The Institute for Protein Design is looking for talented individuals to join its growing team. Persons who enjoy working in a dynamic  environment should contact us to learn more about potential job opportunities.


IPD Mammalian Expression Team: Research Scientist 3

Openings: Current

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions.  Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service.  Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty. 

The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington has contributed to many phases of research. Initially recognized for incisive studies of the structure and function of proteins, and the mechanisms of enzyme action, the department branched out into a multitude of other areas. These included: developmental biology of flies, fish, frogs, and mice; molecular mechanisms of aging in yeast and mammals; vertebrate visual and immune responses; chromosome dynamics, cell division, DNA replication and repair; energy transduction during photosynthesis; protein secretion and membrane fusion; translational control and regulated protein degradation; protein structure determination by crystallography and NMR spectroscopy; and protein structure prediction and enzyme design. Our diversity of interests guarantees a rich intellectual and educational environment.

The UW Institute for Protein Design currently has an outstanding opportunity for a full time Research Scientist 3 whose duties will be to provide experimental support for research projects involving recombinant protein production in mammalian cell culture systems as part of ongoing Translational research activities and core lab activities at the Institute for Protein Design.  The Research Scientist/Engineer will be part of a small team focused on the expression, purification, and characterization of proteins for both internal investigators as well as external collaborators.   Main duties will include development of methods for mammalian cell culture, transient transfection, stable cell line production, harvesting of cell culture fluid for purification.   Additional tasks will include helping with general lab support as needed under supervision.

This position will require the performance of a variety of sterile tissue culture tasks including maintenance of human and animal derived cell cultures such as HEK293 and CHO cell lines, preparation of recombinant DNA for transfections, stable cell line production and maintenance, harvesting of culture media and cells for protein purification, protein purification, and analysis of protein samples from cell cultures by SDS-PAGE and western blot. A successful candidate will use first principles and design of
experiments (DoE) to predict/understand/control the impact of cell culture process parameters on recombinant protein product quality utilizing small-scale bioreactor models, and conduct mammalian cell tissue culture maintenance and DNA transfection / transduction for the Institute for Protein Design (IPD).

Cell cultures will be maintained and used for protein expression testing and production of computationally designed proteins from recombinant DNA based vectors and other transduction systems. The candidate must have familiarity with office productivity software (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) to prepare research reports for on the work performed.   Candidate must be proficient with sterile laboratory maintenance, and familiar with BSL1-2 requirements.  Candidate must have demonstrated professional competence and ability to to independently perform tissue culture assignments including protein production by transfection with recombinant DNA, and generation of stable CHO cell lines.

This position will facilitate the work of the Institute for Protein Design (IPD), adding capabilities to produce our designed proteins in a mammalian cell culture, within the Department of Biochemistry and the UW School of Medicine.

40% Maintenance of mammalian cell tissue cultures (e.g. human 293 / CHO cells)
20% Preparation of recombinant DNA for cell culture transfections (e.g. Qiagen Kits)
20% Process Development for lead candidates
20% Affinity chromatography protein purification (e.g. IMAC and SEC) and analytics (e.g. SDS-PAGE)

Carry out established experimental protocols in tissue culture, as well as plasmid preparation and extraction, transient transfection, generation of stable cell lines for protein expression and protein purification, under limited supervision.

  • Perform technical procedures such as gel electrophoresis and chromatography
  • Maintain mammalian cell cultures
  • Willingness to learn new techniques
  • Keep a detailed and organized electronic lab notebook
  • Participate in laboratory meetings and planning sessions
  • Prepare laboratory reagents
  • Service and maintain laboratory instruments as needed
  • Work well under limited supervision
  • May demonstrate and explain various laboratory techniques to laboratory personnel, students, and others
  • Perform related duties as required
Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular Biology / Biochemistry / Cell Biology or related Life Sciences
Equivalent experience may substitute for degree requirement.

  • At least four years of tissue culture experience for production of secreted glycoproteins.  The ideal candidate should have experience in generation of stable cell lines for production of recombinant proteins
    and in upstream process development in small scale bioreactors.
  • The position requires the ability to transport equipment along footpaths between multiple sites, and to lift equipment (~35lb) to/from a rolling cart. The IPD has facilities in two location on campus, 0.4 mi apart.
  • Experience with Windows and Mac operating systems and general computer use.
  • Strong and clear communication skills in English, both oral written, are required. 
  • Ability to work with little supervision, through initiative and good judgment.
  • The position will be in a collaborative research environment with multiple stakeholders that will interact with this position
  • Experience in sterile technique, mammalian cell culture, including diagnostics for contaminations by bacteria
    and mycoplasma.
  • Experience preparing DNA for transfection into mammalian cell cultures
  • Experience working in BSL1-2 research facilities
  • Experience producing recombinant viral glycoproteins in mammalian cell culture
  • Experience in purification of recombinant viral glycoproteins from mammalian cell culture
The IPD has facilities in two locations on campus, 0.4 mi apart, as well as their computing infrastructure at a third location 0.9 mi from the IPD IT offices. The successful candidate will work in office spaces, Biochemistry labs and a data center. He/she will transport equipment along footpaths between those sites.

Please apply online at UWHires. Do not reach out to the department or employees directly. The direct link is: