Associate Director/Principal Scientist - Vector Analytics

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

Job Description

This position will work with the Technical Operations teams to strategize and design approaches to develop screening tools to evaluate vector constructs or producer cell lines targeting certain disease and tissues as well as plan and implement these approaches. This position will also interact closely with process sciences allogenic cell processing groups, quality control, CMO or CROs to support or oversee assay qualification or validation for vector reagent release testing.  The Associate Director/Principal Scientist will lead the vector analytics group of 6 to 9 Scientists and Research Associates.


Reports to:  Senior Director Viral Vector Development


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


Primary Responsibilities

  • Draft relevant CMC sections and lead interactions with agencies as appropriate in support of filings
  • Lead the development of vector analytics for release testing for vector reagents designed for allogeneic platforms. 
  • Develop of release and characterization assays to perform genome characterization and potency assays (genome integrity, sequence confirmation, sizing for residual DNA, vector variants) to support process and product development, formulation development, and manufacturing
  • Lead and contribute to bioassay efforts by designing, performing, and optimizing cell-based assays
  • Develops and transfers release assays to QC as well as leading life cycle management and assay improvements
  • Support testing for cell line engineering expression cassette construction
  • Provide leadership during assay transfers from internal and external groups to QC or CRO/CMO
  • Develops and leads strong collaborative relationships with internal and external groups 
  • Assist in the development of standard operating procedures, analytical test methods, and analytical sampling plans 
  • Mentors a group of diverse scientists and research associates to facilitate cross-functional training and collaboration, career development, and leading innovation in the viral vector arena.
  • Role model for Atara’s Values of patients first, innovation teamwork, inclusion, community and mindset. 


Education and Experience:

  • PhD. in Virology, Cell Biology, Immunology, Cancer biology, or equivalent with >7 years of vector development or related industry experience. Minimum of 3-5 year of management experience of teams with > 4 people.
  • Experience working in a dynamic, fast paced environment
  • Experience writing CMC sections for filings
  • Experience with molecular and cellular techniques, potency assays, immunoassays, flow cytometry, qPCR and ddPCR methods. 
  • Experience with assay qualification, validation, and assay transfers to QC 
  • Familiarity with development and /or commercialization of cell-based therapeutics 
  • Basic understanding of cGMP requirements 
  • Must be able to compose sound and well-reasoned written work and possess the ability to present technical information to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced small company environment with minimal direction and able to adjust workload based upon changing priorities

More about Atara Bio

We launched Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2012 to help patients with serious diseases and few therapeutic options. We’re named after Atara Ciechanover who suffered from cancer before passing away. We are considered a leading off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company (Nasdaq ATRA) developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases.


We’re proud of our team of 350+ 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.

Our mission – “Transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.”


Our vision - “T-Cell Immunotherapy for every patient, any time.”


Visit to learn more.

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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