Jun 17, 2022

Job Description

6000! That’s the number of associates in the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). This division is the innovation engine of Novartis, focusing on powerful new technologies that have the potential to help produce therapeutic breakthroughs for patients. The Pre-Clinical Safety (PCS) group in NIBR provides world class preclinical safety profiling and assessment for optimal drug discovery, development and commercialization, with state-of-the-art regulatory compliance.

Novartis is looking for a highly motivated Laboratory Head in the Mechanistic and Predictive Safety Line Function within Preclinical Safety.

The successful candidate will join the Genome Safety group and will lead a laboratory of experienced scientists to investigate genotoxicity mechanisms and answer drug target safety genetics-related questions by designing and implementing advanced investigative molecular and biochemical assays including ddPCR, single-cell analysis, insertion site analysis or genome integrity, and complementary bioinformatic analyses.

The role will primarily consist of leading a laboratory to support translational safety assessment of diverse compounds and therapeutic modalities through mechanistic insight, human relevance assessment, and prediction of drug toxicities, with a focus in our cell and gene therapy portfolio.

The main responsibilities will include:

• Provides leadership for a laboratory team of experienced scientists, including supervision of PhD or Master students
• Undertakes general project management of laboratory work (planning, execution, monitoring, closing) and generate reports of high quality in a timely manner.
• The principal scientist is expected to contribute to laboratory experimental activities including training.
• Ensures prioritization of projects for maximal portfolio impact and strategic use of resources.
• Cultivates matrix leadership to positively influence a collaborative culture, facilitate talent development, enable initiatives, and strengthen cross-functional relationships, in particular between PCS line function and therapeutic area subject matter experts.
• Ensures the conduct of activities in compliance with Novartis Code of Conduct, safety, animal welfare, waste disposal and other regulatory guidelines
• Plan, initiate and execute experimental strategies to assess the genotoxicity of CRISPR/Cas9 genome-edited cells, CAR-T cells and viral based vectors, including sequencing-based methods for off-target/viral integration site analyses
• Act as an expert for translational safety assessment of cell and gene therapies
• Provide translational target safety genetics support to project teams e.g. genetic association analyses, cross-species target gene homology/variation
• Represent PCS in Novartis cross-functional teams
• Represent Novartis in external consortia, present at external meetings, publish in high quality journals and actively contribute to scientific discussions and initiatives in the field

Please note this role can be based in either Basel, Switzerland or Cambridge (Mass. USA).

Diversity & Inclusion / EEO

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

Minimum Requirements

• PhD or equivalent degree in genetics, molecular biology or a related field with at least 4 years of work experiences in the pharmaceutical industry or in academia in an area related to genotoxicity or gene therapy
• Proven record as team player and leader with excellent communication skills
• High intrinsic motivation to develop novel therapeutics for patients.
• Significant practical/work experience in molecular and cell biology, genome editing and genetic toxicology
• Competency in complex genome data integration, visualization and analytics
• Deep knowledge in current gene therapy approaches, in particular AAV biology and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
• Hands-on experience with off-target and viral integration site analyses
• Bioinformatics background (preferably R or Python), and experience in genetic association studies, genome assembly, or mutation analysis
• In addition, the following competencies and qualifications are a plus:
• Familiarity with preclinical safety assessment practices and regulatory guidelines
• Protein structure analysis
• Certification as a toxicologist (ERT, DABT or equivalent)
• Animal license (FELASA, LTK1-2 or equivalent)

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!

Join our Novartis Network: If this role is not suitable to your experience or career goals but you wish to stay connected to hear more about Novartis and our career opportunities, join the Novartis Network here: https://talentnetwork.novartis.com/network.
Translational Medicine
Research & Development
Full Time
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Principal Scientist, Genome Safety, Preclinical Safety

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