Bioinformatics Scientist I/II at Nkarta Therapeutics
South San Francisco, CA, 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 seeks a highly motivated, results-oriented, and collaborative Bioinformatics Scientist to join our Bioinformatics group. This group is responsible for advancing Nkarta’s drug pipelines through the strategic application of cutting-edge bioinformatics and computational approaches. The successful candidate is expected to play a critical role in the analysis and interpretation of novel single-cell and multi-omics datasets for the development of cancer therapeutics. They will partner with translational scientists and drive analysis projects toward understanding mechanisms of action, drug resistance, patient selection, and other translational bioinformatics approaches using multi-omics datasets. They will partner with the platform research team in understanding drug potency and molecular marker associations.
- This individual will lead computational biology and data analysis efforts with an emphasis on single-cell multi-omics analysis, integrative data analytics, and bioinformatics pipeline development.
- Success in this role will call for a comprehension of immuno-oncology and an ability to apply modern computational biology and machine learning approaches to provide scientific insights into the mechanisms by which Nkarta’s CAR NK cell product work in the clinic.
- This scientist will partner with Research and Clinical team members to design, develop, and validate robust data analysis pipelines and be responsible for integrating visualization software for the implementation and automation of in-house data interpretation capabilities to support the identification of potential markers of clinical response to Nkarta’s products.
- Integrate and interpret heterogeneous and noisy datasets from ongoing clinical trials including high throughput NGS and Single-cell multi-omics datasets to broaden the understanding of the therapeutic mechanism and its interaction with cancer biology.
- Interrogate public databases such as TCGA, Human Cell Atlas, and other databases to infer patterns for biomarker and product development.
- Present strategies, approaches, results, and conclusions to a publishable standard and communicate in research meetings.
- The candidate must be a self-starter and motivated by the opportunity to drive translational research via data analysis of high throughput multi-omics assays in both clinical and research settings.
- PhD in bioinformatics, computational biology, or related quantitative fields with a minimum of 2 years of applicable professional experience in life sciences industry. MS with at least 5 years of applicable professional experience in life sciences industry setting will be considered (level conferred based on experience).
- Technical proficiency and experience in Python, R, and HPC/Unix computing are required. Working knowledge of AWS environment is preferred.
- Prior expertise in analyzing and integrating scRNA-seq,scBCR/TCR-seq or CITE-seq datasets is required. Experienced in the current state of single-cell analysis algorithms as well as single-cell experimental troubleshooting is preferred. Experience in immunology/immuno-oncology preferred.
- Demonstrated experience with standard methods for bioinformatic data analysis including variant calling, RNAseq, and proteomics (flow cytometry), and other related approaches.
- Deep knowledge of molecular biology, immunology, genomics, genetics, and sequencing.
- Experience using Machine learning and statistical methods to uncover new biological insights from large genomics datasets.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including an ability to explain complex ideas to scientists, experimentalists, and clinicians.
- Strong problem-solving and collaboration skills, and rigorous and creative thinking.
- Embodies the company culture of empowerment, diversity, and inclusion.
Hybrid Work Model: The Bioinformatics team at Nkarta has defined days for in-person/onsite collaboration. All teammates are required to be onsite at least a few days a week to enable collaboration while creating focused work and work-life balance opportunities.
A reasonable estimate of the current salary range for this position is $115,000 - $160,000. 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 https://www.nkartatx.com