Senior Scientist/Scientist, Cell Therapy Development at Nkarta Therapeutics
South San Francisco, CA, US

About Us

Nkarta is a publicly traded (Nasdaq symbol NKTX), South San Francisco headquartered, clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the development of allogeneic, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer patients. By combining its cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies and CRISPR-based genome engineering capabilities, Nkarta is building a pipeline of future cell therapies engineered for deep anti-tumor activity and intended for broad access in the outpatient treatment setting.


Founded in 2015 at the birthplace of biotechnology, our development pipeline of engineered NK cell therapy candidates includes two co-lead clinical programs, NKX101 and NKX019. Clinical trials for NKX101 NKX019 are in process. Nkarta recently announced a collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics, a world leader in gene-based medicines, for the development and commercialization of up to three new cell therapy candidates and access to clinically validated CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering.


Complementing our broad research and development capabilities, Nkarta has also built an extensive cell therapy manufacturing operation.  We have a 2,700-square foot clinical manufacturing facility on-site at our primary corporate location in South San Francisco, California. In-house manufacturing of NKX019 commenced in 2021, and NKX101 in-house manufacturing is planned to begin in 2022. We are also currently designing a separate, larger cGMP facility, to supply our anticipated pivotal clinical trial and commercial needs.


Nkarta is seeking a highly motivated, collaborative, detail-oriented Sr. Scientist/Scientist to join our Research team. The successful candidate will take part in discovery and IND-enabling activities to bring CAR-therapies to the clinic. They will have a background in immunology, cellular and cancer biology and have the creativity to present new ideas and solve challenging problems. This individual will work independently and with team members to advance the company’s growing pipeline. This role is ideal for an individual who is driven and passionate about cell therapy in a fast-paced collaborative environment.


  • Lead efforts to develop next generation CAR cellular therapies in NK and T cells
  • Design, develop and execute a broad range of cell based functional and phenotypic assays for characterization of engineered NK and T-cells to accelerate projects in pre-clinical development.
  • Conceive, design and perform experiments to test and improve the compatibility of primary CAR NK and CAR T cells in in vitro studies and collaborate with Nkarta’s in vivo group for in vivo studies
  • Work independently; accurately record, analyze and communicate data to senior staff and team members
  • Communicate results and data effectively in team and company presentations
  • Collaborate with team members and serve as scientific mentor to Research Associates.


  • PhD in immunology or related discipline and 2 or more years of industry experience.
  • Strong background in immunology and in-depth experience in the principles and practices of cellular immunology and cell biology methodologies, including primary human/mouse immune cell isolation, culture, differentiation and activation, cell transfection, and viral transduction.
  • Expertise in developing and executing in vitro cellular characterization assays including immune cell phenotyping, cytotoxicity (FACS & image based), proliferation, migration, 3D cultures, and cytokine analysis.
  • Proficiency in designing and performing complex multi-color flow cytometry is required.
  • Experience with NK or CAR-T based cancer therapy is preferred.
  • Experience with CRISPR/Cas 9 gene editing is a plus.
  • Ability to work on complex problems where analysis requires an in-depth evaluation of multiple factors.
  • Exercises independent judgment and provides strong scientific rationale in selecting experimental methods, techniques, evaluation criteria for obtaining results and data analysis.
  • Strong verbal and writing skills for documentation of data, drafting of technical reports, and communication of progress to supervisor and project teams.
  • Ability to multi-task and work independently as well as in collaboration with peers within a fast-paced team environment with a positive outlook and high degree of self-motivation and organization.


A reasonable estimate of the current salary range for this position is $115,000 - $165,000.  There are several factors taken into consideration in determining base salary, including but not limited to: job-related qualifications, skills, education, and experience, as well as job location and the value of other elements of an employee’s total compensation package.  Nkarta also offers an annual discretionary bonus, equity grant(s), medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans.  Other benefits include 401K plan, flexible spending account, ESPP, employee assistance program, paid vacation, holiday and personal days, paid parental, pregnancy, and bereavement leave. 

Working at Nkarta Inc.

The 160+ team members describe working at Nkarta through some of the following comments. While getting better work-life balance and improving communications between groups in an early stage start up environment are two areas in which we’re working, here are real anonymous comments of why people think Nkarta is a great place to work.

  •        “People are always open to ideas. This company provides a safe place for its employees (covid testing, etc.)”
  •        “Exceptionally talented, committed, *kind* & supportive team”
  •        “The CEO is transparent and honest with expectations for the whole company. There is genuine care amongst the leadership team for their peers and employees. I believe this is unique.”
  •        “Not to sound corny, but the emphasis on people as a valuable resource is something I  recognize doesn't often exist elsewhere, and it's here in ample supply, which is great.”
  •        “It's the first place that I've worked where the executive team truly values the employees. It's a pretty amazing thing not to hear that employees can be replaced with someone new. Institutional knowledge is understood.”
  •        “We have a very diverse team with executives that are friendly and accessible.”
  •        “Smart and dedicated colleagues. Mission to make a difference in patients lives. Empower us with tools needed to succeed.  Open and transparent culture. Transparent leadership. Handling of covid and running the company was done very well.”

To learn more about our work at Nkarta and the career opportunities that will drive us forward to serve patients, please visit the company’s website at