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Research Associate/Sr. Research Associate, LNP Characterization

Kernal Biologics

Kernal Biologics

Cambridge, MA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Kernal Bio is a VC-backed Biotech company that is creating mRNA drugs that instruct specific cells in the body on how to make their own medicine. Messenger RNA technology has proven extremely useful in rapidly developing vaccines against COVID-19. Kernal Bio is developing the next generation of mRNA therapy, called mRNA 2.0. It solves a critical problem of cancer cell selectivity that affects mRNA and oncolytic virus-based immuno-oncology drugs. Located in Cambridge, MA, Kernal Bio received three awards from Amgen and NASA. With roots at MIT, Harvard, and Big Pharma, Kernal Bio’s interdisciplinary team of MDs and PhDs previously built a successful Biotech company and has deep expertise in mRNA and oncology space.

Job Summary:

Kernal Bio is seeking an exceptional and highly motivated Research Associate or Sr. Research Associate that will contribute to the development of its mRNA 2.0 platform for therapeutic applications. The successful candidate will work as part of the team responsible for producing, characterizing, and testing Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs) for mRNA delivery. Candidate should be proficient in LNP workflows and in vitro lab techniques.


  • Synthesize and characterize LNPs for preclinical studies
  • Analyze LNP critical quality attributes via Dynamic Light Scattering, Ribogreen, LC/MS, etc.
  • Design and execute experiments to optimize LNP formulations and production processes
  • Perform routine mammalian cell culture, transfection, fluorescence, and flow cytometry experiments
  • Culture diverse mammalian cell lines and primary cells
  • Occasionally assist with in vivo experimental logistics involving rodents
  • Analyze, summarize, and present key experimental findings to team members and management
  • Contribute to technical and intellectual property discussions related to the development and application of Kernal’s proprietary technologies
  • Explore innovative technologies and methods to optimize current processes in a fast-paced research environment
  • Consistently maintain up-to-date records and communicate results effectively to team members in written technical reports and oral presentations
  • Participate in experimental design and troubleshooting efforts
  • Interpret and summarize experimental data in addition to maintaining an excellent laboratory notebook


  • BS or MS in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, or a similar field
  • Minimum 2 years of academic or industry experience in the fields mentioned above
  • Experience in lab scale manufacture of LNPs including NanoAssemblr or inline mixing
  • Experience with buffer exchange techniques such as dialysis, PD-10 desalting columns, and/or tangential flow filtration
  • Experience with cell and tissue culture using sterile technique is required
  • Proficiency with plate-based fluorescence assays such as Ribogreen or TNS to determine LNP properties
  • Strong insights into purification of small molecule, oligomeric, and polymeric entities not required, but preferred
  • Preferred: Experience with analytical techniques such as NMR, HPLC, LC-MS and other MS methods, NMR, GPC
  • Preferred: Experience with bioprocess engineering principles, process modeling, and Design of Experiment (DoE) statistical tools and GMP regulations
  • Preferred: Familiarity with Benchling and GraphPad Prism
  • Strict attention to detail, observations, and the ability to multi-task and troubleshoot
  • Captivating written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent record keeping and data management skills
  • Adaptability and enthusiasm for new challenges, integrity, innate curiosity, and a passion for progressing science is paramount
  • Experience working in fast-paced settings or a startup environment
  • Excellent organization skills, approaching tasks with efficiency
  • Ability to analyze, summarize and communicate scientific data in a concise manner
  • Ability to work independently while effectively interacting and collaborating in a team environment


  • Competitive compensation package
  • Excellent healthcare coverage
  • Highly competitive 401(k)
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Generous vacation and sick days
  • Paid parental leave, family caregiver leave, medical leave
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage
  • On-site cafe with complimentary snacks and drinks
  • Free parking, monthly subway pass, or a subsidized commuter rail pass
  • Free MIT athletics gym membership
  • Free Bluebikes membership

Kernal is dedicated to providing a diverse work environment and is committed to equal employment opportunity for all its employees and qualified applicants. We do not discriminate in employment practices for reasons of race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, religion, disability, or any other legally protected status. Kernal will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.