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Research Associate, BlueSphere

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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.

This is an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate/Biology to join our group for the development of novel therapeutics in the field of Cancer Immunotherapy. The incumbent will work on the development of a series of in vitro and ex vivo functional assays for the characterization of neoantigen specific T cell receptors, utilizing a range of Molecular Biology and Cell Culture techniques. She/he would be responsible for assay development, miniaturization and implementation to high throughput functional screening assays. The Research Associate will join a team performing diverse functions, assisting both in the preclinical advancement of TCR leads and product characterization in early clinical development.

  • Characterize cells using multi-parameter Flow Cytometry and Data Analysis.
  • Clone proteins into mammalian expression vectors including retrovirus and lentivirus vectors.
  • Maintain accurate sample and laboratory records, including human tissue bio-banking.
  • Optimize and help develop conditions for optimal gene delivery.
  • Organize and conduct assigned studies, independently, following and adhering to current experimental protocols.
  • Participate in the development and standardization of cellular based assays in high throughput format using liquid handlers and automated culturing instruments.
  • Perform cell based and ex-vivo functional assays.
  • Present regularly to management and team meetings.
  • Transfect, establish and characterize new cell lines.
  • Using appropriate cell lines and primary cells help develop secondary and tertiary screening assays such as cytokine secretion, killing and proliferation assays to validate and differentiate between candidate T cell receptor constructs.
  • Work closely with our clinical team to advance and validate lead TCR candidates.


  • Masters degree (MS) in Immunology, Oncology, or Cell Biology or equivalent experience preferred, Bachelor of Science (BS) degree required.  
  • At least 3 years of working experience preferred.  
  • Experience in Biotech/ Pharmaceutical industry is preferred.  
  • Demonstrated work in Molecular Biology including RT-PCR, qPCR, cloning, and gene manipulation, including bioinformatic analysis. 
  • Hands-on experience with multi-parameter Flow Cytometry and data analysis is highly preferred. 
  • Experience in cell culturing techniques, preferentially with primary and T cell lines, including expansion, activation, and enrichment of primary T cells.  
  • Demonstrated experience with standard immunology assays such as ELISAs, ELISPOTs, cytokine secretion, cytotoxicity, and proliferation assays. 
  • Hands-on experience with transductions and transfection instrumentation is desirable.  
  • Experience with automation and robotic instrumentation is an advantage. 
  • Previous experience in Laboratory Information Management Systems preferred. 
  •  Proficiency with analytical software, e.g. PRISM, FlowJo, Excel. 
  • Efficiency and organization, with ability to adhere to timelines and milestones. 
  • Excellent communications and presentation skills are highly important.

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

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Job ID: 774722

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