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Senior Associate Scientist, Gene Therapy- Payload Design

Posted on Apr 6, 2021 by Johnson & Johnson

South San Francisco, CA 94083
Retail Trade
Immediate Start
Annual Salary

Job Description

Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C., a division of Johnson & Johnsons Family of Companies is recruiting for a Senior Associate Scientist, located in South San Francisco, CA.

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at and follow Janssen Research & Development, LLC is part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.

The Senior Associate Scientist position in Gene Therapy and Gene Delivery Platforms group of Janssen Biotherapeutics offers an exciting opportunity to help develop novel Gene Therapies for unmet medical needs. We are investigating the use of Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors for gene replacement and to deliver therapeutic proteins to patients for disease prevention as well as treatment. The successful candidate will play a major role in helping design the best possible therapeutic transgenes for gene therapy discovery efforts in retinal, neuro, and infectious diseases. The scientist will add to our library of promoters and regulatory elements, build vectors to test function, and quantitate gene expression and tissue specificity in efforts to develop clinical candidates. The scientist will perform bioinformatic analyses of target genes at the genomic level to map gene structure and variants to allow us to develop the best Gene Therapy strategy and to facilitate work in animal disease models.

Tasks will include:

Designing and testing gene cassettes with the appropriate regulatory sequences to achieve optimal expression in the target tissue and/or specific cell type. This will include development of novel promoters that fit within the size constraints of AAV vectors, and discovery of 5'UTR, 3'UTR and polyA signals that achieve therapeutic expression levels and avoid gene silencing.

Designing gene coding sequences for optimal expression through alternate codon usage, elimination of sequence repeats and miRNA target sequences and removal of cryptic splice sites.

Test engineered gene cassettes in cell culture and AAV vectors in animal models in collaboration with therapeutic area scientists to measure gene expression levels, tissue specificity, and/or function to develop lead candidates.

Analyzing disease gene structure and sequence in silico in animal toxicology and disease models as well as humans. Predict alternate isoforms for human target genes that could impact the approach to developing effective gene therapies.


M.S. with at least 6 years of relevant experience OR a B.S./B.A. with at least 9 years of experience, in the pharmaceutical industry or academic environment is required

Hands-on experience with mammalian tissue culture for a minimum of 2 years is required.

Experience extracting promoter and regulatory elements from mammalian genomes is required. Experience building and testing gene expression cassettes built from these elements is required.

Experience performing quantitative gene expression analyses such as ddPCR/qPCR, reporter gene assays (such as luciferase, SEAP, and fluorescence), and/or immunohistochemistry is required. Experience performing these studies on animal tissues is preferred.

Bioinformatics expertise necessary to analyze genomic sequences to map gene structure is required. Ability to determine SNP/variant frequencies in humans is a plus.

Experience designing AAV expression vectors is preferred.

Strong critical, scientific, and strategic thinking skills allowing individual to work independently with minimal supervision is required

Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in cross-functional teams is required

Johnson & Johnson is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability

Reference: 1152696915

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