Posted:

Senior Scientist (Kinetics Assay Specialist)

Stevenage
Biologics, Discovery & Development
ref: 322
Full time

Closing Date:

7 June 2024

Job Title: Senior Scientist (Kinetics Assay Specialist)
Location: Stevenage
Job Type: Permanent 


At LifeArc, we want to hear from people who are as passionate as we are about making life science life changing to improve patients’ lives. 


A bit about the role:

We are looking for an expert scientist with skills and deep experience in surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assay development and screening to measure and characterise molecular interactions in support of our biologics and small molecule programs.  You should have a passionate interest in using your expertise in binding kinetics analysis, as well as epitope binning, target occupancy and other biophysical, biochemical or cellular assay capabilities, to identify the best fit-for-purpose lead molecules for the benefit of patient healthcare. 

This is an opportunity for a knowledgeable and enthusiastic person to join the Biologics Discovery and Development group within LifeArc’s translational therapeutic platforms.  This group is focused on the delivery of high-quality therapeutics to support LifeArc’s portfolio.   Our capabilities include antibody discovery, high-throughput screening, lead antibody characterisation/optimisation, antibody humanisation and protein and analytical sciences.   

This role is positioned within the screening capability stream.  This includes NGS-based recovery and analysis of antibody sequences and high-throughput antibody expression as well as screening from the initial panel of hundreds of molecules through intermediate stages into lead panel characterisation.   You will be responsible for generating key data for both high-throughput screening and lead characterisation stages of multiple projects.  Besides using our SPR-based Biacore and Carterra LSA instruments, you will be expected to also deploy other orthogonal methods available in the lab for measuring molecular interactions such as Octet (BLI) and Nanotemper (Spectral Shift and MST) if required.  In addition, it is vital that the successful candidate is willing to perform activities to cover the entire screening workstream, by utilising existing skills or learning new techniques.  Further, there will be opportunities to apply and expand your skillset across our translational therapeutic platforms.


About you:

A Senior Scientist works independently to perform specialised and non-routine experiments and contribute to the scientific rationale of any assigned projects. Additionally, they will develop and apply their specialist knowledge of scientific techniques/experiments to further project objectives.


  • Be an integral part of the antibody discovery and humanisation campaigns by providing kinetic profiling and epitope binning data using mainly Biacore, Octet and Carterra LSA instruments.
  • Generate full kinetic profiles of antigen binding to lead candidate antibodies and other biologics using SPR (Biacore), with appropriate controls and interpretation.
  • Function as an in-house expert for measurement and analysis of binding kinetics in general, including troubleshooting and optimisation plus taking responsibility for upkeep of instruments. 
  • Perform activities across the screening workstream to enable the team to work in an agile manner.
  • Contribute across projects by providing expertise in kinetic measurement and other biophysical, biochemical or cellular assays.
  • Remain connected with technology developments in the field and advise leadership of potential technology gaps or opportunities that could be of value to bring into LifeArc
  • Conceive, determine, execute and interpret complete range of experiments in assigned project using familiar or new methodologies/techniques.
  • Independently or collaboratively perform analysis of experimental results and develop hypotheses.
  • Summarise, interpret and present results of work (both verbal and written) and validate the interpretation of data and conclusions.
  • Prioritise own work according to project goals.
  • Evaluate and communicate resources and/or timelines to Project Leader/Line Manager to ensure project is sufficiently resourced and achieves its goals according to project plan.
  • Advise management and leadership on project strategies, project plans and project proposals in areas of specialist expertise.
  • Demonstrate, maintain and share knowledge of current scientific literature and developments in own area of expertise, apply it to the successful conduct of experiments and use it to help colleagues.
  • Work closely with colleagues and provide technical guidance and assistance where possible.
  • Maintain, review and approve laboratory notebooks and other data to company standards.
  • Perform all work demonstrating due care and attention to all internal processes and procedures including all health and safety and COSHH regulations.
  • Lead or lead on part of assigned project rationale.
  • Input into and deliver to schedules of work and deadlines, as determined by project requirements.
  • Work within set processes and protocols.
  • Execute research using novel or modified experimental techniques or methodologies.
  • Independently solve new and complex problems by evaluating a range of approaches
  • Define blocks of activity for self and team members where applicable, within a project and monitor progress according to project plan.
  • Facilitate the identification and selection of antibody lead candidates with optimal, pre-clinical drug-like properties.
  • Contribute to LifeArc’s antibody discovery and humanisation capabilities to support worldwide external collaborations.
  • Use experience to enhance LifeArc’s capabilities through continuous development of processes and techniques.
  • Autonomy to make decisions relating to project activities delegated by Project Lead/Line Manager independently.
  • Responsible for the delivery of own workload, and that of team where applicable
  • Follow a work plan horizon of typically up to one month.
  • Support and direct work of team members, where applicable
  • Creates Standard Operating Procedures for equipment as required.
  • Responsible for ongoing equipment maintenance and ensuring users are appropriately trained.
  • Impact of decisions and any resulting issues arising are generally medium term (weeks/months)
  • The time horizon for work is in line with the role’s deliverables which would be months long.
  • Interact with cross-functional internal stakeholders and influence to receive buy-in to scientific ideas.
  • As required, interact with portfolio governance to provide updates.
  • Interact with external stakeholders on a transactional level as required for the project e.g. with suppliers, manufacturers.
  • Present to external scientific community at conferences.
  • Contribute to resourcing decisions as it relates to specialism and/or project.
  • Raise POs for consumables or equipment as requested.
  • May be responsible for equipment purchases.


