Senior Scientist, Phage Selections

Avacta Life Sciences Limited
Job Location
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, Stevenage
United Kingdom

25 days holiday in addition to bank holidays

Company Eyecare Scheme

Company Childcare Voucher Scheme

Pension Scheme: up to 5% matching contributions

Performance Related Share Option Scheme

Job Description

Avacta Life Sciences are developing Affimers as an antibody mimetic platform. We are currently looking to recruit a highly motivated screening scientist, to join our team in Stevenage, who will design and carry out phage display experiments in order to identify Affimer candidates that bind to a target protein. You will have had previous experience of working on building libraries, screening and characterising the output of protein or antibody fragment technologies for therapeutic applications. Your role will be to setup and develop the phage Affimer screening process and to express, purify and characterise our lead molecules for a range of therapeutic targets.


Main Duties & Responsibilities

  • Generate high quality recombinant protein targets from a range of expression systems.

  • Modifying the target protein using NHS- or MAL-biotin and fully characterising the product for functional activity.

  • Generate and design random and/or rationally designed DNA display libraries for both naïve and affinity maturation.

  • Execute repeated rounds of phage display panning against the generated protein targets.

  • Characterize phage derived Affimer candidates hits via SPR (Biacore or similar platform), ELISA and cell based assays.

  • Sequence phage candidates via next generation DNA sequencing and interpreting the data.

  • Sub-clone candidate Affimers into the appropriated protein expression system for lab scale production and HIS-tag purification.

  • Formatting lead Affimers with serum half-life extension technologies (e.g. as a Fc-fusion) and characterising the molecules for functional activity.

  • Keep up to date on latest phage display and related technologies.

  • Present work in periodic internal group meetings.

  • Maintaining a current and accurate laboratory record (lab notebook) of all activities


This job description is not exhaustive and you may be required to undertake other duties that are in line with the above responsibilities.




Essential skills and previous experience

  • A PhD/MSc in molecular biology or protein biochemistry

  • A minimum of 4 years’ laboratory experience of screening and engineering therapeutic protein scaffolds or antibodies fragment technologies using display technologies.

  • A high level of lab based competency in molecular biology, manipulating DNA and creating expression constructs.

  • Experience of various phage display selection strategies (e.g. passive immobilisation, bead capture etc.)

  • A track record of characterising the output of phage screens using target binding assays (e.g. RBA, ELISA, cell based assays, Biacore etc)

  • Extensive experience of recombinant protein expression systems (E. coli, yeast and mammalian), protein purification and characterisation (SDS-PAGE, Western blot etc)

  • Experience with mammalian cell culture, maintaining and culturing cells.

  • Motivated self-starter who can work independently and collaboratively in a dynamic team environment with a conscientious attitude and enthusiasm

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills with the ability to interpret complex data

  • Organised with an ability to work well under pressure and to challenging timelines

How to Apply

To apply please forward your cover letter and CV, with details of your current/expected salary, to [email protected].

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