KTP Associate - R&D Scientist (Gene Therapy)

University of Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom

ID: 7072112 (Ref.No. CSRIS1166)
Posted: November 13, 2020

Job Description

Do you have at least an MSc in Computational Biology, Molecular Modelling, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry or a related subject? Are you interested in utilising advanced computational techniques to accelerate the discovery of novel and effective gene therapies?

We have an opportunity for you to fast track your career into industry by leading a high-profile, strategically important project from start to finish. Through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), you will be working in partnership with FREELINE Therapeutics Ltd. and the Faculty of Biological Sciences to introduce molecular modelling approaches and develop a new platform to accelerate discovery of novel gene therapies to treat currently incurable diseases.  The aim of this KTP is to integrate rational design to AAV vector development process to create a new approach that will underpin future therapy development capability.

FREELINE is a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company focussing on development and commercialisation of innovative gene therapies to change lives. FREELINE’s strategic vision is to develop a series of potent, liver-targeted, Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) gene therapies. Currently, only ‘simple’ monogenetic conditions can be targeted by AAV based therapies. However, there are significant challenges in addressing ‘complex’ diseases due to the capacity/size of the AAV vector, which limits the packaging of the transgene. The KTP project will address these limitations using computational modelling and rational protein design to engineer a ‘higher’ packaging capacity AAV vector. A successful KTP outcome will enable FREELINE to draw from the rational design expertise from Leeds to develop and embed new in-house capability. The computational tools developed in this project will be key in achieving this strategic goal.

You will be based at the Astbury Centre, University of Leeds for the first 8 months, and at the company premises at the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst, Stevenage, Hertfordshire for the remainder of the project.

The University of Leeds will employ you throughout the fixed period of 28.5 months. Members of the Faculty of Biological Sciences will provide academic and technical support to you.

You will have access to a training and development package worth £5,843, to be spent according to your needs and the project’s requirements, enabling you to work effectively on the project, and to plan for your future career. You will also attend two weeks of residential KTP training to equip you with essential skills and knowledge in project management and leadership, for which time is allocated and funding provided.

FREELINE expects that the Associate will continue to be valuable to the business in the future, through their expertise and the additional skills developed in post. They therefore expect to be in a position to offer a permanent position at the end of the KTP. Therefore, it is essential that you are aspiring to a career in business rather than academia.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Emanuele Paci, Astbury Centre for Molecular Structural Biology, University of Leeds

Email: E.Paci@leeds.ac.uk 


Fabrizio Comper, Scientific Director (Freeline Therapeutics)

Email: Fabrizio.Comper@freeline.life  

Due to the current Government Coronavirus guidance and social distancing measures, the interviews for this role are likely to be conducted remotely using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Professional Services
School/Institute:  Research & Innovation Service
Section:  Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
Category:  Professional & Managerial
Grade:  Off grading structure
Salary:  £30,000 – £36,000 p.a. plus a training package worth £5,843
Due to funding limitations, it is unlikely an appointment will be made above £32,900 p.a.
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (28.5 months)
Release Date:  Thursday 12 November 2020
Closing Date:  Sunday 13 December 2020
Reference:  CSRIS1166

The University community is made up of a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances, which we value and regard as a great asset. As part of our continued commitment to equality and inclusion, we strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and have a real opportunity to participate in and contribute to our activities.


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