Principal Scientist, Innovative Lentiviral Cell and Gene Therapy

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Closing date
Feb 4, 2023

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Science, Pharmaceutical
Full Time
Organization Type
Jobseeker Type
Job Description

6000! This is the number of associates in the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). This division is the innovation engine of Novartis, focusing on new technologies that have the potential to help produce therapeutic breakthroughs for patients. The Biotherapeutic Engineering and Gene Therapy (BEGT) group is a part of the NIBR Biologics Center (NBC). BEGT drives a diverse portfolio of modalities including therapeutic proteins, multi-specific antibodies, CAR-T, RNA therapeutics, AAV and lentiviral vectors. The NBC group works collaboratively with disease area groups to broaden the use of biologics in therapeutic applications.

As a Principal Scientist, you will bring an expertise in lentiviral gene therapies and lentivirus production and join a dynamic and experienced cell and gene therapy team at Novartis. You will be responsible for establishing and leading a new lentivirus production group for the generation and analysis of novel lentiviral vectors (LVV) and their cargo. This group will work closely with their disease area and analytics counterparts to merge the development of complex, next-generation lentiviral vectors with the growing need for innovative lentivirus production and characterization methods. This dynamic collaboration will be central to pushing the boundaries of possibility as we strive to improve efficacy and accessibility of gene therapies to patients.

What you’ll be doing:
Your responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Establish our internal LVV production platform for the production and purification of viral vectors that contribute to discovery research gene therapy projects in the research pipeline.
• Collaborate with viral vector design and analytical colleagues to implement process characterization tools and vector specific analytics for continuous improvement of production process and product quality.
• Coordinate with gene therapy and disease area groups outside of NBC to establish vector production needs. Work with NBC vector design and analytical leads to prioritize production schedule and efficiently execute workflow on time
• Present experimental designs, protocols, results and interpretations to a varied audience
• Maintain familiarity with current scientific literature and techniques in the field of virus production.
• Source and assess new equipment and technologies in order to expand and improve virus production and purification capabilities.
• Demonstrate good organizational and communication skills. Expected to be accountable for effectiveness and timelines of completion of project goals.
• Ability to balance multiple projects under a demanding timeline.

Diversity & Inclusion / EEO

The Novartis Group of Companies are Equal Opportunity Employers and take pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status. We are committed to building diverse teams, representative of the patients and communities we serve, and we strive to create an inclusive workplace that cultivates bold innovation through collaboration and empowers our people to unleash their full potential.

Minimum Requirements

What you’ll bring to the role:
• Ph.D. in Virology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Gene Therapy or related field with 2+ year of relevant experience or M.S. with 6+ years relevant experience.
• Significant experience in lentiviral packaging and production.
• Experience building, leading and mentoring junior staff including PhD level scientists either directly or as a matrix team lead.
• Strong leadership, organizational, time management, communication, and interpersonal skills.
• Comfort in a fast-paced environment and ability to adjust workload based on changing priorities, coupled with a demonstrated eagerness to learn new things.
• A strong self-starter, independent thinker with strong attention to detail.

• Hands-on experience working with bioreactors.
• Some molecular biology expertise including vector design and virus characterization methods.
• Experience with developing purification methods such as affinity, ion-exchange or SEC-based column chromatography, ultracentrifugation and TFF.
• Experience in working in a BSL-2 environment is required. Experience in standard virological methods.

Why Novartis
766 million lives were touched by Novartis medicines in 2021, and while we’re proud of this, we know there is so much more we could do to help improve and extend people’s lives.

We believe new insights, perspectives and ground-breaking solutions can be found at the intersection of medical science and digital innovation. That a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment inspires new ways of working.

We believe our potential can thrive and grow in an unbossed culture underpinned by integrity, curiosity and flexibility. And we can reinvent what's possible, when we collaborate with courage to aggressively and ambitiously tackle the world’s toughest medical challenges. Because the greatest risk in life, is the risk of never trying!

Imagine what you could do here at Novartis!

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion:
Novartis is committed to building an outstanding, inclusive work environment and diverse teams representative of the patients and communities we serve.

Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations: The Novartis Group of Companies are committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If, because of a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, or in order to perform the essential functions of a position, please send an e-mail to [email protected] call +1 (877)395-2339 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Please include the job requisition number in your message.

While Novartis does not require vaccination at this time, for certain Novartis sites in the US all associates and candidates may be required to either upload an image of their COVID-19 vaccine card demonstrating proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 (or other similar evidence of vaccination) or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken by the associate or candidate within the past seven days to enter any of our sites and/or customer office or healthcare facility, as well as prior to participating in other work related off-site meetings. Employees working in customer-facing roles must adhere to and comply with customers’ (such as hospitals, physician offices, etc.) credentialing guidelines, which may require vaccination. As required by applicable law, Novartis will consider requests for reasonable accommodation for those unable to be vaccinated. This requirement is subject to applicable state and local laws and may not be applicable to employees working in certain jurisdictions. Please send accommodation requests to [email protected] .

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