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Astellas Pharma Research Associate II, Vector Biosciences in South San Francisco, California

About Astellas Gene Therapies

Astellas Gene Therapies is an Astellas Center of Excellence developing genetic medicines for patients with rare, life-threatening diseases. Based on our innovative approach to developing genetic medicines and our industry-leading internal manufacturing capability and expertise, we have become the Astellas Center of Excellence for their newly-created Genetic Regulation Focus Area. We are currently exploring three gene therapy modalities: gene replacement, exon skipping gene therapy, and vectorized RNA knockdown, with plans to expand our focus and geographic reach under Astellas. We are based in San Francisco, with manufacturing and laboratory facilities in South San Francisco and Sanford, North Carolina. For more information, please visit our website:

About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach, designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at

Our Values:

  • Be BOLD (Find a Way)

  • Care Deeply -- for our patients, each other and our work

  • #GSD (Get Stuff Done)

What is the catalyst for you in your professional career? Are you ready to be a part of a bold, innovative company, make a change, and make a difference? Listed below is a current opening for a bright, driven, experienced, and just plain lovely individual who wants to join us and be a part of our journey.

The Role

The Research Associate will support the Vector Biosciences team and assist in developing novel in vitro models and assays for testing AAV vector products potency. The Research Associate will be located in our South San Francisco R&D laboratories.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Perform routine cell culture work, including thawing, maintaining, expanding, cryopreserving immortalized and primary cell lines

  • Execute cell-based assays to test AAV vector candidates using routine procedures (AAV transduction, transfection, titer measurements, and cell differentiation)

  • Perform DNA, RNA, and protein isolation from mammalian cells

  • Analyze gene and protein expression through the application of a variety of techniques (RT-PCR, qPCR, digital PCR, western blot, immunofluorescence, and ELISA)

  • Collect, process, and evaluate data; Accurately document assay results and analyze data through the maintenance of an updated electronic laboratory notebook, prepare study reports, and communicate results and research progress in lab meetings as needed

  • Participate in sample management activities such as receiving, processing, storage, and shipping pre-clinical samples

  • Collaborate with other teams to acquire and aliquot vector lots, document characterization of vectors (vg titer, capsid titer, alkaline gel results)

  • Collaborate in laboratory management activities such as receiving, tracking, storage, and maintenance of laboratory reagent stock

  • Additional duties as assigned

About you


  • Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology, Biology, Life Sciences, or a related discipline with 1+ years of experience in molecular and cell biology techniques

  • Proven hands-on experience with sterile technique for handling and growing mammalian cell lines, including maintenance, cell characterization and differentiation, expansion, and banking

  • Demonstrated experience with routine molecular biology techniques (DNA/RNA/protein isolation, cDNA synthesis, RT-PCR, qPCR, digital PCR, western blot, and immunofluorescence)

  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented environment to meet project goals and timelines

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Models our Core Values: Be Bold, Care Deeply, #GetStuffDone -- is experienced as someone who exemplifies the culture we want to create; operates with transparency; is trusted

May Have/Preferred

  • Experience working with tissue engineering and 3D in vitro models

  • Experience working with stem cell cultures

  • Experience working with in vitro cellular reprogramming

  • Experience working with viruses, especially Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)

  • Industry experience


Category Research and Development

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans