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Sr. Scientist, Vector Innovation

4D Molecular Therapeutics

4D Molecular Therapeutics

Emeryville, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023

At 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Inc. (“4DMT”), we boldly innovate to unlock the full potential of genetic medicines for countless patients. We are committed to breaking boundaries and daring to cure as we develop new and foundational products and product components through our growing technology platforms.

4DMT is a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company harnessing the power of directed evolution for targeted genetic medicines. We seek to unlock the full potential of gene therapy using our platform, Therapeutic Vector Evolution (TVE), which combines the power of directed evolution with our approximately one billion synthetic AAV capsid-derived sequences to invent evolved vectors for use in our products. We believe key features of our targeted and evolved vectors will help us create targeted product candidates with improved therapeutic profiles. These profiles will allow us to treat a broad range of large market diseases, unlike most current genetic medicines that generally focus on rare or small market diseases.

We have built a deep portfolio of AVV-based gene therapy product candidates, with five product candidates in clinical trials: 4D-150 for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME), 4D-710 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis lung disease, 4D-310 for the treatment of Fabry disease cardiomyopathy, 4D-125 for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), and 4D-110 for the treatment of choroideremia. In addition, we have two product candidates in preclinical studies: 4D-175 for geographic atrophy (GA) and 4D-725 for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

To-date, we have demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept for three evolved vectors in three therapeutic areas and routes of administration with five products and patient populations. We believe this validates the power of our directed evolution platform for discovering superior vectors compared to wildtype viral vectors. We have built a robust and efficient product engine with 6 open Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) in the U.S., 1 IND in Taiwan, and 1 Clinical Trial Approval (CTA) in Australia. We believe we are positioned to create, develop, manufacture and, if approved, effectively commercialize targeted genetic medicines that could transform the lives of patients suffering from debilitating diseases.

In addition to TVE, our technology includes a robust AAV manufacturing platform and onsite manufacturing facility that allows us to rapidly produce and test research grade material and scale up to GMP clinical material. This internal capability and close collaboration between our R&D and Manufacturing teams has greatly accelerated the pace of discovery at 4DMT.

Company Differentiators:

• Fully integrated clinical-phase company with internal manufacturing
• Demonstrated ability to move rapidly from idea to IND
• Five candidate products in the clinic and two declared pre-clinical programs
• Robust technology and IP foundation, including our TVE and manufacturing platforms
• Initial product safety and efficacy data substantiates the value of our platforms
• Opportunities to expand to other indications and modalities within genetic medicine


As a Senior Scientist, Vector Innovation you will contribute to improvements to our Therapeutic Vector Evolution platform primarily in novel AAV library design in support of the discovery of novel therapeutic AAV vectors. You will work closely with the entire Vector Innovation & Human Cell and Disease Modelling team onsite to ensure our platform continues to yield best-in-class novel AAV capsids.

*Capsid Engineer Profile most appropriate for this role.*


Lab Activities: 50% of TIME

  • Design and generate new AAV capsid libraries using various diversification techniques
  • Develop novel AAV library backbones to improve screening processes including construction, detection, recovery, and re-packaging

  • Independently and effectively design and execute experiments to test new libraries and detection techniques
  • Contribute to the execution of selections including NHP tissue processing, episomal recovery and sequencing
  • Draft study designs, protocols, and maintain an electronic lab notebook
  • Design and execute directed experiments to meet strict timelines

Cross Functional Meetings/Communication: 50% of TIME

  • Contribute scientific ideas and knowledge in departmental and cross-functional team meetings
  • Effectively present findings at departmental and cross-functional team meetings
  • Engage in Vector Innovation study design for various programs
  • Present annually at Research and Progress meeting
  • Help compile data and author sections for IND preclinical pharmacology reports
  • Communicate effectively with management and their team to achieve departmental goals



  • D. in a relevant scientific field, preferably Virology or Protein Engineering
  • Or, MS + 10 yrs industry experience
  • Or, BS + 12 yrs industry experience


  • 10+ years of experience within Biotech or similar industry
  • 8+ years molecular biology experience
  • 3+ years in AAV gene therapy field


Technical Skills

  • Expertise in RNA and DNA based AAV library design & execution
  • Expertise in AAV biology, particularly AAV capsid binding, cell integration and localization to the nucleus
  • Strong in molecular biology technique, virus handling and transduction
  • Basic cell culture: adherent, suspension
  • Protein identification through Western blotting, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry
  • Microscopy and using imaging software
  • NGS sequence analysis experience and bioinformatics experience

Non-technical Skills

  • Understands integration of company and departmental goals
  • Leverage strategic organizational awareness for planning and timely delivery of assigned projects to meet departmental and company goals
  • Strong problem-solving skills to lead and deliver on multiple complex projects, and interact with external partners without close supervision
  • Strong resiliency and a sense of ownership; effective prioritization skills, attention to detail and accuracy; adaptable, embraces and endorses change
  • Committed to innovation, finding opportunities to enhance ways of working (including processes, methods, technology etc.) and sharing new techniques and lessons learned pro-actively with peers
  • Influence as thought leader in your department and an influential subject matter expert to your team members and colleagues
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external colleagues and partnerships with other data scientists and analysts, biostatistics, medical and business leaders, and other key functional experts
  • Act as a positive role model for peers and help coach colleagues to improve in their role with both technical and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills, effective management ability, constructive at giving and receiving feedback
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, with ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a high-growth, fast-paced environment

Base salary compensation range:



Bay Area Range



Please note, the base salary compensation range and actual salary offered to the final candidate depends on various factors: candidate’s geographical location, relevant work experience, skills, and years of experience.

4DMT provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, status as a covered veteran, and any other category protected under applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities