SMART CAMP (Critical Analytics for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine) is a new interdisciplinary research programme in Singapore (CREATE international research campus and innovation hub) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SMART CAMP addresses key technology bottlenecks in cell therapy manufacturing: (i) critical quality attributes of safe, effective cell therapy products; and (ii) integrated process analytics to monitor and modulate those attributes. While cell therapies are poised to transform healthcare for both the industry and the patient, there remain many outstanding scientific and technical challenges to significant global impact that this R&D programme addresses. This high-impact focus includes measurement and feedback control of processing parameters (process analytic technologies, or PAT) that contribute to cell viability and function during cell proliferation, and the measurement at intermediate and final steps of the cell product properties correlated with positive therapeutic outcomes (critical quality attributes, or CQA).
This interdisciplinary team comprises engineers, biologists, clinicians, manufacturing, and data analytics experts from multiple MIT academic units, and multiple Singapore-based universities, research centres of excellence, and hospitals who are experienced at translational demonstrations of technologies in safety-regulated industries such as cell therapies. As with all postdoctoral associates (PDAs) in SMART CAMP based in Singapore, the PDA will work in a diverse team of experts including several principal investigators (PIs) and PDAs, and receive direct mentorship regarding career development from a pair of who are based in Singapore and at MIT, respectively.
CAMP’s unique, enabling and cross-cutting capabilities include cell and clinical biology, microfluidics, real-time optics and spectroscopies, 3D-printed devices, process analytics, data analytics, and bioinformatics. This programme will demonstrate these approaches required of cell-based personalized medicine through three translational testbeds (three Flagship Projects), ultimately facilitating access for more patients to life-saving, approved cell therapies for currently intractable health challenges. These flagship projects will address allogeneic and autologous cell therapy products, including but not limited to cell sources including adult stem/progenitor cells and immune cells for treatment of specific cancers, tissue degeneration, and autoimmune diseases. This PDA is part of the core postdoctoral research team of CAMP, and will contribute his/her/their expertise to all three flagship projects as appropriate:
Flagship Project 1: Label-free critical quality attributes (CQA) for personalized efficacy of cell therapies, including multivariate analysis of biological and biophysical attributes
Flagship Project 2: Rapid critical quality attributes (CQA) for safety of cell sources & cell therapy products, including process analytic technologies (PAT)
Flagship Project 3: Integrated process analytic technologies (PAT) for cell proliferation and recovery, including in-line and intermittent monitoring to promote efficacy and safety CQA
CAMP Core – Mesenchymal stromal/progenitor cell biology/process development specialist/clinical applications
SMART CAMP research will focus on multiple cell types and targeted indications, to address critical bottlenecks in cell therapy production. As CAMP will include an initial focus on cell/indication pairs such as mesenchymal stem or stromal/progenitor cells for paracrine signaling or for tissue regeneration, deep expertise is essential in adult stem cell (tissue cell progenitor or blood cell progenitor) and mesenchymal stromal cell biology at the basic and translational levels to support development of both the cells’ critical quality attributes (CQA) and culture systems’ process analytic technologies (PAT). This PDA will contribute expertise in stem cell and mesenchymal stromal cell biology, process development, and clinical applications, to:
- Establish the best practices for stem or stromal cell manufacturing and culturing, particularly for adherent stem and stromal cell subpopulations
- Determine how biological traits and biophysical characteristics for a desired application/functional phenotype interrelate for positive therapeutic outcome
- Determine whether and how those CQA vary if cells are genetically manipulated rather than minimally processed.
- Lead and coordinate stem and stromal cell production and characterization to facilitate a wide array of projects within CAMP, including identifying novel attributes for cell efficacy, safety, and manufacturability toward good lab or manufacturing practice (GLP or GMP) conditions.
- Quantify key sources of variation among donors, culture conditions, and process development choices for a given set of targeted in vivo outcomes, and in vivo preclinical experiments
- Interface with a diverse array of CAMP teammates and the larger Singapore cell manufacturing community, ranging from engineers to clinicians to GMP manufacturers and regulatory scientists.
- Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Cell Process Engineering, or a closely related field
- Experience with primary human stem cell isolation and culture, flow cytometry/FACS, and other means of biological cell characterization (microscopy, ELISA, microfluidics, etc.)
- Experience with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and/or bioinformatics is an asset
- Experience with preclinical in vivo experiment design and execution for analysis of clinical endpoints is an asset
- Exposure to GMP and industrial processing of MSCs or stem cells is preferred but not required
- Able to work well and communicate ideas effectively in a multidisciplinary team of researchers with different training backgrounds
- Good track record of publications and scientific output
- Self-motivated, independent, with superior organizational and analytical skills
To apply, please visit our website at: http://smart.mit.edu/careers/career-opportunities. Interested applicants are invited to send in their full CV/resume, cover letter and list of three references (to include reference names and contact information). We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.