SMART CAMP (Critical Analytics for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine) is a new interdisciplinary research programme in Singapore (CREATE international research campus and innovation hub) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SMART CAMP addresses key technology bottlenecks in cell therapy manufacturing: (i) critical quality attributes of safe, effective cell therapy products; and (ii) integrated process analytics to monitor and modulate those attributes. While cell therapies are poised to transform healthcare for both the industry and the patient, there remain many outstanding scientific and technical challenges to significant global impact that this R&D programme addresses. This high-impact focus includes measurement and feedback control of processing parameters (process analytic technologies, or PAT) that contribute to cell viability and function during cell proliferation, and the measurement at intermediate and final steps of the cell product properties correlated with positive therapeutic outcomes (critical quality attributes, or CQA).
This interdisciplinary team comprises engineers, biologists, clinicians, manufacturing, and data analytics experts from multiple MIT academic units, and multiple Singapore-based universities, research centres of excellence, and hospitals who are experienced at translational demonstrations of technologies in safety-regulated industries such as cell therapies. As with all postdoctoral associates (PDAs) in SMART CAMP based in Singapore, the PDA will work in a diverse team of experts including several principal investigators (PIs) and PDAs, and receive direct mentorship regarding career development from a pair of who are based in Singapore and at MIT, respectively.
CAMP’s unique, enabling and cross-cutting capabilities include cell and clinical biology, microfluidics, real-time optics and spectroscopies, 3D-printed devices, process analytics, data analytics, and bioinformatics. This programme will demonstrate these approaches required of cell-based personalized medicine through three translational testbeds (three Flagship Projects), ultimately facilitating access for more patients to life-saving, approved cell therapies for currently intractable health challenges. These flagship projects will address allogeneic and autologous cell therapy products, including but not limited to cell sources including adult stem/progenitor cells and immune cells for treatment of specific cancers, tissue degeneration, and autoimmune diseases.
Flagship Project 1: Label-free critical quality attributes (CQA) for personalized efficacy of cell therapies, including multivariate analysis of biological and biophysical attributes
Flagship Project 2: Rapid critical quality attributes (CQA) for safety of cell sources & cell therapy products, including process analytic technologies (PAT)
Flagship Project 3: Integrated process analytic technologies (PAT) for cell proliferation and recovery, including in-line and intermittent monitoring to promote efficacy and safety CQA
CAMP Flagship Projects 1 & 3 is looking to fill a Research Scientist position for discovering novel Immune cell attributes and innovate / develop methods for Cell Therapy Manufacturing
We are recruiting a Research Scientist to discover new defined properties, or Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs), predictive of the therapeutic efficacy and safety of engineered autologous immune cell products such as CAR-T therapies. The candidate will contribute significantly to the design and execution of experiments and innovate translational approaches to bring the identified CQAs to Cell Therapy Manufacturing. These efforts will cover currently deployed CAR-T therapies as well as the study of solid tumor-targeting CAR-T products using novel microfluidic devices to simulate tumor-immune interfaces. This candidate will use their translational immunology and / or immunotherapy expertise to carry out collaborative research and provide guidance to more junior researchers who are with multi-disciplinary background working on different aspects of the Cell Therapy Manufacturing streamline. In the process, the candidate will:
- Determine how inherent cell factors, genetic manipulation, culture processes relate to desired end application phenotype.
- Examine the relationship between biophysical cell parameters such as size, stiffness, and impedance and traditional immunological phenotypes such as flow cytometric or secretomic assays in attempts to determine effective label-free measurements.
- Collaborate with engineers to convert biological insights into novel means of label-free, on-line measurement and sorting technologies.
- Interface with a diverse array of CAMP teammates and the larger Singapore cell manufacturing community, ranging from engineers to clinicians to GMP manufacturers and regulatory scientists.
- A Ph.D. in Immunology, Cell Biology, Cell Process Engineering, or a closely related field with proven proficiency in the Cell Therapy R&D
- Post-Ph.D. R&D experience in Cell Therapy of at least >4 years.
- Experience with primary cell handling, flow cytometry/FACS, and other means of immune/hematopoietic cell characterization (microscopy, ELISA, etc.).
- Experience with engineered T cells (CAR-T, TCR-T, etc), molecular cloning, genetic engineering and/or bioinformatics is an asset.
- Able to work well independently and communicate ideas effectively in a multidisciplinary team of researchers with different training backgrounds.
- Good track record of publications and scientific output.
- Self-driven, independent, with superior organizational and analytical skills.
- Provides research guidance to more junior researchers – generate new technologies and research ideas, and files patents
To apply, please visit our website at: http://smart.mit.edu/careers/career-opportunities. Interested applicants are invited to send in their full CV/resume, cover letter and list of three references (to include reference names and contact information). We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.