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Senior Research Associate, Lipid Nanoparticle Formulation & Discovery



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 Senior Research Associate for LNP Formulation within 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).

Your Primary Responsibilities

  • Routinely formulate high-quality lipid nanoparticles (LNP) encapsulating DNA that meet specifications for testing in mouse models.
  • Work with supervisor to design novel formulation compositions and employ high throughput formulation workflows to prepare and evaluate these LNPs.
  • Perform detailed biophysical characterization of LNPs by Dynamic Light Scattering, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, and HPLC to measure LNP size, polydispersity, encapsulation efficiency, lipid composition, and API integrity.
  • Perform mammalian cell culture and in vitro cellular assays such as reporter gene expression assays and flow cytometry-based assays to understand LNP characteristics and performance.
  • Perform assays such as quantitative PCR and RT-PCR from cell/tissue lysates and serum in a reproducible and careful manner to understand how LNPs behave in murine models.
  • Troubleshoot formulations, equipment, and assay challenges using creative and independent problem-solving approaches, using published literature as a guide.
  • 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 physical/life sciences or engineering discipline, with at least 1 year of experience formulating lipid nanoparticles (LNP) and preferably >2 years of biotech industry experience.
  • Prior experience with Lipid Nanoparticle formulation with siRNA, mRNA, or DNA using ionizable lipids (not merely off-the-shelf transfection reagents) is required for this role.
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture and cell-based assays (luminescence, fluorescence, etc.) is required.
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acid extraction/purification and quantitative RT-PCR is strongly preferred.
  • A ‘self-starter’ mentality with strong motivation and a keen drive to excel individually and in a team.
  • Excellent verbal communication, organization, time management, 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!