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Scientist - Viral Vector Process Development

Company: Atara Biotherapeutics
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posted on: June 4, 2021

Job Description:

Job Description

The Viral Vector Process Development Scientist is part of a growing Virology Team and is responsible for viral vector process and analytical development supporting Atara's immunotherapy programs.

This role is primarily responsible for performing laboratory work and development work supporting the engineering and production of cell banks. This work will include process development and scale-up, data analysis and interpretation, authoring protocols / SOPs, drafting and managing work-streams / schedules, adhering closely to established procedures and policies, and maintaining impeccable documentation of work performed. This position will have the opportunity to collaborate across the three different work-streams for Viral Vector Development-cell engineering; upstream process development; and downstream process development-as well as cross-functionally with other process sciences teams, and other departments (including regulatory, quality, manufacturing, and supply chain).

The candidate should be very organized, able to comply with SOPs and deadlines faithfully, and have competitive personal attributes including initiative, independent thinking, and collaboration skills.

Reports to: Sr. Scientist - Viral Vector Development

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

Position Responsibilities

  • Design and implement strategies for cell engineering
  • Large scale mammalian adherent cell culture
  • Aseptic technique suitable for highly controlled tissue culture work
  • Generation, and characterization of cell banks and virus banks
  • Execute selection and screening studies, including subcloning and genetic stability
  • Basic analysis of genetic sequences for plasmids, viruses, and cells
  • Works closely with external partners on characterization and release studies
  • Supports virus analytical method development, transfer, and technical reports as needed
  • Maintain detailed documentation of procedures, experiment methods, and data collection
  • Adheres to SOPs and protocols with no deviations
  • Maintain compliance with quality guidelines for the Cell Engineering Laboratory
  • Managing project schedule and study deliverables to consistently meet deadlines
  • Interact cross-functionally within the process development and analytical development teams to achieve program objectives
  • Assist in writing technical reports, protocols/SOPs, and Tech-Transfer documents
  • Read and understand relevant literature and be able to extrapolate key information and/or techniques that may be utilized for developmental work
  • Evaluate and prepare data slides and conclusions to communicate to the program team
  • Maintain relationships with vendor representatives as necessary
  • Complete all company compliance trainings on-time
  • Provides leadership and training to more junior team members
  • Other duties as assigned


Ability to travel for one week in a year if necessary and safe.

Physical Requirements

The ability to endure extended periods of sitting and standing, visual engagement with computer monitors, and periods of elevated noise levels. The ability and comfort to don and remove required PPE for highly controlled research/manufacturing areas with relative ease. Be able to transport boxes and other material to and from the warehouse as needed with the aid of a cart / dolly. Work is approximately 80% lab-based and 20% desk-based.


Education and Skills:

  • PhD in virology, cell biology, gene/cell therapy, microbiology, molecular biology, or related discipline with 0-3 years related experience
  • Proficient familiarity with Microsoft Office products (ex. Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
  • Excellent record-keeping and computer skills
  • Strong communication skills (e.g., clear and concise)
  • Ability to successfully execute complex experiments accurately with detailed records
  • Strong time and self-management skills
  • Strong critical and logical thinking with ability to analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, and implement recommendations for resolution
  • Self-motivated and flexible, able to prioritize, multi-task, and work in a fast-paced & demanding environment


  • Experience with retroviral and/or adenoviral vectors
  • Experience with flow Cytometry and/or quantitative PCR
  • Basic understanding of cGMP requirements
  • Experience using Design of Experiment (DOE)

More about Atara Bio

We launched Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2012 to help patients with serious diseases and few therapeutic options. 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 425+ Atarians co-located by design in 4 different locations including South San Francisco (corporate headquarters), Thousand Oaks (R&D and manufacturing headquarters), Zug, Switzerland (european headquarters) and a R&D site in the Denver, Colorado area. 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. 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."

Atara offers a competitive benefits packages that includes medical/dental/vision benefits, life and disability, retirement and stock program, as well as a generous paid time off and wellness plan that supports the well-being of our staff. 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.

Keywords: Atara Biotherapeutics, Thousand Oaks , Scientist - Viral Vector Process Development, Other , Thousand Oaks, California

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