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Research Scientist: Novasenta, A UPMC Enterprises Portfolio Company

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The successful candidate will be supporting Novasenta’s cancer immunology research efforts, designing and executing genomic screening and editing studies to support therapy development efforts at Novasenta.

Novasenta is a UPMC Enterprises funded biotech startup focused on developing new cancer therapies targeting immunoregulatory mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment, reporting to the Program Coordinator.

Novasenta’s mission is to transform medicine by enabling innovative drug discovery at the interface of disease, immunity, and metabolism. Novasenta uses a next generation drug discovery approach combining unique experimental and computational tools to explore the human tumor microenvironment and discover novel therapeutically relevant targets and drugs.


  • Reporting to the Director of Research Operations and under guidance from the scientific founders and CEO, the successful candidate will drive the genetic target perturbation efforts at Novasenta
  • Investigate the most promising therapeutic target leads discovered in the tumor microenvironment for their biological disease relevance and therapeutic potential
  • Lead genomic screening and editing efforts for target-related studies that include library-based genome-wide screening, arrayed CRISPR/shRNA screen, CRISPR/shRNA-based target assessment
  • Design and execute high throughput genomic editing platform to facilitate target validation campaign with various cell populations
  • Develop molecular and cell-based assays for testing gene editing tools and sgRNAs
  • Support the development and validation of new technologies for molecular and cellular characterization of samples
  • Actively participates in the scientific dialogue of the group and proactively collaborates with colleagues
  • In line with a dynamic startup culture flexibility on work hours is required. Hours may exceed 40 hours at times driven by strategic and operational priorities


  • Ph.D. in molecular biology, biochemistry, or closed related field with 3+ years of post-doctoral experience in a biotechnology or pharmaceutical setting
  • Experience in designing and executing CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing strategy for discovery in primary (immune) cells
  • Strong demonstrated proficiency with high throughput screening, cloning, and advanced molecular biology experience
  • Demonstrated track record across multiple projects to prototype innovative applications and efficiently develop them towards high impact results
  • Solid record of accomplishments and publications as evidence of scientific knowledge
  • Good understanding in bioinformatics tools and experience working closely with bioinformatic expert
  • Experience in flow cytometry and other analytical techniques (e.g. qPCR)
  • Experience in working under GLP standards (writing research reports, SOPs, and IND sections) and ensuring safety compliance under BSL-2 is a plus
  • Good verbal and written communication skills and the ability to interpret, summarize, and present scientific results in a clear, concise, accurate manner to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Ability to deal with uncertainty and solve problems creatively and independently with solid judgement
  • The ideal candidate has demonstrated success in highly dynamic research and/or biotech setting
What we offer you:
  • Competitive pay and benefits package.
  • A fast-paced startup culture combined with the stability of a well-established entity (UPMC).
  • Work with some of the leaders in the immunotherapy and cancer field.
  • Opportunity to be part of a growing, dynamic and diverse team of highly skilled professionals discovering novel cancer therapies and making an impact on patient care.
  • Extensive opportunities for individual growth and professional development

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Job ID: 817909538

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