Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.

  • Process Development Scientist / Engineer, Cell Therapy

    Job Locations US-CA
    ID
    2019-1133
    Category
    Process Sciences
    Type
    Regular Full-Time
  • Overview

    This position will work with the Technical Operations teams to develop and characterize cell therapy manufacturing processes and products.  The PD Scientist / Engineer will be responsible for designing and performing laboratory activities to support process development and process characterization of Atara’s cytotoxic T cell products.  He/she will be responsible for cell processing, process engineering scale-up/scale-down, bioreactor process parameters, assessment of novel technologies, cryopreservation, and equipment maintenance.  Under minimal supervision, you will be expected to design and perform experiments, organize and carefully document results, analyze and interoperate results, and communicate findings. The position will be based out of the newly established PD lab and provides an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the establishment of Atara’s PD team.

    Responsibilities

    Position Summary:

    This position will work with the Technical Operations teams to develop and characterize cell therapy manufacturing processes and products.  The PD Scientist / Engineer will be responsible for designing and performing laboratory activities to support process development and process characterization of Atara’s cytotoxic T cell products.  He/she will be responsible for cell processing, process engineering scale-up/scale-down, bioreactor process parameters, assessment of novel technologies, cryopreservation, and equipment maintenance.  Under minimal supervision, you will be expected to design and perform experiments, organize and carefully document results, analyze and interoperate results, and communicate findings. The position will be based out of the newly established PD lab and provides an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the establishment of Atara’s PD team.

    Reports to:  Principal Scientist, Cell Therapy Process Development

    Location:  Thousand Oaks (Northwest Los Angeles area), CA

    Primary Responsibilities

    • Optimize bioreactor parameters and evaluate alternative technologies
    • Contribute substantially to the development of manufacturing processes for cell therapy products using suspension bioreactor technologies
    • Contribute substantially to the development of process improvements and efficiencies
    • Design and execute process development studies to develop a thorough understanding of operating and performance parameters (Design space)
    • Use engineering approaches to develop solutions to manufacturing process deficiencies
    • Perform problem solving in the areas of bio-manufacturing and process engineering scale-up
    • Sets up, monitor, sample and analyze cell culture processes in bioreactors.
    • Performs multiplexed cell-based assays (killing assays, mixed lymphocyte reactions, proliferation assays, etc.) for process assessment and product characterization.
    • Provide leadership to more junior team members
    • Document laboratory procedures and experiments with great attention to detail in laboratory notebooks
    • Assist in the development of standard operating procedures, analytical test methods, and analytical sampling plans

    Qualifications

    Education and Experience:

    Required

    • PhD in a biological or engineering science with 1-3 years of industry related experience, Master’s Degree with 3-6+ years of related industry experience or Bachelor’s Degree with 8-10+ years of experience
    • Experience with operating and optimizing bioreactor cultures, preferably in a cell therapy application
    • Knowledge and experience in mammalian cell culture / biotechnology related development (aseptic operations, cell biology, biochemistry, bioreactor operations)
    • Basic analytical skills including the following techniques: multicolor flow cytometry, cell-based bioassays, ELISA, etc.
    • Ability to follow laboratory procedures with attention to detail, and successfully execute experiments at the bench.
    • Comfortable in a fast-paced small company environment with minimal direction and able to adjust workload based upon changing priorities
    • Demonstrated ability to maintain lab execution records and perform data analysis

    Preferred

     

    • Prior experience handling and analyzing primary human T cell function and biology space in a high-throughput setting
    • Familiarity with development and /or commercialization of cell-based therapeutics utilizing bioreactor technolgies
    • Basic understanding of cGMP requirements
    • Experience using Design of Experiment (DOE)

    More About Atara Bio:
    Now in our sixth year, we’re proud of our team of 300+ Atarians co-located by design in South San Francisco (corporate headquarters) and Southern California (R&D and manufacturing headquarters in the northwest Los Angeles area) with a newly-established European headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. Atara also has a R&D site in the Denver, Colorado area and an office in New York City. Our Southern California hub is anchored by a new 90,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art Atara T-Cell Operations and Manufacturing (ATOM) facility in Thousand Oaks, California.

    One mission – “Transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions through pioneering science, teamwork and expertise” – and a singular vision – “Cell therapy treatment for every patient, any time – provide inspiration and direction for all of us.”

    The Company's off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cells are bioengineered from donors with healthy immune function and allow for rapid delivery from inventory to patients without a requirement for pretreatment. Atara's T-cell immunotherapies are designed to precisely recognize and eliminate cancerous or diseased cells without affecting normal, healthy cells.

    Atara's most advanced T-cell immunotherapy in development, tabelecleucel, or tab-cel™ (formerly known as ATA129), is being developed for the treatment of patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV+ PTLD) who have failed rituximab, as well as other EBV-associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Tab-cel™ is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of EBV+ PTLD following an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (MATCH study) or solid organ transplant (ALLELE study).

    Atara is also developing off-the-shelf, allogeneic ATA188 and autologous ATA190 T-cell immunotherapies using a complementary targeted antigen recognition technology for specific EBV antigens believed to be important for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). A Phase 1 clinical study of autologous ATA190 in patients with progressive MS is ongoing. Atara is also advancing a Phase 1 clinical study of ATA188 in patients with progressive or relapsing-remitting MS across clinical sites in the United States and Australia. Atara's clinical pipeline also includes ATA520 targeting Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) and ATA230 directed against cytomegalovirus (CMV).

    Working at Atara Bio:
    People at Atara Bio are high integrity, roll-up-your-sleeves, get-it-done types who are keenly committed to putting patients first, advancing medical care and doing so with demonstrated urgency. At their core Atarians are people who work well with others and are “team-centric”, have purposeful curiosity and can’t wait to save patient lives. And similar to other biotech companies who have so many accomplished people, we expect humility (we are a “low hubris” sort of place), flexibility, respect, teamwork, good judgment and getting the most out of any dollar we spend. We also expect to enjoy the journey (and each other) as we move forward with a shared responsibility to teach and to learn from what we do and from our teammates.

    Atara Bio is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and other lawful factors. In accordance with applicable law, the Company prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity, expression or dysphoria, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, transgender status or any other classification protected by federal, state or local laws or because of the individual’s association with a member of a protected group or connection to an organization or group related to a protected group.

    We comply with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All applicants must have authorization to work for Atara Bio in the United States. 

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