Education & experience required: 

  • PhD, MSc, BSc or equivalent in related subject and additional relevant experience
  • Supervisor experience desirable
  • Extensive hands-on experience and evidence of performing binding kinetics measurements and molecular interaction analysis to support biologics drug discovery projects using SPR-based methodology.
  • Experience in measuring the kinetics of antibody-antigen binding by SPR.
  • Evidence of assay development or troubleshooting skills, for example, when working with more difficult targets
  • Deep expertise with developing SPR-based methods and running and maintaining equipment such as Biacore instruments and software.

 

Desirable

  • Experience of high-throughput screening and associated data capture, handling and interpretation 
  • Experience in an industrial setting. 
  • Experience with other instruments such as the Octet or Carterra LSA, would be highly valued.
  • Understanding and practical skills in performing assays other than binding kinetics (biophysical, biochemical or cellular assays) or in other relevant techniques, such has NGS, sequence analysis and recombinant protein expression. 
  • Experience in the kinetic analysis of small molecule target binding, to enable support of small molecule projects at the screening level and with full characterisation of key compounds.

 

Skills & abilities:

  • Focussed on the generation of robust data and its clear presentation and communication to support decision making.
  • Willingness to perform activities to cover the entire screening workstream.
  • Self-motivated and adaptable
  • Ability to work well with others and participate fully in a high-performing team environment. 
  • Willingness to embrace opportunities to expand skills with new methods or equipment.
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Critical and analytical thinker, and a problem solver 
  • Organised and meticulous 
  • Detail oriented and accurate.
  • Ability to accurately follow directions.
  • Excellent communicator – both verbal and written
  • Act as a role model, bringing our principles to life.

 

About us:

At LifeArc, our ambition is to make life science life changing. We do this by advancing scientific discoveries beyond the lab, faster, so that they can shape the next generation of diagnostics, treatments, and cures. 

Working at the cutting edge of translational science and as the early-stage translation specialists, we progress scientific discoveries on their journey to becoming a medicine, diagnostic or intervention that can improve patients’ lives. Our work begins by seeking out innovative science, then helping to develop this to a point where there is a clinical and commercial pathway for others to invest the time and money to take it further forward. 

 

What we can offer you:

Salary will be determined by qualifications and experience along with other exceptional benefits. Because we understand everyone has different requirements, our flexible benefits allow you to choose those which are important to you. Our pension scheme offers employer contributions of up to 12%, private health insurance, and annual leave of 31 days PLUS bank holidays. 

Join us, and you’ll have the scope to be creative and take measured risks. You’ll be rewarded for your curiosity, for working as one team, and for learning fast. And you’ll have everything you need to be your best every day. 

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds, for example, are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At LifeArc we are dedicated in building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so whatever your background or lived experience, if you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. Our top priority is finding the best candidate, and you may be just the right candidate for this or other roles. 

We all have potential. At LifeArc, you’ll discover what you can really do with it.



Agencies: We will only work with recruitment partners on our preferred supplier list and will not engage with speculative CVs submitted.

 


Equal Opportunities

We are an equal opportunity employer. Find our more information about opportunities for all at LifeArc here. We only work with preferred recruitment suppliers and will not engage with speculative CVs supplied. Note that the closing date may be brought forward if we find the right person for this role

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