Capsid Engineering Principal Scientist/Associate Director

Frontera Therapeutics is seeking an enthusiastic, motivated, and experienced principal scientist to associate director to join our dynamic and passionate AAV gene therapy research and development team. The role will be responsible for establishing and leading a AAV capsid discovery and engineering team to support AAV drug development. The main focus of this role is to establish and manage the capsid discovery and engineering team and to develop novel AAV capsids with enhanced properties, in particular the ability to transduce specific tissue and cell types. The discovery of these novel capsids will greatly facilitate the translation of company’s rich pipeline programs from in vitro through in vivo proof of concept and ultimately the clinic. The position requires extensive knowledge in molecular and cell biology, virology, structural biology, immunology, neurology, and/or genetics, with extensive working experience in AAV capsid discovery and engineering. The successful applicant will be a key member of the vector research and development team and lead the development of Frontera’s gene delivery platform. This role reports to the Senior Director/Head of Vector Research and Development.

Key Duties and Responsibilities include, not limited to, the following:

  • Establish, manage, and lead the capsid discovery and engineering platform
  • Design, develop and implement the production of AAV capsid libraries
  • Characterize and validate novel AAV capsid libraries
  • Establish approaches to identify novel AAV capsid variants that transduce specific cell types in both rodents and NHPs
  • Utilize NGS and machine learning to further enhance development of novel AAV with tailored properties
  • Supervise and conduct viral vector design, molecular cloning, plasmid prep, sequencing, viral vector production, and QC
  • Communicate and manage external CRO to support research activities
  • Oversee and report the progress of projects timely, stay on timelines
  • Maintain detailed and well-organized documentation with best industry practice
  • Train, mentor, and supervise scientists

Qualifications & Skills

  • A Ph.D. in molecular biology, cell biology, structural biology, virology, immunology, or related discipline is required
  • Expertise in the design and construction of AAV libraries is required
  • 4+ years of direct capsid discovery and engineering experience is required
  • Familiar with the whole process of AAV capsid discovery
  • Good knowledge in NGS and bioinformatics
  • Extensive knowledge of AAV biology
  • Extensive and excellent hands-on skills and experience with cell and molecular biology techniques, and assay development are required
  • Extensive experience with animal tissue handling and bioanalytical assays
  • Experience in developing procedures for the extraction of high quality of RNA and DNA from various mammalian tissues and scaling these procedures to high throughput workflows
  • Experience in generation and/or computational analysis of high-throughput data
  • Outstanding critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Responsible and efficient with work assignments
  • Can do attitude and quick and high-quality execution
  • Exceptional ability in team management
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
  • Ability to be highly productive in a fluid, fast-paced team environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

If interested in this position, contact us at