Scientist/Senior Scientist

Department: Analytical Development
Location: South San Francisco


Nkarta Therapeutics, a private biotech start-up that is harnessing the power of Natural Killer cells in developing next generation cellular immunotherapies for cancer. NK cells play a key role in the body’s immune system, able to identify and kill abnormal cells by monitoring their expression of activating and inhibitory receptors and recruit the adaptive immune system. 

Nkarta will combine its NK expansion platform with further proprietary cell engineering technologies to build differentiated products designed to tackle challenging diseases with significant unmet clinical need.

Nkarta is currently offering a unique opportunity for a highly-motivated Scientist to join our team with expertise in analytical development for cell therapy.  Initial responsibilities will include translating bench methods, and protocols into robust analytics for in-process and release analysis in the manufacture of advanced NK cell therapies.  The qualified candidate will coordinate closely with internal and external partners in a cross-disciplinary team of immunologists, engineers, and clinicians to develop and implement methods that embody best practices in cell therapy manufacturing.


  • Design and develop a broad range of cell based functional and phenotypic assays for characterization of NK cell products and manufacturing processes
  • Qualify and transfer analytical methods to CMOs and internal partners
  • Demonstrate a high level of initiative in troubleshooting experiments and accurate data analysis.
  • Contribute to cross-functional teams with R&D, CMC, and clinical partners in the development of efficient GMP-compliant processes for cell product manufacture
  • Support investigational new drug (IND) chemistry-manufacturing-control (CMC) section writing
  • Provide management guidance through presentation of hypotheses, progress, and plans to project teams and governance bodies and preparation of technical reports
  • Publishing or presenting scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals or conferences, and contributing to industrial collaborations


  • Ph.D. degree in Immunology or related field. The ideal candidate will have 2-4 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience in a research and development setting
  • Keen understanding of immune biology and an ability to identify relevant measures of cellular fitness and function
  • Expertise in developing and executing cellular characterization assays including flow cytometry-based, and multiplexed luminescent readouts  
  • In-depth experience in principles and practices of cell biology methodologies and cellular immunology, including mammalian cell culture, cell transfection, development, and execution of functional in vitro methods in cellular immunology
  • Previous exposure to GMP manufacturing of cell therapy or biological products is a plus.  The ideal candidate will have participated in technical transfer of analytical methods to a CMO or other third party
  • Ability to work on complex problems where analysis requires an in-depth evaluation of multiple factors. Exercises independent judgment in selecting experimental methods, techniques, evaluation criteria for obtaining results, and data analysis
  • Strong verbal and writing skills for documentation of data, drafting of technical reports, and communication of progress to supervisor and project teams
  • Must be able to communicate and multi-task within a fast-paced, highly collaborative team environment with a high degree of self-motivation and organization
  • Willingness to travel up to 10%

Nkarta offers a creative, team-oriented scientific environment, along with a strong compensation package that includes salary, stock options, and a comprehensive benefits package.