RESEARCH SCIENTIST, Gene Therapy | Calibr-Skaggs | La Jolla, CA

About Us

Calibr-Skaggs Institute for Innovative Medicines, a division of Scripps Research, is a first-of-its-kind, nonprofit translational research institute dedicated to creating the next generation of medicines.  Calibr-Skaggs was founded on the principle that the creation of new medicines can be accelerated by pairing world-class biomedical research with state-of-the-art drug discovery and development capabilities. Scripps Research is ranked one of the most influential institutions in the world for its impact on innovation. Our educational and training programs mold talented and committed students and postdocs into leading-edge scientists. Leveraging the unique scientific environment of Scripps Research, impacting translational sciences, Calibr-Skaggs has created a portfolio of drug candidates, and is shaping a new paradigm for advancing nonprofit biomedical research to impact patients while re-investing in further innovative research. We expand basic knowledge in the biosciences and use these fundamental advancements to develop profound innovations that improve wellbeing. Calibr-Skaggs’ drug development portfolio spans a broad range of human diseases, including cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, infectious and neglected diseases, as well as age-related and degenerative diseases. If you have a passion for making a difference, this could be your opportunity to join our transformative team.

Calibr-Skaggs has a significant effort developing the next generation of cell & gene therapies for patients with cancer. Our pipeline includes a unique, next-generation “switchable” chimeric antigen receptor T cell (sCAR-T) platform that was conceptualized at Calibr-Skaggs and developed through to a Phase I trial where it demonstrated efficacy in patients with lymphoma—A Phase I trial in solid tumors will start this year. Our preclinical pipeline extends beyond to biologics against novel immuno-oncology targets, antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific and trispecific antibodies, and small molecules expected to reach the clinic in 6–24 months, underscoring our bench-to-bedside approach. As part of these efforts to create transformative medicines, we are developing first-in-class gene therapy platforms expected to enable treatment of an array of indications and increase patient access. We are recruiting committed and talented scientists to join our team in developing these next-generation gene therapies for patients.

Position Summary

Calibr-Skaggs is seeking a talented Research Scientist in gene and cell therapy/immuno-oncology to join our effort to create a transformational gene and cellular therapy approach. This position will work as part of a small team of interdisciplinary scientists to translate innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer into first-in-human clinical trials. Specifically, projects will be focused on the development and translation of gene therapy approaches employing our proprietary CAR-T platform.

This position will also have the unique opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of other projects at Calibr-Skaggs, covering next-generation T cell engagers for oncology, infectious and neglected tropical diseases, metabolic disorders, autoimmunity, and others. Calibr-Skaggs’ open lab space design and collaborative environment encourage the seamless flow of ideas within and between research groups. This position will receive hands-on training in translational research and gain knowledge on how scientific ideas are translated into drugs to help patients in need. The ideal candidate is expected to bring a strong scientific proficiency listed below. This position offers significant growth opportunity through promotion structures designed to retain exceptional talent within the Calibr-Skaggs family. This position will also require training and managing of entry level Research Associates/Assistants, with increased responsibility over time.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design, optimize, and characterize vector delivery platforms for in vivo gene editing of primary human immune cells.
  • Generate retroviral, lenti, adeno, or adeno-associated vectors for the transduction of both established cell lines and primary immune cells.
  • Apply state-of-the-art gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR, TALEN, and other endonucleases, and delivery approaches including multiple viral vector platforms and protein and mRNA electroporation.
  • Perform cell biology, including isolation, characterization, and assay set up, with primary human and murine immune cells, tumor cell lines used in immuno-oncology research, and primary patient-derived cells.
  • Design and execute project plans involving immune cell profiling, cell processing from xenograft models, cytotoxicity, proliferation, activation, cell viability, and survival assays with a strong focus on flow cytometry.
  • Perform molecular biology experiments including DNA and protein preparation from cells, immunoprecipitation, western blots, etc.
  • Prepare reports and present results at regular team meetings.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A strong background in viral vector design and optimization of transduction protocols for gene therapies is essential.
  • Experience with gene editing, cell transfection and transduction systems is essential.
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques is essential.
  • Hands-on experience with in vitroassays (co-culture assays) commonly used in immuno-oncology is preferred.
  • A strong background in cell culture and multi-color flow cytometry is preferred.
  • Experience and knowledge of the immune system is preferred. (Experience in T/B/NK/macrophage cell biology, tumor immunology).
  • Hands-on experience with cellular immunotherapies is preferred but not required.
  • Experience preparing reagents for in vivo assays and in vivo experience preferred but not required.
  • Experience with protein engineering and antibody design is important.
  • Experience using Prism, FlowJo, Office, and JMP software is important.
  • Details of established essential functions for this position will be addressed/discussed during the interview process.

Requirements

  • BS in biology, chemical biology, biochemistry, or related field required. PhD is highly preferred.
  • Minimum 2-5 years’ experience in industry is preferred, but academic candidates with strong skills matching the qualifications above will be considered as well.
  • Impeccable attention to detail, and excellent ability to perform hands-on experiments, research, design, and organize project designs and maintain detailed documentation.
  • Highly motivated, creative, and devoted to project goals.
  • Able to collaborate proficiently and communicate effectively with colleagues and management teams.
  • Able to contribute in a meaningful way to scientific discourse.

The above statements describe the level of work performed and expected in general terms.  The statements are not intended to list all the responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of employees so classified, and the content herein is subject to change due to the business needs of Scripps Research, with or without notice.   Furthermore, nothing in this job description shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any way the employment-at-will status of Scripps Research staff. 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

May include: Stationary position for an extended period of time, traverse campus/facility as needed, operate machinery such as computer, phone, copy machine; exposure to cold or hot temperatures.

COMPENSATION

The expected hiring range for this multi-level position is $69,000 to $129,900, commensurate with experience. Consideration will be given to experience that exceeds the listed requirements.

COMPREHENSIVE BENEFITS INCLUDE:

  • Employer Contributed Retirement Plan – Depending on eligibility, employees receive an employer contributed retirement plan (no employee contribution required) and the option to contribute to a 403(b) (which is similar to a 401(k) using your own pre or post-tax dollars)
  • Full Suite of Health and Welfare plans including three medical plan options (including an HSA available option), dental, vision, life insurance, disability, EAP and more
  • Access to Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical/Dependent Care)
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave policies
  • Free, on-site parking

EEO Statement:
The Scripps Research Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote diversity of thought, culture and background in the fields of science. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status. Underrepresented individuals are encouraged to apply.

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