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AAV Process Development Scientist II/III/Senior Scientist

Siren Biotechnology

Siren Biotechnology

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2022

Stealth Gene Therapy Startup is Now Hiring a Scientist II/III or Senior Scientist of AAV Process Development

Who we are:

An early-stage stealth biotechnology startup in the gene therapy and immuno-oncology space spinning out of a lab at UCSF and looking to immediately hire a Scientist II/III/Senior of AAV Process Development to help set up our initial PD team and further develop, test and expand our platforms for new and innovative therapies with novel disease targets.

We at Siren Biotechnology offer a unique working environment within the heart of Mission Bay in San Francisco. Our incubator is situated within a beautiful urban campus immediately next to UCSF Mission Bay. We have easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities including Spark Social, Parklab Gardens, Thrive City, and the waterfront!

Role Summary:

Siren Biotechnology is seeking a highly motivated Scientist II/III/Senior of AAV Process Development (title dependent on experience) to set up our initial Process Development team and help work to advance our gene therapy candidates towards IND. The successful candidate will support gene therapy research programs by providing advanced AAV biology and gene therapy expertise with a primary focus on designing, developing, characterizing, and testing AAV-based therapeutic vectors for numerous disease targets. This role will be responsible for leading our in-house vector and genomic engineering efforts and validating our key in-house assays for potency and related assays. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead a small internal team, manage CDMOs/CROs, and drive multiple innovative vector biology research projects.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Independently design and execute experiments related to the development, production, and characterization of AAV vectors.
  • Establish production process for AAV vector at mid-scale via transfection in both suspension and adherent platforms.
  • Establish downstream processes for various AAV serotypes, including affinity chromatography, ion-exchange chromatography, and various concentration and buffer exchange techniques (tangential flow filtration, spin concentrators, dialysis, etc).
  • Lead assay development setup and validation for key assays like AAV potency and vector genome titer using both basic molecular biology techniques (e.g. DNA/RNA isolation, dPCR, ELISA, western blot, flow cytometry, TCID50) up to advanced techniques (NGS sequencing analysis, etc.) to assess the quality, efficacy and/or safety of AAV candidates.
  • Help design and optimize AAV vectors for proof-of-concept applications to Development Candidate nomination.
  • Apply novel approaches to AAV vector design for maximal therapeutic effect through optimization of the backbone, ITRs, transgene, and various regulatory elements and synthetic biology components.
  • Drive forward program goals to meet team objectives, working closely with CROs, external scientific partners, and internal teams.
  • Assist with technology transfer efforts with our chosen CDMOs.
  • Ensure high-quality, timely, and appropriate documentation in electronic laboratory notebooks.
  • Prepare SOPs, technical reports, summaries, protocols, and quantitative analyses for all experimental results.
  • Stay current on industry trends through literature reviews, courses, conferences, and technical meetings.
  • Supervise or lead junior members in their daily activities.
  • Assist in creating training material and providing mentorship to junior team members.
  • Perform all activities in compliance with applicable regulations, Siren’s policies, and guidelines, including maintaining all required training.


  • PhD in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Virology, or related life sciences field.
  • Post-doctoral training and/or 1-7 years of industry experience post-PhD (# of years will dictate title ranging from Scientist II to Senior Scientist), including with therapeutic programs; contributions to programs that have progressed from discovery research to IND are desirable.
  • Extensive expertise in AAV vector design and/or expression construct engineering, viral production, purification, and characterization, as well as transduction assays of mammalian cells both in vitro and in vivo.
  • Experience in process development planning and strategy is required; familiarity with preclinical drug development processes is a bonus.
  • Experience with viral vector production, technology transfer to CDMO/manufacturing facility, and process characterization experience is a plus.
  • Adept in ambiguous situations, flexible, and comfortable making decisions using minimal available data.
  • A proven ability to work cross-functionally and adapt to changing priorities while managing multiple commitments with accuracy and efficiency to meet deadlines.
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, technologically savvy with modern software tools, and ability to prioritize and meet deadlines in a fast-paced and multicultural environment.
  • Proficiency in Graphpad Prism, Excel, PowerPoint, Zoom, and basic statistical data analysis required; bonus if experience with Benchling, Notion, Asana, or Python/R programming.
  • Demonstrated track record of clear communication, working with a small multidisciplinary team, mentoring, and developing talent.
  • Must be a self-starter and team player who can thrive in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Excellent communication and troubleshooting skills, attention to detail, and ability to work productively in a fast-paced environment and translate technical concepts into user-friendly documentation.
  • Self-motivated and passionate about cutting-edge science and technologies.

Physical demands of the work environment

  • The position is required to be in person on-site.
  • Position requires the ability to sit/stand for long periods of time.
  • Comfortable handling Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) biological samples such as blood, tissue, bacteria, viruses, and other potentially infectious material.
  • Ability to lift 15 pounds.

Desired personal traits:

  • You want to make an impact on humankind
  • You prioritize “We” over “I”
  • You enjoy getting things done - with super high quality
  • You collaborate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • You have superior skills and experience, and constantly strive to be world-class in what you do
  • You constantly challenge your own assumptions, pushing for continuous improvement
  • You have a growth mindset
  • You are candid, authentic, and transparent
  • You aren’t afraid of new technologies and relish the opportunity to ‘always be learning’

Compensation and benefits:

  • Competitive salary, commensurate with experience
  • Stock compensation plan – you’ll be a Siren co-owner
  • Platinum health, dental, and vision benefits
  • Commuter benefits
  • Flexible work schedule
  • High-performance culture
  • Great colleagues

If you are concerned that you do not meet the exact qualifications, please do not hesitate to contact us! Our team is collaborative and mentorship-based and we are happy to discuss any particular areas you may need to get up to speed if you feel you have the enthusiasm, drive, and potential to add to our team.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at Siren. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work.

Are you ready to apply? Please send a CV/Resume and a brief introduction stating why you are interested and would be a great fit for our team to “hiring@sirenbiotechnology.com”.

Siren Biotechnology is an equal opportunity employer.

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