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Senior Scientist/Associate Director, Vector Engineering - Vector Core, Gene Therapy

Why Join Us?

Be a hero for our rare disease patients
At Ultragenyx, we fundamentally believe that taking real impactful action to care for the needs of patients and our people is always the right thing to do. To achieve this goal, our vision is to lead the future of rare disease medicine. For us, this means going where other biopharma companies won’t go – challenging the status quo and creating a new model that advances our field so more patients and caregivers can benefit from life-changing treatments. We do this by following the science, applying a novel rapid development approach, making innovative medicines at fair and reasonable prices, and creating a collaborative ecosystem to reach patients in ways that are most meaningful for them. 
Our commitment and care for patients extends to our people, so culture is an essential cornerstone for Ultragenyx. We remain continuously focused on creating a supportive and inclusive environment of profound learning and growth – so employees can thrive in all areas of their lives, in and outside of work. Ultimately, we want to be an organization where we would be proud for our family, friends and children to work.
If you want to have a meaningful impact, do the best work of your career, and grow a lot, both professionally and personally, come join our team. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to the health and safety of our employees and prospective employees, which means at this time our interview processes may include virtual discussions, interviews, and onboarding. Please note that compliance with local regulations and safety protocols is a condition of employment at Ultragenyx. Elements of safety protocols may include, but are not limited to: work from home requirements, regular or symptom-based covid testing, providing valid evidence of vaccination, mask wearing, and physical distancing.
US based roles: Full vaccination against COVID-19 is a condition of employment at Ultragenyx. This requirement applies to almost all roles at Ultragenyx based in the U.S., with very limited exceptions. If you are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to a disability, serious medical condition, or because it would violate your sincerely held religious belief, you will have an opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation. 
Roles based outside the US: If the role requires travel to the US or another country that requires evidence of covid vaccination for entry, candidates and employees will be required follow the local regulations and corporate policy regarding vaccination evidence submission.

Position Summary  
ultracurious – Apply your biggest ideas in courageous ways
Ultragenyx has multiple Gene Therapy programs in development in the rare and ultrarare disease space, a robust pipeline. We are building a state of the art GMP manufacturing facility in Bedford, MA. Join our team!
Reporting to the Senior Director of Vector Platform Research, the Senior Scientist/Associate Director will collaborate with others in the Plasmid Core and UGT Research team to implement cutting-edge AAV and novel Adenovirus technology to improve efficacy, potency, safety, quality, and production of rAAV vectors. This role will place special emphasis on leading the production and purification of rAAV from HEK and HeLa Producer Cell Line systems, as well as iterative improvement of these processes by leading hypothesis-driven research.
Work Model
Core Lab & Ops: This role typically requires that the majority of the work be conducted on-site and thus will be subject to certain on-site safety protocols during the pandemic.


  • Coordinate and lead the Vector Core team, management and mentorship of junior staff, executing on the production and purification of rAAV and Adenovirus preparations that drive the company’s research and development goals
  • Coordinate and lead the execution of viral studies, both rAAV and Adenovirus, that drive the company’s research and development goals
  • Independently work with the vector engineering, producer cell line, nonclinical, research analytical discovery, and process development teams to implement small- and medium-scale rAAV production for yield and quality assessments
  • Continue to improve the throughput and product quality of rAAV production from the Vector Core via process improvements, bioreactor optimization and independent research
  • Assist with the design and construction of rAAV vectors
  • Independently establish and manage relationships with external academic groups and CROs
  • Prepare, analyze, and present data internally and externally
  • Prepare and review technical reports and write research operating protocols (ROPs)
  • Work within cross-functional teams to drive novel programs forward towards IND enabling studies


  • PhD in Virology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, or a related discipline
  • 5 or more years of industry experience preferred
  • Experience in mammalian cell culture, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, immunoassays, flow cytometry, quantitative PCR methods, digital PCR methods, and viral production/purification
  • Experience in the development of complex biological assays
  • Experience with statistical analysis software (SoftMax, JMP, SAS) preferred
  • Experience working with external contract labs (CMOs, CROs) is a plus
  • Strong collaboration and team-working skills is required
  • Proven leadership ability with experience leading direct reports is required
  • Experience training and developing team members is preferred
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Proven ability to work independently and effectively plan and organize work activities and prioritize task completion to meet schedules and deadlines

Management Skills

  • Clarify Direction & Priorities: Set clear direction for your direct reports aligned with functional and corporate goals. Reprioritize work, as needed. Enable others to do their job well by communicating information and making decisions in a clear, timely manner.
  • Partner & Collaborate Effectively: Listen to and value others’ thoughts and ideas. Demonstrate effective partnership both within and outside your team. Achieve results with and through others.
  • Support Learning & Growth: Demonstrate self-awareness, humility, and curiosity in service of self-development. Provide regular coaching and feedback that will 


Full Time employees across the globe enjoy a range of benefits, including, but not limited to:

·         Generous vacation time and public holidays observed by the company
·         Volunteer days
·         Long term incentive and Employee stock purchase plans or equivalent offerings
·         Employee wellbeing benefits
·         Fitness reimbursement
·         Tuition sponsoring
·         Professional development plans
* Benefits vary by region and country

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical is an equal opportunity employer & prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin/ancestry, age, disability, marital and veteran status. Reasonable accommodation will be provided for qualified individuals with disabilities and for qualified disabled veterans in job application procedures, as required by applicable law. If you have any difficulty using our online application system and need an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact Talent Acquisition by calling: (415) 483-8800 or by emailing us at For electronic email and mail inquiries, please include a description of your requested accommodation, your name and contact information.
See our Privacy Policy.
Note to External Recruiters: All candidate activity and open positions are managed strictly through our Human Resources Department. Our Human Resources Department kindly requests that recruiters not contact employees/hiring managers directly in an attempt to solicit business and present candidates. Please note that failure to comply with this request will be a factor in determining a professional relationship with our organization. Submission of unsolicited resumes prior to an agreement set in place between the Human Resources Department and the recruiting agency will not create any implied obligation. Inquiries on developing a recruiting relationship with us, may be directed to: