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Senior/Principal Scientist - Analytical Method Development

  • Research & Development (Wet Lab)
  • Full-time
  • Hyderabad, IN

Posted on April 17, 2024

PopVax is an Indian biotechnology company based in Hyderabad. We are funded via research agreements with the Gates Foundation and Vitalik Buterin’s biosecurity company Balvi. For the past year, we have been building a novel second-generation mRNA platform for low-cost broadly-protective vaccines via computationally-driven antigen design, starting with an open-source booster vaccine candidate that is intended to protect against the human-infecting pathogens in the betacoronavirus genus, including current and future strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

We have seen up close that there are incredible capabilities in vaccine design, testing, and optimization just waiting to be unlocked that will enable us to pursue and perhaps even succeed at realizing wildly ambitious agendas such as ending TB, preventing future pandemics via broadly-protective vaccines, tackling the deadly scourge of antimicrobial resistance, eliminating debilitating degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, and curing fiendishly tricky chronic conditions such as ME/CFS and Long COVID. We are initiating multiple new vaccine programs this year to go after a number of these opportunities.

We are seeking a Senior/Principal Scientist - Analytical Method Development to join our team in Hyderabad (note: in-person only, we do not offer remote work) to play a key role across our programs. This role involves:

  • Leading the analytical team in the development and optimization of analytical methods for nucleic acid vaccines and lipid nanoparticles, including but not limited to HPLC, LC-MS, GC-MS, capillary electrophoresis, agarose gel electrophoresis, and spectroscopy techniques.

  • Working with our R&D teams to rapidly adapt analytical methods to accommodate changes in product as they go through their fast-paced iterative development processes.

  • Driving innovation in new analytical technologies and methodologies to enhance and accelerate vaccine characterization and quality control.

  • Collaborating closely with R&D, manufacturing, and QC teams to ensure analytical methods are aligned with product development, production, and quality needs.

  • Mentoring and developing the analytical method development team, fostering a culture of excellence, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

  • Managing the analytical laboratory, including coordinating equipment maintenance, inventory management, and team training.

  • Participating in regulatory submissions and audits, including proproviding expert insights and data to support product approvals.

Candidates must have:

  • MS (or PhD) in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a related field with a minimum of 10 (or 5 for PhD) years of experience in analytical method development, preferably related to biologics.

  • A deep understanding of HPLC-based techniques and method development, with a proven track record of developing and optimizing HPLC methods for the characterization of novel biomolecules.

  • Deep experience in writing clear and precise analytical protocols for newly-developed methods, and keeping said protocols updated as methods are further developed.

  • A history of ethical leadership and team management in a fast-paced, innovative environment.

  • Excellent problem-solving, organizational, and communication skills.

  • A demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively across departments and with external partners.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Extensive experience in the development and validation of analytical methods for nucleic acids — in particular mRNA & pDNA — or related cell & gene therapy (CGT) materials using techniques including but not limited to HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, and gel electrophoresis.

  • Some knowledge of molecular biology, particularly as relates to the design of probes and primers for the characterization of nucleic acid products.

  • Experience in the development and validation of analytical methods for lipids and lipid nanoparticles, in particular the use of HPLC-CAD.

  • Experience writing testing protocols for newly-developed methods for inclusion in regulatory submissions, as well as discussing and defending the appropriateness of these protocols in regulatory consultations and audits.

  • Experience developing completely novel analytical methods, as demonstrated by high-quality academic publications.

  • A deep understanding of quality standards for biopharmaceuticals, including knowledge of the relevant regulatory requirements for QC assay validation.

We offer very competitive compensation, comprehensive health insurance with the option to cover immediate family (including pre-existing conditions), and, most importantly, a collaborative work environment focused on solving the cutting-edge multidisciplinary challenges of our novel mRNA platform.