41 days ago

University of British Columbia



, British Columbia


Job Type:

Research Associate

Degree Level Required:


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The Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, invites applications for a Research Associate position in Next-Generation RNA Therapeutics to join a dynamic and multidisciplinary team under the co-supervision of Dr. Anna Blakney and Dr. Jay Kizhakkedathu. The successful candidate will work on a project to develop new polymeric strategies for delivery of RNA. The Blakney Lab at UBC (blakneylab.msl.ubc.ca) develops next-generation RNA vaccines and therapies based on self-amplifying RNA and using interdisciplinary approaches including bioengineering, immunology, molecular biology and bioinformatics. The Kizhakkedathu lab (https://cbr.ubc.ca/our-people/investigators/jayachandran-kizhakkedathu/) develops novel polymers and biomaterials as therapeutics and devices.

Project: RNA medicines have gained considerable momentum in the past few years with the approval of Onpattro and the COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccines. While lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the state-of-the-art delivery system for RNA, we recently discovered that polymeric nanoparticles are less inflammatory and induce higher protein expression than LNPs. For this project, we are keen to explore the polymer design space for RNA delivery for a variety of applications. The PDF will work with the Blakney and Kizhakkedathu labs to design and synthesize novel polymers, and test them for RNA delivery and immunogenicity in vivo in preclinical models. We anticipate that polymers are a clinically translatable delivery system for RNA therapeutics.


Opportunity: This is a unique opportunity for several reasons. First, you will be a member of a fun, diverse and interdisciplinary group. Second, you will learn about RNA gene therapies and different aspects of its delivery. Third, you will be actively involved in projects that are intended for clinical translation. Finally, the University of British Columbia is located in Vancouver, which is world-renowned for its scenery and quality of living. UBC is a center of excellence for growing your career in nanomedicine and gene delivery technologies, and you will have opportunities to collaborate with world-class leaders in the field through the Nanomedicine Innovation Network.


Candidate: We are hiring polymer chemists with a background in polymer synthesis, organic chemistry and or lipid synthesis. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in chemistry, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, or similar fields with excellent publication record. The candidate must be able to work well on a team, even in situations where an opportunity is more exciting and time-sensitive than normal. We are seeking a creative individual with great interpersonal skills and excellent communication, both written and verbal.

Additional Information:

The expected pay range for this position is $66,924 to $76,000 per year.

Application Process: Interested applicants should submit a CV and cover letter that details their experience and contact details for 3 references to the UBC Careers portal at https://ubc.wd10.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/ubcfacultyjobs/job/Research-Associate-in-Next-Generation-RNA-Therapeutics-at-UBC_JR16528. Application materials should be submitted no later than the posting end date.

The appointment will be for one year commencing May 1, 2024 with a possibility for extension, subject to satisfactory performance and funding.
Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.


Position start date

May 1, 2024

Posting End Date

April 18, 2024

Additional Information

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.


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