May 12, 2022

Job Description

Over 900+ clinical trials validate that gene therapies are transforming the practice of medicine.

Ready to join a team committed to developing and commercializing gene therapies for patients and families devastated by rare neurological genetic diseases? Novartis is advancing cutting-edge science, starting with our proprietary gene therapy for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We are in the midst of an incredible journey and are looking for passionate individuals to join us on this important mission.
Novartis is dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Our initial product is a proprietary gene therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of pediatric patients with SMA. In addition to developing a treatment for SMA, Novartis also plans to develop other novel treatments for rare neurological diseases, including Rett syndrome and a Friedreich’s ataxia.
Novartis is seeking a highly motivated and capable Senior Scientist to join our Research and Early Development team. The position entails leading activities in the In vitro pharmacology group, including developing and mentoring the team and supporting the advancement of research projects. The incumbent will work with Scientists within the Research and Development team, as well as across the organization and will report to the lab head of In Vitro Pharmacology.

What you'll be doing:
• Leverage strong understanding and knowledge of gene expression and cellular mechanism of action (MOA) for clinical candidate selection and cell-based assay development.
• Design and execute experiments to identify and optimize key parameters for cell potency assays for lot release
• Lead activities within the functional group for pipeline program R&D from both the bench and the desk.
• Coordinate group efforts and oversee Scientists and ongoing projects to facilitate teamwork.
• Develop team members, ensuring staff receive mentoring and constructive feedback to develop in the role and learn new capabilities.
• Partner with project team leaders to plan, coordinate, and monitor the timely execution and completion of various research projects.
• Oversee the maintenance of accurate, comprehensible, and contemporaneous laboratory notebooks.
• Present data to the internal senior management team and external collaborators.
• Timely provision of data and documentation in reports to support intellectual property filings, regulatory submissions, and interactions with FDA around new products.

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. with post-doctoral experience OR industry experience with a degree in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology or related pharmacological science preferred
• Knowledge of viral gene therapy (adeno associated viral vectors preferred).
• Working knowledge of cell biology and cell-based assays for potency (expression and MOA) with extensive laboratory experience.
• Strong background in neurological disease area and neuronal cell culture & biology.
• Advanced cell culture expertise (mouse immortalized primary cells, human iPSCs), including passaging, transfection, clonal selection, cryo-banking, genetic manipulations by transfection and transduction with lentivirus and AAV.
• Cell line development and characterization, cell culture and cell banking activities.
• Experience with protein expression, quantification and detection by immunostaining and high content imaging.
• Experience in molecular biology and biochemistry methods:
o Knowledge with hands on experience of quantitative and qualitative methods, including PCR, RT-PCR, ddPCR, ELISA, MSD, FACS, FRET, SIMOA fluorescence and IF microscopy (including confocal), colorimetric assays, enzymatic assays, and reporter assays.
o In vitro gene knockdown methods including RNAi and CRISPR.
o NGS, bulk and scRNA-seq experience is prefered.
• Publications and demonstrable experience desired.
• Ability to work in a fast-paced small, but growing team environment and to prioritize work from multiple projects. Must be highly reliable and goals/deadlines oriented.
• Up to 10% travel may be required.

The level of this position will be based on the final candidate’s qualifications.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

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.


San Diego, CA
Research & Development
Full Time
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Senior Scientist – Gene Therapy Neuroscience

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