LOCATION: Boston, MA
TScan is seeking a Principal Scientist / Senior Scientist of Vector Development to evaluate and recommend optimal format of vectors to use for the manufacturing of novel TCR-engineered T cell therapy products. The individual hired will be an integral part of TScan’s Technology Development and Manufacturing Team, which is preparing for the clinical development of new targets for T cell therapy discovered by TScan’s Discovery Teams using the proprietary TScan platform.
The ideal candidate will (i) have a strong background in applied molecular biology, vectorology, human T cell biology, and in the manufacturing of cell and gene therapies; (ii) be comfortable in a fast-paced, lean and agile environment; and (iii) be a team player who can foster productive relationships with internal colleagues and with external partners.
Candidate will be well-versed in viral vectors and in nonviral vectors, such as transposition systems, mRNAs, plasmids, minicircles, nanoplasmids, etc., with primary focus on specific vector suitability for cell product manufacturing applications, and not just as useful research tools. Effective delivery, low immunogenicity, sustained TCR expression and therapeutic activity of engineered T cells are key vector selection criteria. Working with TScan Preclinical team, candidate will be responsible for the fine detail of vector design, to decide which elements (promoter, safety switches, etc.) and in which order they will be included in final vector configuration.
T-Scan Therapeutics was founded in 2018 by a small group of scientists led by Dr. Stephen Elledge (Harvard Medical School/HHMI). TScan is discovering and developing novel TCR-engineered T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. TScan’s discovery platform is centered around a breakthrough technology that enables the rapid, comprehensive, and genome-wide identification of the peptide antigen targets of T cell receptors. This technology greatly enhances our ability to understand the specific antigens that drive important disease processes, including tumor cell recognition by the immune system, self-reactivity in autoimmune disorders, and acquired immunity in infectious disease. TScan is using the platform in oncology to discover new TCR/target pairs and to rapidly move such novel TCRs into clinical development.
- Lead efforts to test different vector formats (viral and non-viral vectors) that can be used to manufacture TCR-engineered autologous cell products.
- Help establish and manage relationships with external CROs and CDMOs who specialize in different vector formats.
- Design and perform feasibility studies to generate data that will support selection of optimal vector format.
- Understand pros and cons of viral vectors and nonviral vector formats as applied to manufacturing cost of goods, cell transduction/transfection efficiency, cell product safety and efficacy.
- When optimal vector format is selected, finalize vector design to specify which elements (promoters, switches, etc.) and in which order, are most effective.
- Consider vector delivery challenges and help the TScan cell product development team incorporate selected vector into the T cell product manufacturing process.
- When optimal vector format is selected, manage technical aspects of CMO partnerships required for the manufacturing of clinical grade vectors.
This position will involve hands-on lab work, possibly with help from more junior team member(s) under direct supervision, or in a matrix-managed fashion.
- Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Immunology, or a relevant and closely-related field.
- 2-3 years of postdoctoral experience, with several years of relevant industry experience manufacturing vectors and human cell products would be ideal.
- Experience developing vectors and manufacturing strategies for human primary T cell products is preferred, with focus on solving vector delivery and cell product manufacturing challenges.
- Experience with T cell genome editing and targeted integration methodologies is desirable.
- Scientific creativity, critical thinking, ability to innovate, and analytical problem solving.
- Excellent communication skills (both written and oral).
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Principal Scientist / Senior Scientist of Vector Development