Senior Scientist, Target Discovery (Discovery Research) – Adaptimmune – Abingdon

Adaptimmune

WHO WE ARE
Adaptimmune is a leader in TCR T-cell therapy, focused on developing novel cancer immunotherapy products. With 3 wholly owned SPEAR T-cell products in clinical trials (ADP-A2M4, ADP-A2M4CD8, and ADP-A2AFP) in multiple solid tumor indications, the Company is undergoing a period of expansion to increase our capabilities to transform the lives of people with cancer by designing and delivering cell therapies.

In November 2020, we were recognised as a ‘Great Place to Work’ both in the UK/US. Our company culture is rooted in trust, our capacity to collaborate, being honest and brave in our desire to be successful in transforming the lives of people with cancer. It is this formula that enables us to face challenges and take advantage of opportunities in our fight against cancer.


ROLE OVERVIEW

The main purpose of this role is to function as part of our Target Discovery group of scientists who play a key role in identifying and validating targets for our portfolio of SPEAR T-cell and HLA-independent TCR-T cell products as well as supporting decisions around indication expansion and safety for our pipeline projects.

The Target Discovery group are a key part of the Discovery Research team. Our remit is to understand target expression patterns and the tumour microenvironment. We use this knowledge, together with information from our clinical SPEAR-T projects, to select the best TCR targets for combination with our portfolio of Next Generation T cell armouring approaches to make safe, potent and potentially curative T cell therapies. Our HLA independent TCR and allogeneic platforms give us opportunities to treat more patients and address both pHLA and cell surface antigen targets.

The candidate will work collaboratively with diverse functional groups within Adaptimmune and across external partnerships. You will support initial target discovery and validation work at the protein level using techniques such as immunohistochemistry and western blotting as well as RNA, bioinformatics and literature-based research. A good understanding of tumour biology, tumour immunology, protein degradation and antigen presentation is preferable.

Reporting to the Group Leader the purpose of this role is to conduct scientific experiments to support the departmental objectives or company project objectives as necessary within dedicated scientific or project teams.

The Scientist will be relatively independent in both the conduct and analysis of their experiments but may still require scientific guidance at some level from the group/departmental/functional Principal Scientists.

Performance in this role (including functional and project objectives and behaviours) will be monitored through group performance and stakeholder feedback from peers, senior management and project team members (as outlined in the development framework for this position).


KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Independently or in partnership with the Principal Scientist, designing and conducting experiments appropriate for the individual function and/or discipline to enable group and/or project objectives.
  • Analyse, summarise and record experimental results.
  • Participate in group and project meetings and discussions.
  • Contribute to routine lab maintenance.
  • If available and appropriate, project work-stream leadership/management and/or supervision of other junior scientists or technicians.


QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE


Required
  • Degree in Life Sciences, or related discipline.
  • Relevant post-graduate experience within an industry/biotech/CRO setting, potentially including a PhD, or an MSc with more extensive experience in a relevant scientific area (ideally immunology and/or tumour biology).
  • Extensive relevant experience of laboratory procedures to study protein expression levels and patterns including immunohistochemistry/in situ hybridisation, western blotting and qRT-PCR.
  • Ability to work independently on routine experiments and develop new methods.
  • Ability to learn and develop to work independently on complex experiments within a reasonable time frame.

Desirable
  • Experience with RNAseq, digital PCR or MS based proteomics/metabolomics/SILAC or pulse chase experiments to understand protein turnover rates would be beneficial.
  • A good understanding of immunology and/or tumour microenvironment biology.
  • Experience with image analysis or digital pathology software for data interpretation.
  • Experience of the use of bioinformatics and data handling and scripting tools to interrogate RNAseq, proteomic, pathway datasets etc.
  • Familiarity with AI/ML approaches to image and data analysis.


SKILLS & COMPETENCIES


Required
  • Computer literate and ability to familiarise with different IT systems.
  • Excellent numeracy and English language skills (both written and verbal).
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • Ability to follow and develop protocols.
  • Knowledge and skills to use standard laboratory equipment.
  • Ability to design experiments and studies to address key scientific questions.
  • High attention to detail, good time management skills and communication skills.
  • Able to work independently after training.
  • Strong team player but with the ability to work independently as well.

Desirable
  • Familiarity with bioinformatics and analysis of large complex datasets.
  • Familiarity with AI/ML approaches to image and data analysis.

At Adaptimmune we embrace diversity and equality of opportunity. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of age, colour, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other legally protected category. It is our intent that all qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment.

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