Sr Scientist - Downstream Vector Development
Atara Biotherapeutics
 Thousand Oaks, CA

Job Description

This position will work with the Technical Operations teams to strategize and design approaches to develop tools to purify viral vectors (adenovirus, retrovirus, Epstein Barr virus) used in cell therapy processes (auto- & allo). This position will also interact closely with process sciences allogenic cell processing groups, quality control, and internal/external manufacturing. The Sr Scientist Downstream Vector Development is responsible for leading the downstream process development, optimizing, and qualifying downstream processes to produce quality products with high yield, vector relevant purity, and scalability. These processes may include cell lysis, depth filtration, TFF, TF/DF, ion exchange chromatography. In addition, the Sr Scientist will support internal/external GMP manufacturing activities for viral vectors. The Sr Scientist is required to have experience developing manufacturable viral vector processes of vector reagent suitable for auto- and allogeneic cell therapy processes. The candidate must have successfully demonstrated technical proficiency, scientific innovation, independent thinking, interaction with and training team members, and cross-functional collaboration.

Reports to: Senior Director Viral Vector Development

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

Primary Responsibilities

  • Development of scalable and robust downstream viral vector processes
  • Design experiments related to development, optimization, scale-up of all steps in a viral vector purification process and cell product viral clearance studies
  • Identify, evaluate, and implement new and existing technologies to improve process efficiency, control, and understanding
  • Apply DOE and other advanced statistical techniques to design experiments related to process characterization

Author high-quality documents, including technical reports, SOPs, and experimental protocols

  • Serve as PD representative and participate in cross functional meetings
  • Contribute to scale up activities and draft tech transfer related documents (e.g. process description, process flow diagram)
  • Conduct facility fit exercise, review batch records and provide comments, support MFG activities internally or externally
  • Provide technical support (e.g. process/operational gap identification and troubleshooting) to internal or external MFG group
  • Support Quality Assurance teams to help evaluate deviations, CAPA and Change Controls (both internal and external)


Education and Experience:

  • PhD in a scientific discipline with at least 5-7 years related experience or master degree with 12 years or BS with 15 years
  • Solid theoretical understanding and hands-on experience in purification and analytical characterization of viral vectors (vaccine or protein will be considered)
  • Hands-on experience with purification unit operations including filtration, different mode chromatography, UF/DF, AKTA, UNICORN, centrifugation
  • The candidate should be self-motivated, accountable, inquisitive, and have excellent organization and communication skills
  • Flexibility to switch between projects
  • 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.