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Principal Scientist, Structural Biology, Moderna Genomics

Moderna, Inc.
Cambridge, MA
Start date
Mar 25, 2023

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Science/R&D, Biology, Biotechnology, Genomics
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Genetown, Best Places to Work

Job Details

The Role:

As part of our vision, Moderna is committed to invest in R&D to further expand our impact on patients. We are building an independent research and business unit for genomic medicines, called Moderna Genomics (mGx) based in Technology Square, Cambridge, MA.mGx is an innovation engine for the company focused on discovering and delivering the next generation of in vivo gene editing and nonviral gene therapies and our ultimate vision is to enable Personalized Gene Editing.

Moderna Genomics has an exciting opening for a discovery-focused Structural Biologist to engineer to innovate and optimize novel gene editing systems at mGx, as part of the Protein Engineering and Structural Biology group. The mission of the Protein Engineering and Structural Biology group is to create the foundational platform of functional tools designed to enable all aspects of RNA based Genomic Medicines, for example, engineering and optimization of novel CRISPR nucleases and editors for use in gene editing therapies. We leverage advanced computational tools and methods and in silico prediction with strong deep expertise in protein structure and functions. The candidate will have the ability to drive the engineering of novel technologies in genome medicines.

The ideal candidate will have expertise in biophysical characterization (e.g., X-ray crystallography, Cryo-EM, single-molecular assay); rational/structural-guided engineering of proteins and/or RNAs; directed evolution of enzymes using in vitro and/or in vivo assays; and manipulation of enzymes to understand and improve their activities.

She/he/they will collaborate with internal and external partners to engineer our lead gene-editing systems to enable best-in-class efficiency and precision, turning them into life-saving medicines. She/he/they will have the unique opportunity to work with technology discovery and preclinical translation to build a team to engineer, design, and evolve novel gene editing protein/RNAs. The candidate will collaborate with the broader mGx team on translational development of these systems leveraging Modernas scalable mRNA and non-viral delivery platforms, working at the cutting edge of genomic medicine discovery research and directly impacting mGxs innovation efforts.

Heres What Youll Do:

  • Perform PoC experiments to characterize the activity and property of lead proprietary genomic medicine systems, using biophysical, biochemical and/or cell-based methods.

  • Work with gene-editing system discovery scientists on optimizing lead candidates into high-efficiency, high-precision gene-editors.

  • Propose, design, and implement experiments in one of the following areas: (1) rational/structural-guided protein engineering, or (2) using directed evolution to improve protein/RNA function, in collaboration with protein engineering team members.

  • Work with Quantitative Biology and Data Science teams on design strategies for AI-assisted protein design and engineering.

  • Act as a liaison and collaborate in a matrixed organization to optimize gene editing efficiency

  • Collaborate with internal teams to understand therapeutic editing needs

  • Document results in electronic notebooks

  • Analyze and synthesize results to assess future directions

  • Present and discuss data to internal groups

Heres What Youll Bring to the Table:

  • PhD in Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Chemistry, Bioengineering, Molecular Virology, or equivalent field

  • Extensive experience in in silico prediction and validation to engineer enzymes/proteins in an academic or industrial environment

  • Proven track record of design and development of assays or strategies for characterizing and improving protein and/or RNA function

  • Extensive experience in one or more of the following areas: computationally informed protein design, protein structure, biochemical techniques, and enzyme activity assays

  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills

  • Strong desire to work on early-stage technology development, implementing creative thinking to build mGxs genomic medicine toolkit and patent portfolio

Additional positives:

  • Experience with gene editing system technology development

  • Experience with high-throughput protein/RNA activity measurements

  • Experience with sequencing-based genomics assays

Moderna is pleased to provide you and your family with a comprehensive and innovative suite of benefits, including:

  • Highly competitive and inclusive medical, dental and vision coverage options
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for medical expenses and dependent care expenses
  • Lifestyle Spending Account funds to help you engage in personal enrichment and self-care activities
  • Family care benefits, including subsidized back-up care options and on-demand tutoring
  • Free premium access to fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes
  • Exclusive preferred pricing on Peloton fitness equipment
  • Adoption and family-planning benefits
  • Dedicated care coordination support for our LGBTQ+ community
  • Generous paid time off, including:
    Vacation, sick time and holidays
    Volunteer time to participate within your community
    Discretionary year-end shutdown
    Paid sabbatical after 5 years; every 3 years thereafter
  • Generous Paid Leave offerings, including 18 weeks of 100% paid parental leave for all new parents
  • 401k match and Financial Planning tools
  • Moderna-paid Life, LTD and STD insurance coverages, as well as voluntary benefit options
  • Complimentary concierge service including home services research, travel booking, and entertainment requests
  • Free parking or subsidized commuter passes
  • Location-specific perks and extras!

Candidates should be aware that Moderna currently maintains a policy requiring all US-based employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a booster shot once eligible. Newly hired employees must be vaccinated and boosted prior to their employment start date. Moderna is an equal opportunity employer and will provide a reasonable accommodation to those unable to be vaccinated or receive a booster where it is not an undue hardship to the company to do so as provided under federal, state, and local law.

About Moderna

In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna's capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna's mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past seven years. To learn more, visit

Moderna is a smoke-free, alcohol-free and drug-free work environment.

Moderna is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a persons race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Moderna will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.




Moderna is advancing messenger RNA (mRNA) science to create a new class of transformative medicines for patients. Moderna’s platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, providing the Company the capability to pursue in parallel a robust pipeline of new development candidates. Moderna is developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases and cardiovascular diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.

mRNA is now a turning point in the history of science, medicine, technology, even humankind itself. With this breakthrough discovery, many of the world’s biggest and most challenging medical problems are no longer a question of “how?” but merely a question of “when?”

Come with us as we pursue the uncharted reaches of possibility and make your mark on the future of medicine.


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