Principal Scientist, Cell/Gene Therapy

Philadelphia, PA (CIC) /
Research – Discovery /
/ On-site
Carisma is expanding into new cell therapy programs and targets and looking for experienced leader with a strong track record in the field of cell therapy, gene therapy, or cancer immunotherapy to drive the leading edge of immunotherapy. This role will be responsible for overseeing the pre-clinical development of multiple novel immunotherapy programs. The candidate will focus on establishing a lipid nanoparticle (LNP)/mRNA based in vivo CAR-M platform and building a broad oncology pipeline. The technology is being developed by Carisma as part of a recently announced collaboration with Moderna.

The candidate will report to a Director or VP of Research and will work in close collaboration with colleagues in Research, Translational, Scientific Operations, and external collaborators at Moderna and with third party CROs. The candidate will be responsible for the planning, design, strategy, management, training, execution (as needed) and data analysis for preclinical studies that will play a vital role in the translation of our novel mRNA-based gene therapies to the clinic.

The candidate will be an integral part of a small team, where each member is expected to take responsibility for their actions, work collaboratively and be an ambassador for the company in front of leadership, vendors, partners, and others. The level of the position and compensation package will be competitive and commensurate with experience and the specific level of the candidate.

The culture at Carisma Therapeutics reflects the cutting-edge nature of the company’s work in developing novel immunotherapy treatments for human diseases. Employees come to work every day knowing their actions will have profound value. The team is a close-knit group and has cultivated an atmosphere that is fun and collegial but also goal-focused and fast-paced. There is great passion for advancing exciting and novel science while also building a successful company.

The position is based in Philadelphia, PA.


    • Oversee the strategy, planning, design, execution, analysis, and interpretation of experiments designed to establish an in vivo LNP/mRNA based CAR-M cell therapy.
    • Provide key insight for the nomination of lead candidates and strategic insight on data-based go/no-go decisions.  
    • Identify lead in vivo CAR-M candidates and evaluate the function, characteristics, and specificity of novel binders against oncology targets.
    • Work closely with collaborators and CROs to develop and evaluate novel CAR binders against oncology targets of interest.
    • Execute hands-on experiments and training on an as needed basis.
    • Manage a team of in vitro and in vivo scientists.
    • Appropriately analyze data, interpret results, and maintain accurate laboratory notebook records.
    • Prepare and deliver data presentations and recommendations to management.
    • Troubleshoot/optimize experiments and procedures
    • Keep current with advances in the company’s area of research interest
    • Flexibly support multiple research projects as the company grows


    • PhD in life sciences or related discipline, with 10 years’ relevant experience. Cell therapy (i.e. CAR-T), cancer immunotherapy, or gene therapy expertise is preferred.
    • Previous experience (5+ years) of managing scientists is required.
    • 5+ years of relevant industry experience is preferred.
    • Must have good communication, both oral and written, with the ability to perform detailed data
    • analysis and keep accurate records.
    • Should be highly motivated and capable of independent and critical thinking.
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with ability to deliver scientific presentations to internal stakeholders, external collaborators, and in public scientific conference settings
    • Flexibility and adaptability, “can do” attitude
    • Highest moral and ethical integrity
Carisma Therapeutics is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristics protected by law.

Carisma Therapeutics is proud to be a 2021 Best Places to Work Honoree.