demonstrated understanding of aseptic technique (g. proper operations within a biosafety cabinet) and working within a BSL1 (or higher) laboratory environment
What will separate you from the crowd
  • Hands-on experience with controlled bioreactor processes at 1 – 1000 L scale and associated operations (g. sensor calibration, PID tuning, sterile welding, liquid transfers)
  • Working knowledge of statistical comparisons tests, DoE methods for study design, and propagation of error/uncertainty
  • Experience with gene therapy or viral vector development
What you should know
  • This is a lab-based role, with occasional work outside of typical business hours or on weekends. Some travel may be required for tech transfer/CMO-related activities.
  • Lifting or movement of bioprocess equipment/consumables up to 20 kg
  • Working safely in person on a predictable and regular in-person basis is an essential job function for this position, and the Company requires that all individuals working in-person be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including receipt of a vaccine booster shot if recommended by the CDC. The successful candidate will also be expected to abide by all process and lab-specific PPE regulations while conducting experiments

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, employer paid basic life insurance,  additional voluntary life insurance protection, financial wellness programs including financial planning resources, a 401(k) Plan with an immediately vested employer match, Tuition Reimbursement and Student Loan Repayment, 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, social class (including caste/caste identity), 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.


Sana Biotechnology, Inc. is focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines for patients. We share a vision of repairing and controlling genes, replacing missing or damaged cells, and making our therapies broadly available to patients. We are a team of 320 plus scientists, engineers, clinicians and biotechnology veterans creating an enduring company that makes meaningful medicines and changes how we approach treating disease. Sana has operations in Seattle, Cambridge, and South San Francisco.

Find Us
188 East Blaine Street, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98102
United States
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