Postdoctoral Associate, SMART CAMP (Ref: IRG_CAMP_2019_014)

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre

Singapore, Singapore

ID: 7058249
Posted: June 29, 2019
Application Deadline: July 29, 2019

Job Description

Project Overview

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

Job Responsibilities

CAMP Flagship Project 3 – Cell Culture Platform and Instrumentation: Instrumented T-flasks

Process analytic technologies (PAT) for cell therapy manufacturing must be accessible to or integrated with the culture vessels in which the cells are expanded to sufficient cell number and quality. One such vessel is an instrumented flask that serves as a disposable bioreactor during the cell expansion phase. This PDA will contribute to development of such a cell culture platform suitable for controlled culture of T-cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). The focus is on engineering miniature fluidic hardware interfaces to disposable cell culture flasks. The PDA will work closely with engineers developing technologies for real-time monitoring (including in situ imaging and spectroscopy) and clinicians with deep expertise in cell culture protocols for optimal therapeutic outcome.

• Development of instrumentation for sterile fluidic extraction and addition from a disposable cell culture vessel.
• Work closely with other team members who are developing cytometric and chemical analysis tools. Integration of novel down-stream analysis tools to measure secreted products as well as cellular physical parameters.
• Develop interfaces for the real-time control of the microenvironment in the cell culture platform.

Job Requirements

• Ph.D. degree in biological/biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or other relevant fields is required. An interdisciplinary research background in optics, biophysics, data processing, and cell biology is an asset.
• Strong hands-on ability to carry out experimental engineering / instrumentation
• Proven track record in instrumentation and fluidics
• Creativity to solve challenging technical problem with both biological and technical uncertainty
• Good communication skills to work with researchers from biological / clinical backgrounds
• Self-motivated, independent, with superior organizational and analytical skills
• Able and committed to work in Singapore

To apply, please visit our website at: 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.


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