Director - CAR-T Platform Development Lead

Job Locations US-CA-Thousand Oaks
Regular Full-Time

Job Description

Atara Biotherapeutics’ allogeneic Tab-cel® platform allows for the manufacturing of a T-cell library in advance of patient’s need. Tab-cel® utilizes Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) T‑Cells from donors with healthy immune function, which are then selected and expanded to recognize cancer cells. Thus, EBV T cells are naturally immune to Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD) without further need for gene editing, a common challenge in off-the-shelf cell therapy.


At Atara, we are bringing together core technologies and capabilities to develop next-generation off-the-shelf CAR-T immunotherapies, leveraging the unique features of the Tab-cel® platform. We are also collaborating with academic leaders and leveraging our world-class T-cell manufacturing and research expertise with the goal of rapidly advancing our CAR T programs.


The Director - CAR-T Platform Development Lead is an integral member of the Preclinical Research Laboratory Group and brings extensive engineered T cell product development expertise. This role oversees the development of the next generation of allogeneic, off-the-shelf CAR-T therapies for our expanding pipeline, with special interest to the challenges posed by the immunosuppressive nature of the tumor microenvironment. The candidate must have an established record of leadership in an industry setting with extensive laboratory-based CAR-T cell expertise.


Reports to              Sr. Director of Preclinical & Translational Science


Location                  Thousand Oaks (northwest Los Angeles area), CA


Position Responsibilities

  • We are looking for a talented, highly motivated individual to develop and lead the next-generation of off-the-shelf CAR-T therapies at Atara, leveraging the company’s unique Tab-cel® platform, with special focus on strategies to counteract the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment
  • Develops and leads a group of diverse scientists and research associates to facilitate new CAR-T programs and oversee IND-enabling in vitro studies.
  • Manages activity of direct reports and preclinical development project teams.
  • Independently designs and executes studies to facilitate preclinical proof-of-concept activity for efficacy and safety.
  • Develops and leads strong collaborative relationships with internal and external groups.
  • Coordinates study reports, summaries, and presentations supporting experimental results.
  • Role model for Atara’s Values of transparency, respect, accountability, integrity, and trust.


Travel May be required (up to 10%).




Qualifications/Position Requirements

  • Ph.D. with at least 8 years of experience in CAR-T, cell therapy or immuno-oncology, with industry experience required. A background in Molecular Biology for retroviral construct design is preferred.
  • The ideal candidate should have extensive working knowledge in ImmunoOncology, CAR-T construct design, cell engineering and T cell exhaustion in the context of solid tumor.
  • Expertise with current landscape of engineered T cell platforms and approaches to modulate the tumor/immune microenvironment.
  • A pioneering mindset focused on game-changing innovation and an outstanding team player are key attributes to this role. Excellent career growth opportunity for the right candidate.
  • Record of productivity and innovation in the engineered T cell space as evidenced by publications and/or patents.
  • Proficient with flow cytometry-based applications and retroviral construct design.
  • Ability to Independently propose, design, execute, and report internally and externally research projects.
  • Experience leading a small group of scientists capable of handling tight timelines and delivery of quality data.
  • Evidence of good team skills, independent thinking and leadership are vital.


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