Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Job category: Research
uniQure is dedicated to bring innovative therapies or unmet medical needs to patients. In doing so each function in uniQure is directly or indirectly responsible for the lives of patients. This responsibility should be part of our day-to-day working life by (i) living up to high quality standards and (ii) recognizing the sense of urgency in areas of high medical need.
Purpose of the role
We are looking for a highly motivated and inquisitive (Junior) Scientist to support the development of (novel) gene therapies for CNS disorders with focus on translational efficacy measures (biofluid and imaging biomarkers).
Place in the Organization
The position is based in the Research Department (Amsterdam), within the CNS Disease Biology group. The key activities of the group are to develop novel gene therapy strategies for the treatment of CNS disorders of high unmet medical need. The CNS Disease Biology Scientist is, together with the broader team, responsible of bringing scientific excellence to the program. To this end, an understanding of underlying mechanisms of CNS disease is needed, to be applied to the strategy and design of innovative therapeutic approaches. For this position, broad knowledge of disease biology of neurodegenerative diseases is a must, with focus on molecular mechanisms of the disease, and more specifically on the role of protein aggregation. She/he is also responsible of developing novel methods, tailored to the known mechanism-of-action of the proposed gene therapy approach, aimed at showing therapeutic efficacy, in vitro and in preclinical studies.
Additionally the group is developing novel biomarker measures to show efficacy of our gene therapy approaches in the clinic, with special focus in understanding the underlying biology of these measures. Hence, novel methods, tailored to the known mechanism-of-action of each given gene therapy approach, which are potentially translatable into the clinic, are needed.
Key result areas (major duties, accountabilities and responsibilities)
Functions in a multidisciplinary project team in order to progress the project
Participates in study design and implementation of dedicated mechanistic studies to understand basic questions on underlying biology of CNS disease targets and dedicated biomarker studies in pre-clinical models (in vitro and in vivo).
Strong (molecular) biological knowledge to understand obtained results and place them into the context of program development
Develops new analytical methods (in-house or outsourced) for detection of biomarkers in pre-clinical and clinical samples
Participates directly in experimental work planned together with the key team members
(Partly) supervises and plans the work of technicians to guarantee the on-time execution and progress of research projects
Brings up his/her ideas about the line of research and, upon mutual agreement, implements the new ideas and concepts, disseminates and reports the results
Plans his/her own work under supervision, sets priorities and timelines and adheres to these timelines
Is quality orientated (i.e. detail and data critical) and he/she evaluates his/her own behavior and corrects him/herself if needed. He/she proposes ways to improve quality and throughput
Disseminates results to multiple internal stakeholders
Writes reports for internal purpose, and if possible external purposes
Qualifications & Skills
Successfully completed PhD or equivalent, in molecular neurobiology or related topic (knowledge in the field of neurodegenerative disorders and/or proteinopathies is preferred)
Experience in Parkinson’s disease research is advantageous
Drug development experience preferred, with good translational knowledge to understand how to bring new treatment modalities to patients
Demonstrated experience in mechanistic studies in disease models
Previous experience in biomarker discovery
Experience with molecular biology and biochemical techniques, including techniques to measure protein expression at high sensitivity (e.g. MSD, Luminex, TR-FRET, Quanterix, SMCxPro)
Experience with next-generation sequencing approaches, proteomics and/or metabolomics is a plus
Experience with handling of animal tissues and biofluids for DNA, RNA and protein analysis under Microbiological Safety Level II restrictions
Hands-on experience in writing, presenting, and reviewing in research documents (reports, patents, publications etc.)
Excellent knowledge of the English language (verbal, written and scientific)
Good communicator, pro-active attitude, flexible and professional
Excellent presentation and written skills
Outstanding planning and organizational capabilities to plan own workload
Proactive attitude with high level of ownership and accountability
Enthusiastic team player with strong interpersonal effectiveness and collaboration skills
Strong analytical skills
Clear communication and presentation skills in project teams and beyond
Flexible to act in a highly dynamic and demanding environment