R&D Scientist/Senior Scientist

Salary & Details: Competitive salary based on experience. Full Time

Benefits: Share Options; Flexible Holiday policy; On-site gym

Location: Stevenage, UK

Report to: Vice President of R&D


About MicrofluidX

MicrofluidX is an award-winning startup developing a break-through bioprocessing platform for the cell and gene therapy (CGT) market, based on microfluidic technology. Its platform allows ultra-low costs and scale-up of CGT from discovery to commercial stages, making these very potent treatments affordable for a wider number of patients, and reducing development times by several years. MicrofluidX is currently developing a system that will allow biologists to test dozens of cell culture conditions in parallel in an automated way replacing the Petri dish, the flask, the bag, the bioreactor, and the centrifuge all at once!

CGTs are fast-growing areas of medical development. With over 700 clinical trials in progress, some treatments (e.g. Kymriah, Yescarta) have already reached the market. This technology is at a critical juncture where advances are achieving clinical realisation, yet manufacturing remains a key challenge, hindering clinical development and patient accessibility. Three critical manufacturing hurdles remain: prohibitive costs of goods, low process stability and control, and lengthy scale-up from discovery to commercial stages.

Position overview

The successful candidate will assist in designing and carrying out mammalian cell culture experiments that validate and optimise unit operations such as transduction, expansion and harvesting within company’s proprietary bioreactors. Data from the experiments will be collected and analysed to inform design changes and process improvements for the technology in development. Comparability studies between the in-house technology against existing technologies and standard modes of cell culture will be carried out.

The candidate will be involved in team design meetings; data presentation meetings; and performing general laboratory tasks (requisition and procurement of consumables to maintain stock levels etc.). This is an exciting opportunity to develop skills in a dynamic start-up environment within the cell & gene therapy and biotechnology industry as part of a young and ambitious team.

This role is part of the multi-disciplinary R&D team of bioprocessing & microfluidics engineering, headed by the VP R&D. As part of the role you will have the opportunity to assist on internal and external partner and customer projects as technical lead/support in collaboration with the Commercial team.

Responsibilities & Duties: 

  • Cell culture: in vitro cell manipulation (e.g. isolation, transduction differentiation, expansion)
  • Cell analysis: microscopy, cell phenotyping, genotyping, flow cytometry, cell metabolomics and other project relevant analysis
  • Validation studies: inform microfluidics engineering and product engineering teams on product development activities e.g. being an internal customer and user for the technologies
  • Data analysis & documentation of cell culture experiments and keeping records of collected data
Qualifications, Experience and Attributes:

You must hold a BSc, or equivalent, in Biology or relevant discipline.

Essential competencies:

  • Experience process development/optimisation with immune cells (e.g. Primary T-cells, NK-Cells and hematopoietic stem cells )
  • Experience with Molecular Biology techniques such as PCR, qPCR, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, ELISA, etc.
  • Responsible attitude, self-motivated and excellent time management, organisational & communication skills
  • Experience with writing SOPs, risk assessments, lab reports
  • Experience with FlowJo and GraphPad Prism or similar

Preferred competencies:

  • Experience with bioreactors such as stirred tanks, bags, or hollow-fibers (e.g. G-rex, GE Wave, Miltenyi Prodigy, iCELLis, Terumo Quantum)
  • Experience in other aseptic mammalian tissue culture, e.g. Primary MSCs and pluripotent stem cells
  • Experience cell culture specifically in microfluidic devices
  • Experience with industrialisation, process and technology transfer
  • Experience with immunological assays: phenotyping, cytotoxicity, activation, degranulation, depletion, cytokine detection, transwell migration

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