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Associate Scientist, In Vitro Delivery Science



Redwood City, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2024

About Earli

Earli exists to make cancer a benign experience. Earli does that by turning cancers against themselves: genetically forcing them to reveal themselves early, and then kill themselves – precisely and clearly distinguishable from benign lesions at early stages. Based on original technology from Stanford’s renowned Gambhir lab, Earli designs genetic constructs that are injected intravenously that turn cancer cells against themselves. These programmable synthetic promoter-reporter sequences “flip on” like light switches only in dysregulated cancer cells and turn them into "factories." The cancer is forced to produce either an epitope “docking station” for imaging agents, or a cytokine for immune system activation against the tumor. Thus, Earli’s platform enables immediate diagnosis and treatment of early cancers, rather than long-term observation that can lead to deadly metastatic recurrence.

Earli's synthetic target expression platform has evolved over five years of deep bioengineering. The system can now detect broad ranges of patient mutations, distinguish between malignant and benign lesions, and offer independence from often elusive natural biomarkers.

Earli has raised $82m in three rounds from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Emerson Collective, Stanford, Perceptive Advisors, Casdin Capital, Marc Benioff, Sands Capital, Breyer Capital, Tailwinds (American-Korean) etc.

Its Scientific Advisory Board includes Jim Allison (Nobel Laureate, Immuno Oncology), Bob Langer (MIT, co-founder Moderna), Phil Greenberg (Hutch, co-founder Juno), Pam Sharma (MD Anderson), Charlie Rudin (Sloan Kettering), Alan Ashworth (UCSF Cancer Center).

Who You Are

  • You share our same sense of dedication, scientific passion and entrepreneurial spirit
  • You work well in a fast-paced and extremely focused startup environment
  • You are not only smart, but clever and constantly think outside the box
  • You are able to make logical decisions in an instant when there is little time to evaluate
  • You are a natural communicator and relationship builder
  • You stay calm under high pressure and stress
  • You have the ability to multi-task in a serious way, with an extreme attention to detail
  • You become a representative of the core DNA of the company through who you are

The Position

Earli Inc. is currently seeking a high-caliber Associate Scientist for Molecular and Cellular Assays in the Delivery team. The key responsibility for this role will be to support discovery projects aimed at improving the delivery of Earli’s DNA constructs to tumors using lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) though use of in vitro and ex vivo assays.

Your Primary Responsibilities

You will develop and use cellular and molecular assays to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Earli’s non-viral nucleic acid delivery formulations in vitro and in vivo.

You will:

  • Drive projects aimed at understanding the performance of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) using in vitro cell-based assays such as those leveraging fluorescence/luminescence, flow cytometry, and microscopy readouts.
  • Leverage cellular assays to understand the immune stimulation caused by different formulation compositions in vitro and ex vivo.
  • Develop and employ quantitative cell-based assays to quantify steps in the intra-cellular trafficking and delivery of LNPs to cells, such as endosome escape assays, nuclear delivery assays, etc.
  • Extract DNA and RNA from cells and tissues and use quantitative PCR, RT-PCR, and NGS-based methods to evaluate gene expression.
  • Perform ELISAs or other biochemical assays (Luminex, MSD, etc.) to evaluate serum stability, pharmacokinetics, and safety/immunotoxicity of delivery formulations.
  • Be an integral member of the Delivery team and contribute to novel delivery formulation development, optimization, testing, and clinical translation.
  • Document protocols, materials, and results and maintain an extremely thorough electronic laboratory notebook
  • Communicate findings internally to team via presentations and written reports.

Your Required Experience, Knowledge and Skills

  • BS or MS degree in life sciences or engineering discipline, with 4+ years in biotech industry or equivalent research experience (i.e., 4 years of experience post-graduation in an academic/non-profit research institute). Background and interest in understanding immune responses to exogenous materials/drugs is preferred.
  • Experience with a wide variety of cell-based assays is required including quantitative fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry (i.e., use of staining reagents, fluorescent protein readouts, high-throughput automated image analysis).
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acid extraction/purification and quantitative RT-PCR is required. NGS experience is a plus.
  • Experience with evaluating cytokine elevations using ELISA or Luminex based assays is strongly preferred.
  • Experience with evaluating performance of non-viral delivery agents is highly preferred.
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to think independently, multi-task effectively, and fully integrate into a high achieving team environment.

If interested in applying, please attach a CV or have a well-developed LinkedIn profile for us to be able to assess your background.

We look forward to hearing from you!