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Scientist I - TCell Eng, BlueSphere Bio


BlueSphere Bio (formally known as TCXpress) is an immunotherapy startup that is the first translational science spinout from UPMC Enterprises.  BlueSphere Bio raised a Series A round of $10M in the 4Q of 2018.

We are currently recruiting for a highly motivated and creative T cell engineering scientist to join our discovery group for the development of personalized adoptive T cell therapies deriving from our TCXpress platform technology. The primary focus of the candidate will be on synthetic biology for the generation of new T cell receptor constructs and gene editing in primary T cells. The candidate will lead and conduct experiments and closely interact with both early discovery and clinical development groups. The role requires extensive knowledge of T-cell Immunobiology and expertise in Molecular Biology techniques. Candidate could also serve as a project leader for the preclinical development of therapeutic targets based on qualifications and experience.

  • Contribute with the development and writing of new intellectual property.
  • Design and engineer novel T cell receptor constructs that will serve as candidates for further clinical development.
  • Establish viral and non-viral technologies for the delivery of nucleic acids to human primary T cells.
  • In collaboration with early discovery and development characterize constructs with in vitro and ex vivo biochemical and functional assays using T cell lines and primary T cells.
  • Interact with CROs and CMOs for validation and manufacturing of candidate constructs.
  • Lead the development of engineered human primary T cells using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies to suppress endogenous TCR expression and to increase effector functions of receptors selected by our TCXpress platform.
  • Lead, train and mentor junior staff.
  • Present regularly to management and team meetings, contributing with scientific insights and helping with the overall strategy.
  • Provide expertise on T cell immunology with emphasis into T cell receptor signaling and structure and function relationship.
  • Responsible for Gene Editing and Synthetic Biology.


  • PhD. in Immunology, Oncology, Bioengineering with strong background in Molecular Biology with at least 2-5 years of Post-Doctoral experience in either academic or industrial setting. 
  • Hands on experience with gene editing using engineered nucleases such as ZFNs, TALENs, or CRISPR/Cas9 is highly desired. 
  • Significant knowledge of T cell biology and signal transduction research including areas such as allo-recognition, T cell suppression and exhaustion in the tumor microenviroment is preferred.  
  • Proven record of design, synthesis and validation of CAR-T or TCR-T constructs as evidenced by publications, presentations at scientific meetings or IP filings. 
  • Technical expertise in using latest molecular biology techniques in cloning and experienced in using retrovirus/lentivirus transduction in human primary T cells. 
  • Previous hands-on experience with immunological assays including cell based assays, ELISAs, ELISPOTs, cytokine secretion, cytotoxicity, proliferation and exhaustion assays, fluorescent microscopy and immunohistochemical tissue staining. 
  • Significant experience with isolation of immune cell subpopulations from human peripheral blood lymphocytes and/or tumors and their characterization using multi-parameter flow cytometry and data analysis.  
  • Prior experience with expression analysis using qPCR and/or cell-based assays is highly preferred. 
  • Previous laboratory supervision or project leadership experience is highly desired.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Job ID: 770088

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer.
Minority / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities