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Sr. Research Associate, Potency Assays

4D Molecular Therapeutics
Emeryville, California
Start date
Feb 5, 2024

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Job Details

Attention recruitment agencies: All agency inquiries are vetted through Talent Acquisition. No unsolicited resumes will be accepted. Agencies must be expressly engaged by the 4DMT talent acquisition team on any requisition. Agencies reaching out directly to hiring managers will not be tolerated and may impact your ability to work with 4DMT in the future. At 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Inc. (“4DMT”), we boldly innovate to unlock the full potential of genetic medicines for countless patients. We are committed to breaking boundaries and daring to cure as we develop new and foundational products and product components through our growing technology platforms.


4DMT is a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company harnessing the power of directed evolution for targeted genetic medicines. We seek to unlock the full potential of gene therapy using our platform, Therapeutic Vector Evolution (TVE), which combines the power of directed evolution with our approximately one billion synthetic AAV capsid-derived sequences to invent evolved vectors for use in our products. We believe key features of our targeted and evolved vectors will help us create targeted product candidates with improved therapeutic profiles. These profiles will allow us to treat a broad range of large market diseases, unlike most current genetic medicines that generally focus on rare or small market diseases.  

We have built a deep portfolio of AVV-based gene therapy product candidates, with five product candidates in clinical trials: 4D-150 for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME), 4D-710 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis lung disease, 4D-310 for the treatment of Fabry disease cardiomyopathy, 4D-125 for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), and 4D-110 for the treatment of choroideremia. In addition, we have two product candidates in preclinical studies: 4D-175 for geographic atrophy (GA) and 4D-725 for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

To-date, we have demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept for three evolved vectors in three therapeutic areas and routes of administration with five products and patient populations. We believe this validates the power of our directed evolution platform for discovering superior vectors compared to wildtype viral vectors. We have built a robust and efficient product engine with 6 open Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) in the U.S., 1 IND in Taiwan, and 1 Clinical Trial Approval (CTA) in Australia. We believe we are positioned to create, develop, manufacture and, if approved, effectively commercialize targeted genetic medicines that could transform the lives of patients suffering from debilitating diseases.

In addition to TVE, our technology includes a robust AAV manufacturing platform and onsite manufacturing facility that allows us to rapidly produce and test research grade material and scale up to GMP clinical material. This internal capability and close collaboration between our R&D and Manufacturing teams has greatly accelerated the pace of discovery at 4DMT.

Company Differentiators: 

•    Fully integrated clinical-phase company with internal manufacturing
•    Demonstrated ability to move rapidly from idea to IND
•    Five candidate products in the clinic and two declared pre-clinical programs
•    Robust technology and IP foundation, including our TVE and manufacturing platforms
•    Initial product safety and efficacy data substantiates the value of our platforms
•    Opportunities to expand to other indications and modalities within genetic medicine

Senior Research Associate will primarily focus on executing routine cell-based testing as per approved SOPs (QC-focused) for lot release/stability, comparability and formulation assessment of drug substances and drug products in accordance with cGMP standards, and contribute to develop, optimize and validate new cell-based assays, drafting SOPs and data analysis. This role will interface with Research, Discovery, Process Development, Manufacturing, Quality, and Facilities functional groups as well as external parties (CRO, CDMO) to support life cycle of bioassays for current and new candidates during early- and late-stage GMP production. This is a full-time and on-site position in the CMC department reporting to the Senior Manager of Cell-based Assays team. 


Benchwork/Documentation/Results analysis: 60% of the TIME 

  • Maintain cell lines, prepare, and qualify cell banks using aseptic techniques with emphasis on adherent mammalian cell culture systems. 
  • Develop, optimize, and execute bioassays including cell-based, nucleic acid-based, ELISA, and enzymatic assays with a strong scientific understanding of the analytical procedures and applicability of the emerging or existing assay platforms. 
  • Understand phase-appropriate GMP requirements for AAV-based gene therapy products. 
  • Performs routine testing of samples for characterization, Process Development support, and QC release/stability purposes under limited supervision. 
  • Provide feedback and/or suggest modifications to operational procedures. 
  • Assist with troubleshooting of analytical procedures and equipment problems; work with Facilities to assist with calibration, maintenance, and operation requirements of analytical equipment. 
  • Assist with the new facility expansion and equipment validation activities as needed. 

