Research Associate, Immunology and Preclinical studies

Genocea Biosciences is a biotechnology company focused on bringing lifesaving personalized cancer vaccines and immunotherapies to patients. While traditional immunotherapy discovery methods have largely used predictive algorithms to find target antigens, Genocea has been able to successfully leverage the superiority of ATLAS (TM), our proprietary, high-throughput technology platform, to identify disease-targeting antigens of T cells based on a patient’s own immune responses. In the context of cancer, the ATLAS platform identifies which patient-specific tumor neoantigens are optimal for recognition by the patient’s immune system and inclusion in, or exclusion from, a vaccine or immunotherapy.  A Phase 1/2a clinical trial of Genocea’s GEN-009 personalized vaccine is currently ongoing, and a broad pipeline of additional cancer immunotherapy candidates are in development.

We are seeking a motivated Research Associate to join our interdisciplinary team developing next-generation vaccines and cellular therapies in immuno-oncology. The successful candidate will work on modeling ATLAS-based antigen selection in preclinical tumor models and carry out preclinical studies to advance new immunotherapy programs to clinical trials. This is a lab-based position that collaborates closely with multiple team members. The ideal candidate will have some background in both immunology and oncology and will be familiar with laboratory procedures including animal handling, cell culture, and immunological assays (e.g. ELISA, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry). Critically, we are looking for an energetic, detail-oriented, and self-motivated individual who is passionate about research and the opportunity to positively impact patient lives.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Perform ex vivo ATLAS bioassays to identify neoantigens in syngeneic mouse tumor models 

  • Develop methods for isolation and expansion of mouse immune cells including culture, enrichment, and differentiation

  • Perform in vivo immunogenicity and tumor efficacy experiments to test vaccine and cellular therapy candidates

  • Perform immunological assays to characterize therapeutic response including: multi-color flow cytometry, intracellular cytokine staining, ELISA/ELISpot, immunohistochemistry, and tumor infiltrating lymphocyte analysis

  • Develop and maintain good working relationships with RAs, scientists, statisticians, computational biologists, and external collaborators as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

  • Ex vivo ATLAS bioassays to identify neoantigens in syngeneic mouse tumor models 

Competencies

  • Passion for curing human diseases and improving patients’ lives

  • Detail-oriented and problem-solving mindset that demonstrates flexibility and critical thinking in a fast-paced environment

  • Superior organizational skills and ability to multi-task efficiently with a willingness to embrace and adjust to change

  • Strong communication skills that aid in presentation and writing, maintaining detailed documentation, explaining complex technical details in simple language, and planning collaborative experiments efficiently in a team-oriented environment

  • Strong teamwork skills that facilitate collaboration and communication both in small teams and with members of other teams

  • Motivation to learn about a new and exciting field of science

Required Skills

  • Hands-on experience with mammalian cell culture

  • A solid theoretical understanding of animal models in immunology and/or oncology; hands-on experience is a plus; willingness to work hands-on with mice is a must.

  • A solid theoretical understanding of immunology techniques (e.g. ELISA, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry); hands-on experience with protocols and analysis is a plus

  • Ability to analyze data, draw conclusions, communicate results, and compile technical reports

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team with a positive attitude

  • Strong computer skills; experience with Microsoft Office and Graphpad Prism

  • A strong background in either immunology or oncology is a plus

  • Hands-on experience with in vivo animal studies and mammalian cell culture

Education Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in biology or bioengineering

  • Laboratory experience in either academic or industry settings