Senior Scientist - Upstream Process Development

Gene Therapy · Oxford, Oxfordshire
Department Gene Therapy
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced
Compensation Competitive

OXGENE has an exciting opportunity for a Senior Upstream Scientist to join an expanding Process Development team. The role will focus on development and applications of cutting-edge bioreactor-based viral vector production.

As a Senior Scientist (Upstream Process Development) you will be the technical lead and subject matter expert for upstream activities within Process Development. Upstream PD involves a range of internal platform development and commercial projects, primarily focusing on improving and expanding capabilities for viral vectors production process. You will work as a technical lead to specify and implement scalable processes for viral vector production in suspension-based mammalian cell culture. The position will involve extensive interaction with both internal and external stakeholders, and the ability to show commitment to scientific development and innovation are considered essential.


Prior experience of operating small- and large-scale bioreactors (ambr15, DASGIP 1L, 3L, 10L or equivalent) is essential along with experience in developing and implementing associated process for mammalian production systems. You will also work closely with other viral vector groups within the company, with a focus on Lentivirus, AAV and Adenoviral vectors.


The appointee will line manage 1-2 junior staff upon joining the team and, working with Group Leader, be responsible for expanding the USP capacity aligning with OXGENE’s business goal.

Key responsibilities:

  • Lead, plan and conduct viral vector production in bioreactors ranging from 1L to 10L scale
  • Support technology transfer activities for material evaluation, commercial and business partners
  • Design and deliver project objectives, including estimating resource requirements, deliverables and schedules
  • Act as upstream development and scale up subject matter expert, keep up to date with the scientific literature and developments in the field
  • Use of statistical approaches for process optimisation (DoE, QbD) at small scale (15-25ml) and translation of small-scale results to bioreactor scale production
  • Supervise junior staff and support their development. Set an example to other colleagues and provide training and mentoring
  • Review and author Standard Operating Procedures, review and improve existing procedures as process owner; ensure established quality standards for established processes; write technical reports
  • Support and contribute to protection and assessment of intellectual property, prepare publication materials (posters, presentations) with minimal support
  • Ensure efficient and accurate documentation management; provide accurate record keeping within the group; support implementation of ELN and LIMS systems
  • Ensure high cleanliness standard and best practices in the laboratories and shared spaces

    Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

    Essential Criteria:

    • A Ph.D, DPhil or MSc in Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry or other relevant degree/equivalent experience
    • Previous industry experience applicable to the role, extensive knowledge of subject area, and ideally an established network within academic and industry groups
    • Prior experience of preparation, maintenance and operation of bioreactors up to 10L scale or larger for mammalian cell culture (preferably viral vector production)
    • An engineering mindset – good ability to utilise statistical approaches (in particular Design of Experiments) to optimize processes and procedures
    • Understanding of bioreactor scaling parameters and experience of transitioning a process between scales
    • Previous experience of line management and mentoring of junior members of staff
    • Highly developed interpersonal, written and verbal skills, including the ability to prepare written reports, give presentations and to speak to groups
    • Ability to work under demanding conditions, and to cope with shifting priorities while maintaining high level attention to detail

    Desirable criteria:

    • Previous experience of developing commercial suspension processes for mammalian cells
    • Direct knowledge around rAAV, lentiviral or adenoviral vector manufacture
    • Understanding of GMP regulations and QbD principles and guidelines for process development
    • Ability to carry out research to broad targets and with limited supervision
    • Awareness of commercial implications of research
    • Experience working with ELN and LIMS systems
    • Understanding of key areas of viral vector production, including downstream processing, analytics, molecular biology and virology and their interaction with upstream activities in context of gene and cell therapy products

      About OXGENE™

      OXGENE, a WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU) company, develops pioneering technologies to accelerate the discovery and biomanufacture of cell and gene therapies. We recruit only the best from across the globe to join us on our mission. We are focussed on providing our employees with a rich and rewarding work life, developing their skills sets and supporting their own personal aspirations. Our discovery technologies help pioneers advance their CAR-T, CRISPR, capsid or promoter discovery programmes. Our biomanufacturing solutions further accelerate the development and scalable manufacture of lentiviral, AAV or adenoviral vector based therapeutics.

      OXGENE Benefits:

      • 25 days annual leave, increasing to 30 with service and 8 UK bank/public holidays per annual leave year and a day off on your birthday
      • Pension with salary exchange and generous employer contribution
      • Group life cover
      • Employee assistance programme
      • Private medical insurance with additional wellness benefits (as a benefit in kind)
      • Group Income Protection 

      Notes to all applicants: 

      To apply please visit our website and complete our application form with a copy of your CV. 

      By the start of employment, the successful candidate must have, and be able to demonstrate, permission to work in the UK. Unfortunately, we are not currently able to provide sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route for candidates.

      Correspondence may go into your junk inbox so please keep an eye on this.  


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      • Location
        Oxford, Oxfordshire
      • Department
        Gene Therapy
      • Employment Type
      • Minimum Experience
      • Compensation