Position: Gene therapy process development – Future through data aggregation and implementation
Reporting to: Aleksandar Cvetkovic, Process Development
Location: Thermo Fisher Scientific, 13859 Progress Blvd | Alachua, FL 32615, USA
Summary: One of the most revolutionary advances in new era of therapeutics is cell and gene therapy. Gene therapy is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient’s cells as a drug to treat disease. Significant advances have been made over last decade in the design and use of gene and cell therapies paying a way for utilizing adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer to the human retina and central nervous system by Luxturna and Zolgensma for Leber’s congenital amaurosis and spinal muscular atrophy, respectively. Similarly, early technology development in lentiviral and retroviral gene transfer to T cells has been expanded to develop therapies for treatment of inherited disorders such as sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. As the biopharmaceutical industry sharpens its focus on gene therapy, opportunities for advancements and challenges in process development and manufacturing processes for gene therapy remain. Thermo Fisher Viral Vector Facility at Alachua is on the forefront on the process development for gene therapy generating solutions for variety of gene therapy companies utilizing AAV and lentiviral platforms. Aggregating existing knowledge of the gene therapy processes through data science principles will lead to rapid development of high-yielding and robust manufacturing processes for gene therapies. The focus of the project is to aggregate available knowledge of AAV and lentiviral processes to aid in streamlining of development of improved gene therapy processes ready to fit to an existing manufacturing network.
We are seeking a highly motivated biology/virology/engineering student who is enthusiastic to learn how to develop next generation gene therapy processes based on the aggregation of the existing knowledge/data and implementation of findings in combination with modern principles of process development to development of novel gene therapy processes. The challenge is the intersection of virology, chemical and, biochemical engineering, biochemistry, data sciences, cell culture and downstream process development. This individual will be operating within a highly interactive and motivated team of scientists and engineers.
- Learning about the design of gene therapy process development
- Mastering extraction and aggregation of the data from gene therapy development processes
- Generating different operation scenarios for unit operation steps
- Processing, interpreting and presenting findings of the study
- Preferred Majors: virology, chemical and biochemical engineering, biochemistry,
- Must be enrolled in school at a collegiate level
- Must be legally authorized to work in the US, and should not require, now or in the future, sponsorship for employment visa status
- Must be able to work full time hours during the summer
- Interest in process development for gene & cell therapy
- Basic understanding of cell culture, virology and/or biochemical engineering
- Coursework in biochemistry, bio- and chemical engineering and protein science
- Good knowledge of Power Point and Excel. Matlab and Visio knowledge is also desired but not required.
- Good interpersonal and communication skills