Paperwork/Documentation: 40% of TIME 

  • Complete and submit experimental records following Good Documentation Practices, cGMP guidelines, and corporate policies to meet both operational and compliance requirements. 
  • Compiles Results from executed experiments and analyses and presents data to the manager, CBA team or in cross-functional meetings as needed. 
  • Contribute to experimental protocols, reports, internal documents including SOPs, lab records, deviations, and investigations as appropriate. 
  • Help with maintenance of lab inventories and database for designated project(s). 
  • Work closely with supervisors and cross-functional teams for setting up and following the testing schedule to meet timelines for products release, stability, and characterization purposes. 
  • Work closely with team to keep the reagents and lab supplies inventory stocked properly and within expiration. 
  • Follow all Quality and Safety procedures, including deviation and non-conformance reporting. Support deviation investigations and lab maintenance. 
  • Manages equipment PMs, change controls and equipment calibration documentation. 
  • Support implementation of new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) 
  • 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. 



  • MS degree in Biochemistry, Cell/Molecular Biology, or related area of life sciences with 3+ years of experience in cell-based bioassays or BS degree with 5+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry desired. 


Required Skills: 

  • Proficiency with mammalian Cell/Tissue culturing and aseptic techniques. 
  • Hands-on experience in virus transduction and plasmid transfection of cells and troubleshooting. 
  • Hands-on experience and strong understanding of the technical concepts in immunoassays (Western Blotting, ELISA) and techniques such as ddPCR. 
  • Attention to detail, quality, and compliance with strict adherence to test procedures and protocols. 
  • Ability to learn new technologies and processes in a timely manner. 
  • Must be a team player with an analytical mindset, a detail-oriented critical thinker, and exhibit a readiness to meet project timelines and challenges in a dynamic fast-paced environment. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with demonstrated ability to present scientific ideas, information and data effectively via one-on-one discussions and team meetings. 
  • Basic math and familiarity with Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. 
  • Ability to work independently and work with others in designing and developing experiments, analyzing, and interpreting data. 

Preferred Skills: 

  • Cell-based potency assay experience in the AD/QC environment. 
  • Hands-on experience with SDS-Page/Western Blot, protein-protein interactions, and flow cytometry. 
  • Experience in the development of new methods and sound scientific understanding of Quality by Design (QbD) and Design of Experiments (DoE) principles as well as data analysis and statistics. 
  • Experience with bioassay and/or statistical software such as SoftMax Pro, PLA, GraphPad, Minitab, JMP or Spotfire. 
  • Working knowledge of regulatory and industry guidelines in CMC analytical development. 
  • General understanding of compendial testing, ICH qualification/validation. 


Bay Area-based candidates: $104,000/yr. - $125,000/yr.





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


4DMT is a gene therapy company with a transformative discovery platform --Therapeutic Vector Evolution --that enables our “disease first” approach to product discovery and development, thereby allowing us to customize our AAV vectors to target specific tissue types associated with the underlying disease.

At 4DMT we are creating and developing optimized “biopharmaceutical grade” AAV vectors that will allow us uniquely to unlock the full potential of gene therapy. Our customized and proprietary AAV vectors are each designed, according to a 4DMT Target Vector Profile, to deliver genes to specific cells and tissues in the body to eradicate both rare and large market diseases.

While AAV gene therapy pioneers are making great strides with the first wave of products, hurdles still exist with the use of conventional vectors. The most commonly used AAV capsids (e.g., AAV2, 5, 8 and 9) were identified either 1) as contaminants in lab stocks of adenovirus, or 2) through monkey tissue processing. Therefore, these conventional vectors are not targeted specifically to any tissue in the body. This can lead to inefficient and non-specific delivery, thus requiring extremely high doses and potentially resulting in toxicities (including inflammation), high manufacturing burdens and suboptimal efficacy. In addition, suboptimal routes of delivery can be required for delivery to the right tissues (e.g., subretinal delivery to the retina). Finally, pre-existing neutralizing antibodies in many patients can limit efficacy, clinical trial enrollment and market sizes. 4DMT Innovation empowers us to create new and improved next generation AAV capsids to allow targeted delivery of our products by the optimal clinical route of administration.

At 4DMT we use our robust discovery platform, termed “Therapeutic Vector Evolution,” to create customized and proprietary gene delivery vehicles (novel AAV vectors) to deliver genes to specific tissues and cells in the body by the optimal route of administration. We use the power of evolution to create and refine these optimized vectors through genetic diversification and then natural selection in vivo.

4D Purpose Statement:  Boldly Innovating to Unlock the Full Potential of Gene Therapy for Countless Patients



  • Dare to Cure - Patients are waiting. Create big dreams for patients and take calculated risks to achieve them
  • Break Boundaries - Question the status quo and innovate beyond conventional approaches
  • Beyond Yourself - It's about patients, their families, our team, our families. We strengthen each other.
  • Prepare and Execute Relentlessly - Start with the end in mind, over-prepare and make contingency plans to your contingency plans

We invite all of you who share our passion and vision in creating the ultimate gene therapy products to cure genetic and rare diseases in children and adults. We seek 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 generous benefits and provides challenging opportunities for career development. 

Company info
5858 Horton St. Suite 455

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