Scientist/Senior Scientist

  • Post published:February 26, 2024

Are you passionate about science and its power to cure patients? Do you thrive working in a fast-paced environment with an innovative team of collaborators? Are you detail-oriented, with excellent organizational and analytical skills?

If you answered yes, then we invite you to consider joining Deka Biosciences!

Who We Are
Deka’s mission is to deliver life-changing medicines to patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases by developing novel cytokine therapies.

Deka Biosciences is a venture-backed, early-stage biotech company focused on the development of novel cytokine therapies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis. The company is led by experienced biopharma and CDMO entrepreneurs with expertise in drug discovery, product development, characterization and testing. Deka has developed disease-specific Diakines™ that maximize patient benefits through improved pharmacokinetics / pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) function via targeted delivery of dual and complimentary cytokines to affected tissues or cells. Through the use of precision medicine, Deka’s vision is to maximize the impact of its DiakineTM therapeutic proteins by ensuring treatment of the correct patient population.

Employer Information
Organization Name: Deka Biosciences
Location: Germantown, Maryland

Position Overview
Deka is seeking a highly motivated Scientist/Sr Scientist to join our Developmental Sciences team, where you would design, build, and in vitro validate new DiakineTM therapeutics.  This is a small Lead Discovery team with broad responsibilities that span de novo protein design, small scale protein expression and purification, in vitro cellular assay development and screening, and generation of NGS/Single Cell data sets to support in vivo and clinical studies. 

Primary Responsibilities
This scientist would work under the guidance of a Discovery Group Lead to perform the following roles:

  • Design expression vectors and transiently express proteins
  • Develop or validate methods for detecting, quantitating and assessing binding affinities of novel proteins
  • Perform small scale Ni2+ or Protein A column/plate-based purifications of proteins
  • Develop or validate cellular bioactivity assays to elucidate protein function and understand MOA, with a goal of generating lead human molecules and murine surrogate molecules
  • Participate in analyzing tissues/cells/blood from in vivo murine or cynomolgus monkey studies by utilizing Nanostring, 10X Genomics, and TCR sequencing
  • Aid in crafting IP to protect lead molecules, prepare manuscripts for publication, and posters for conferences
  • Potentially participate in developing assays for use in clinical trials, or in crystallography of lead candidate molecules

Ideal Qualifications
The ideal candidate would have meaningful experience with many or all of the following skills:

  • B.S. and 5+ years of relevant experience, PhD 2+ relevant experience
  • Molecular Biology skills (vector design and construction, mutagenesis) and experience building DNA/RNA libraries for NGS sequencing desired. Experience with Illumina sequencers, Nanostring, 10X Genomics, or TCR sequencing is a plus.
  • Experience with small scale transient protein expression (primarily mammalian, but bacterial and insect are a plus)
  • Protein purification experience (small scale Ni2+ or Protein A column purification)
  • Experience developing and running in vitro binding (ELISA, MSD) and bioactivity assays (luciferase, proliferation, pSTAT signaling) desired.
  • Protein biochemistry (SEC, pegylation) or crystallography experience is a plus, as is being able to leverage published crystal structures as an aid in protein design.
  • Experience with crafting and filing Intellectual Property is useful.
  • Great teamwork and communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong multi-tasking, time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to critically analyze and summarize data

Non Scientific Competencies

  • Ability to navigate and be successful in a fast-paced work environment
  • Proactive leadership and collaboration skills in using internal and/or external resources to troubleshoot solutions to drug discovery problems
  • Self-motivated with ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • Excellent analytical, organizational and time management skills
  • Detail oriented, good documentation practices, technical writing and presentation skills
  • Proficiency with electronic/digital platforms such as Electronic Lab Notebooks/LIMS, SharePoint, MS Office

To Apply
Please submit a resume and cover letter detailing background, relevant experience as it relates to the position, as well as salary history and requirements to:

Deka Biosciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/Disabled/Vet.

Employment and advancement opportunities are available to all individuals on an at-will basis, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, citizenship status, military or veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, protective hairstyle, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Deka Biosciences mandates COVID-19 vaccination of all employees. Accommodations may be made in accordance with applicable law.