Group Leader - AAV Vectors

Job type:          Permanent
Hours:               Full time Office and Laboratory Based
Salary:              Competitive plus benefits, dependent on experience

ABOUT OXFORD GENETICS:

Oxford Genetics, a leader in synthetic biology, is a specialised contract research organisation offering services to support the discovery, development and production of biologics, with a particular focus on viral vectors for gene therapy applications. A unifying theme across the portfolio is expertise in DNA design, expression system optimisation, cell line development and engineering of viral delivery systems. We are located within purpose-fitted laboratories at the Oxford Science Park, just South of Oxford.

We are in a phase of rapid expansion and are seeking highly motivated and enthusiastic scientists, engineers and technicians to join the team and help facilitate the next stage of our development as a company. We aim to be both innovative and entrepreneurial in everything we do – join us and contribute to this exciting journey!

ROLE OVERVIEW:

The Group Leader - AAV Vectors will be involved in a range of internal platform development and commercial projects, focused on AAV vector engineering. This will include establishing and further developing screening strategies for identification of novel capsids and promoters, along with transgene optimisation methodologies. An additional part of the role is to manage two sub-teams focused on AAV production and characterisation, and stable cell line development – generating  ‘next-gen’ bioproduction systems based on Oxford Genetics’ packaging and producer cell line platforms.

The candidate should have an extensive background in Viral vector engineering, particularly AAV, with a solid understanding of vector biology, genetics, and translational applications. Oxford Genetics has a particular focus on automation and intelligent experimental design, so experience or aptitude in bioinformatics or data science would be advantageous.

Group Leaders are expected to take a scientific and technical leadership role, while providing support and training to scientists and technicians working in the group. The position will involve extensive interaction with both internal and external stakeholders, and the ability to show commitment to scientific development and innovation are considered essential.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Work closely with internal and external stakeholders to define project goals and deliverables, in line with the planned project objectives
  • To keep up-to date with the scientific literature and developments in the field
  • Set an example to other colleagues, and to train junior staff in appropriate techniques
  • Provide project summaries and reporting, as required
  • Promote and suggest implementation of new methods, technologies and processes to ensure best practice
  • Support line manager with customer interactions, and in ensuring smooth running of the group.
  • To adhere strictly to established quality standards, essential for on-going activities
  • Provide accurate record keeping at all times

CRITERIA:

  • PhD/DPhil in relevant discipline, with significant experience (>4 years)
  • Experience working in a commercial/industry environment is preferred but not essential
  • Demonstrated people management ability, through supervision and development of junior colleagues
  • Strong network within AAV research and/or commercial arena

Essential:

  • High-level knowledge and experience of viral vector engineering, production and characterisation, with a focus on AAV
  • Extensive track record of handling a range of adherent and suspension mammalian cell lines
  • Good experience with analytical techniques including flow cytometry, qPCR, ELISA, HPLC
  • Direct line management experience
  • Good attention to detail

Desirable:

  • Translational experience in gene therapy
  • Production of stable mammalian cell lines
  • Use of gene editing tools for cell engineering
  • Experience of designing, constructing and/or screening libraries (capsids, promoters, CDS, etc.) in vitro or in vivo
  • Experience of cell sorting, and characterisation of clonal cell lines
  • Use of robotic liquid handling and automation systems

In addition to undertaking the duties above, the post-holder will be expected to fully adhere to the following:

Personal Development

  • To actively participate in their performance review and work towards objectives set.
  • To take responsibility for their own professional development ensuring professional standards are maintained and mandatory training is in date.
  • To attend training as requested.

Code of Conduct and Quality

  • To uphold the company mission and values.
  • To support the company in developing an effective work/life balance for employees that meets the needs of the organisation.
  • To adhere to quality processes and procedures and strive for continuous quality improvement.

Equal Opportunities/Diversity

  • To observe the company’s Equal Opportunities Policy providing equality of treatment and opportunity to employees, irrespective of sex, sexuality, age, marital status, ethnic origin or disability.

Health & Safety

  • To take responsibility for the health & safety of themselves and other persons who may be affected by their omissions or actions at work.
  • To promote the company Health and Safety Policy and ensure matters are managed in accordance with it.
  • To report accidents, incidents and near misses, implementing corrective action where necessary.

Confidentiality and Data Security

  • To comply fully with the duties and responsibilities outlined the company handbook regarding confidentiality.
  • To comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and future similar legislation and ensure that all information collected, stored and used is done so in compliance with the Act.
  • To preserve the confidentiality of any information in connection with their employment.  This obligation shall continue in perpetuity.
  • To ensure that all information collected, stored and used is done so in compliance with legislation
  • To preserve the confidentiality of any information in connection with their employment.  This obligation shall continue in perpetuity.

COMPANY BENEFITS:

25 days Annual Leave plus Bank Holidays, Pension with matched employer contribution to 7% with salary exchange, Health Insurance, Group Life Cover, Glasses Vouchers and a friendly working environment in an exciting and expanding company.

 

JOB LOCATION

We have offices in the UK and USA. This role will be located at The Oxford Science Park, just 4 miles south east of Oxford, with parking and good public transport links from Oxford. Our UK office address is: Oxford Genetics Ltd, Robert Robinson Avenue, The Oxford Science Park, Oxford, OX4 4HG.

HOW TO APPLY

Candidates must be eligible to work in the United Kingdom without sponsorship.

Please send a CV to Recruitment@oxgene.com Your CV should include evidence that demonstrates how you meet each of the selection criteria for the post using examples of your skills and experience. This may include experience gained in employment, education, or during career breaks. Your application will be judged on the basis of how you demonstrate that you meet the selection criteria stated in the job description. Internal applicants apply directly to Human Resources, copying in their Line Manager.

By sending us your personal information, you are asking us to hold your data on file and understand that we will only keep it for as long as we need it to comply with the Data Protection Act however, should you wish your e-mail address to be added to our automated vacancies update list in the future, please advise us when you apply, thank you.

DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY

We provide all our staff with a welcoming and inclusive workplace that enables and empowers everyone to develop and deliver professional excellence. We recognise diversity is vital for innovation and creativity and value each individual’s contribution. Entry into employment with Oxford Genetics and further progression will be determined by personal merit and the application of criteria related to the duties of the role. The ability to perform the role will be the primary consideration on entry into employment and to successfully pass probation.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING

The appointment of the successful candidate will be subject to standard pre-employment screening, as applicable to the post. This will include right-to-work in the UK, proof of identity, references and health assessment.

Recruitment Agencies

Oxford Genetics only accept CV’s from Partnership Recruitment Agencies.  Should you wish to be considered for the future, please read the information on our website under ‘Recruitment Agencies’ and should you be eligible, please complete the online form, thank you.