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Associate Director, Cell Therapy Process Development

Sana Biotechnology
Seattle, WA
Start date
Jun 6, 2023

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 Associate Director, you will report the Executive Director, Cell Therapy Process Development.  You will be a leader guiding and overseeing process development activities at Sana’s Seattle site.  You will mentor Process Engineers to build a high-performance team.  You will be responsible for phase-appropriate development of allogeneic CAR T cell processes including oversight of T cell isolation, activation, expansion, lentiviral transduction, gene editing, purification, and formulation unit operations.  You will drive T cell therapy manufacturing innovations to build a best-in-class allogeneic CAR T cell platform.  You will implement strategies in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams from Research to Manufacturing to advance Sana’s cell therapy process to the clinic and improve patient outcomes.

What you’ll do

  • Lead and oversee a 4-member Process Development team to drive rapid early-stage programs and late-stage process development including process characterization
  • Work with the CMC lead to draft IND and BLA sections
  • Drive process development initiatives across the organization
  • Identify and evaluate novel technologies to build best-in-class platforms
  • Support external and internal technology transfer activities
  • Engage in crucial conversations by providing and receiving feedback supporting the growth and development of team members
  • Drive curiosity, scientific rigor, and excellent problem-solving skills across a fast-paced performance driven environment
  • Engage and influence partners across multidisciplinary teams while prioritizing multiple projects and meeting deadlines
  • Innate ability to assess talent that will help grow the organization and add to Sana’s culture

What we’re looking for

  • BSc in science or engineering with 8+ years of experience in biologics process development or equivalent combination of education and work experience; at least 3 years leading a team
  • 3 years of cell therapy process development experience supporting early- and late-stage programs
  • Advanced technical knowledge of T cell biology, isolation, expansion, bioreactors, lentiviral transduction, and gene editing
  • Ability to build, manage, and mentor a team of engineers and scientists
  • Prior experience with process characterization and demonstrated abilities in risk analysis
  • Excellent organizational skills and an ability to prioritize to deliver results within fast timelines
  • Strong influencing skills and ability to work in a matrixed environment
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with ability to effectively communicate and partner with all levels of the organization

What will separate you from the crowd

  • Demonstrated track record developing cell therapy processes, including a least 1 pre-clinical, late stage, or commercial program
  • Experience supporting internal and external tech transfers on fast timelines
  • Strong understanding of immunology and T cell biology
  • Experience driving productive multidisciplinary projects with Research, Analytical Development, and Manufacturing partners
  • Advanced knowledge of cell culture and bioreactor control strategies
  • Statistical design of experiments (DoE) and RCA experience
  • Strong track record of identifying and implementing novel cell therapy manufacturing technologies
  • Knowledge of analytical development including flow cytometry and cell-based assays

What you should know

  • 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
  • The base pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $160,000 and $195,000/year; however, base pay offered may vary depending on multiple individualized factors, including market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience

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 (various paid time off benefits, such as holidays, vacation, sick time, and 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.  For more details on our benefits, visit Sana’s Benefits Portal.

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 passionate group of people working together to create an enduring company that changes how the world treats disease. Sana has operations in Seattle, Cambridge, South San Francisco, and Rochester.

Find Us
Sana Biotechnology
188 East Blaine Street, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98102

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