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Viral Vector scientists are in demand due to the emergence of Viral Therapeutics as a sector and Gene Therapies continue their rapid development.  The role of a viral vector scientist is to develop Adeno Virus, AAV, Lentiviral and Retroviral vectors for the use in the delivery of Gene Therapies.  The use of which vector depends of the therapy under development, for example AAV vectors have the greatest potential to move away from soft tissue to develop therapies for the CNS whereas Lentiviral vectors are commonly used in ophthalmic treatments.  Scientists with experience in the development of these vectors are in demand as there is a sharp increase in the number of therapies crossing the translational gap to reach the clinic. 

The engineering of viral vectors focuses on using different genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR or PCR.  In addition, a Viral Vector scientist will have experience of cell culture, often mammalian, to develop viral packaging cell lines for the production of AAV, Adenoviral, Lentiviral and Retroviral vectors.  Following on from the engineering of viral vectors is their production which ranges from small scale batches for research use, which is often experimental itself, to well established production methods for vectors for larger commercial or for use in clinical trials.    Due to the cutting-edge nature of these roles within the Biotech sector, scientists have the chance to use their innovative and creative thinking to develop novel concepts. 

Job titles in this sector are generally linked to the vector that the scientist is working on, for example Lentiviral Scientist, or AAV Production Scientist.  However, there are more common titles that are generic such as Scientist or Process Development Scientist.  Scientists will work on different stages of Viral Vector development from their initial engineering through to process development and manufacture.  Different skills needed for each stage with some higher qualified scientists developing the new methods and those beginning their careers following established methods as they gain more experience to develop their career further.

Skill and Experience.

  • BSc, MSc, or PhD in a relevant subject such as Virology or Molecular Biology or Cell Biology with a VV focus.
  • Skills include mammalian cell culture (stable and adherent lines), vector engineering, genetic engineering e.g. CRISPR, PCR, FACS, flow cytometry, FACS, transfection, transduction, and assay development.
  • Innovative and Creative thinking are often needed in this cutting edge area.

Salary Levels

Entering Viral Therapeutics as a graduate, you could expect to earn something in the region of £19k - £25k depending on the location and company type. Salaries within the commercial Pharmaceutical sector tend to increase steadily but unspectacularly with each next phase, to around “mid to late 30s” (higher for managers). Salaries tend to be higher in the specialist Biotech sector, which often attracts people with a higher qualification level (e.g. PhD). In this sector, especially in London, Oxford or Cambridge, salaries can get a lot higher a lot quicker (e.g. £40k - £50k), though there may not be the same level of job security as companies may be more reliant on external funding grants.

Yorkshire, formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison with other English counties, functions have been undertaken over time by its subdivisions which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographic territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are large stretches of unspoiled countryside, particularly within the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Peak District National parks. Yorkshire has been nicknamed "God's Own Country".

The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose of the English royal House of York.

There is an excellence in Yorkshire when it comes to life science, Leeds are leading the way in medical technology in diagnostics and imagine, and York for health economics.

Yorkshire is a great place to further your career in life sciences. If you are a looking for pharmaceutical jobs in Yorkshire, scientific careers in Yorkshire or want to discuss cell therapy, gene therapy, ATMP, medical device, technology, biotech or pharmaceutical job opportunities in Yorkshire, give our Next Phase team a call. The Northern area is continuing to expand as a centre for jobs in science, process development, technology, software development, project management, informatics, quality, reg affairs and supply chain.

 

At Next Phase we help people find new jobs in life sciences across the UK, Europe and USA. This page lists some of the job opportunities in Yorkshire, and if you give us a call we can also talk to you about other scientific jobs, pharmaceutical career opportunities and the latest updates in cell and gene therapy and ATMP development in the Northern England area.