Research Specialist C/D (Center for Cellular Immunotherapy)

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Feb 15, 2024
Full time Health & Medical Services Institutional Research & Planning

Job Description


Research Specialist C/D (Center for Cellular Immunotherapy)

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Research Specialist C/D (Center for Cellular Immunotherapy)

Job Profile Title
Research Specialist C

Job Description Summary
The Human Genome Editing Research Specialist will play a key role in managing the Human Genome Editing Lab (HGEL) at the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy (CCI) at the University of Pennsylvania. This individual will directly report to and assist the Director in laboratory management, and lead multiple research projects related to cell and gene therapy, and contribute to the development and implementation of assays for improving clinical cell products.

Job Description

The principal responsibilities encompass clinical-scale processing of cells, involving the isolation, genetic modification, expansion, formulation, and cryopreservation of specific human hematopoietic cell fractions. Additionally, the role involves the isolation, expansion, and cryopreservation of tumor cell populations. The incumbent will play a pivotal role in developing and implementing cell-based assays aimed at enhancing clinical cell products.

This position additionally requires providing technical support for in vitro and in vivo experiments, encompassing molecular biology, cell culture, and flow cytometry, for the benefit of post-doctoral fellows and graduate students within the laboratory. Beyond these duties, the individual will contribute to the development and validation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) critical for modifying and upscaling cell products in preparation for clinical manufacturing. This encompasses the execution of assays, data analysis, presentation of findings, and overall laboratory management, including the oversight of materials and equipment. Additionally, the role involves training others in various techniques and procedures and engaging with vendors.

Proficiency in handling and processing primary clinical samples, expertise in genetic engineering through viral or non-viral delivery methods, multi-color flow cytometry, general laboratory operations, and familiarity with animal experimentation are prerequisites for this position. The successful candidate must possess extensive organizational skills, troubleshooting capabilities, effective communication skills, teamwork ethos, a commitment to accurate documentation, and a strong sense of personal responsibility.

This Human Genome Editing Research Specialist C/D position requires a dynamic individual with a strong background in genome editing, laboratory management, and collaborative research efforts in the field of cell and gene therapy. The ability to meet the specified qualifications is crucial for the success of this position in advancing the goals of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy.

In addition, the Research Specialist D position requires an individual with advanced expertise, leadership capabilities, and a strategic vision to drive the laboratory's success. The increased level of responsibility involves leading complex projects, navigating regulatory landscapes, and contributing significantly to the advancement of the center's objectives.


  • Research Specialist C- Bachelor of Science and 3 to 5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
  • Research Specialist D- Masters of Science in Biology and 3 to 5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. PhD preferred.

Additional Qualifications:

  • relevant experience in molecular biology, cell culture, flow cytometry, and human genome editing technique
  • Demonstrated experience in managing a laboratory and supporting multiple research projects
  • Proficiency in clinical-scale cell processing for isolation, genetic modification, expansion, formulation, and cryopreservation of human hematopoietic cell fractions
  • Expertise in isolation, expansion, and cryopreservation of tumor cell populations
  • Hands-on experience with in vitro and in vivo experiments, including molecular biology, cell culture, and flow cytometry
  • Proven track record of adherence to regulatory standards and guidelines, especially in the context of clinical cell product development
  • Experience in the development and implementation of assays supporting research activities
  • Ability to contribute to the development and validation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cell product modification and upscaling crucial for clinical manufacturing
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to convey complex scientific information clearly to diverse audiences
  • Interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively with post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and other team members
  • Strong organizational skills for the efficient management of laboratory space, equipment, software, protocols, and documentation
  • Experience in handling and processing primary clinical samples, genetic engineering using viral or non-viral delivery methods, and multi-color flow cytometry
  • Troubleshooting capabilities to address challenges related to laboratory operations, experimental procedures, and data analysis
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team, including training others in techniques and procedures
  • Cross-functional collaboration with other labs for the translation of new processes and genetically-engineered cellular products to the clinic
  • Personal responsibility for accurate documentation, performance of assays, data analysis, and presentation of findings

This position is contingent upon grant funding.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range
$43,919.00 - $81,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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