Research Associate (MSAT)

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Position Summary

The Manufacturing Science and Technology (MSAT) Research Associate is a motivated self-starter who takes initiative, asks questions, seeks answers, and can make headway at the lab bench. The RNA Research Associate will develop methods to synthesize, purify, and scale up RNA production. They will be involved in the development and use of methods to quality control RNA. The RNA Research Associate will be responsible for enhancing Vernal’s plasmid and RNA processes through innovative research and development. 


  • Manufacture pDNA & mRNA for client projects and internal use. 
  • Optimize, and scale-up nucleic acid synthesis methods. 
  • Document all work in an electronic lab notebook, manufacturing execution system, lab execution system, lab information system, quality management system, and process knowledge database as appropriate 
  • Identify and/or Design single-use technology and related equipment for the production of mRNA. 
  • Support the development of manufacturing and business processes. 
  • Plan and execute client and scientific projects 
  • troubleshoot unit operation performance 
  • A strong understanding of the design of experiments (DOE) and ICH guidelines on product/process development is preferred. 
  • Report on internal and client project status and product critical quality attributes (CQAs) 
  • Present on major developments and innovation initiatives  
  • Create and support the development of workflows, SOPs, and related documentation for systems, R+D, tech transfer, and quality processes.  
  • Act as a mentor to collaborating research associates. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Desired skills and background

  • Ph.D., Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in cell or molecular biology, biomedical or chemical engineering, biochemistry, or a related field 
  • mRNA: synthesis and purification, working knowledge of mRNA biology (e.g. sequence, structure) 
  • Molecular biology: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), qPCR, RT-PCR, molecular cloning (e.g. Gibson or Golden Gate), agarose gel electrophoresis, Fragment analyzer 
  • Protein chemistry: polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), western blotting, other forms of immunoblotting (e.g. dot and slot blots), silver staining, AKTA or FPLC purification, Bioanalyzer 
  • Cell biology: cell line and primary cell culture maintenance, expansion, banking, transfection optimization 
  • Automation experience will be a differentiator. 
  • Optimization through the design of experiments (DOE, e.g. JMP) 
  • Deep understanding and practical knowledge of the scientific method and selection of experimental controls 
  • High attention to detail including planning, executing, and documenting experiments. 
  • Communication skills including protocol writing, working directly with clients, PowerPoint. 

How to Apply

If you feel that you are a great match for this position and want to make a difference in the exciting field of next-generation therapeutics, then reach out to us at [email protected] and be sure to include your resume and cover letter. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Diversity/Equal Opportunity

Vernal is an equal opportunity employer. We recognize the value of diverse, multifaceted approaches towards innovation and aim to incorporate diverse perspectives and experiences. We strive to build a safe, welcoming, and inclusive work culture. 

At Vernal, you will offer knowledge-based solutions to help us address the growing demand for mRNA, lipid nanoparticle (LNP) mRNA, drug screening, and ultimately clinical supply of mRNA.  Together, we will create the most integrated solution for mRNA vaccines and therapeutic R&D.  Vernal will become the only one-stop-shop for our clients’ and partners’ mRNA needs, from concept all the way to clinical trials.  The mRNA research associate or scientist will develop methods to synthesize, purify, and scale up mRNA.  As a startup, we are seeking adaptable, creative thinkers who can independently foresee gaps and opportunities and who take the initiative to solve problems with a sense of urgency.  We expect the work to be rewarding, fast-paced, and to offer ample opportunities to plan and create new solutions to help grow our business.  Vernal will pay a competitive salary with generous benefits including health, dental, and vision insurance.  Although hiring level will depend on experience, we expect to grow with our employees and are interested in a variety of backgrounds.

Vernal Biosciences is located in Colchester, Vermont, adjacent to Burlington which is home of the University of Vermont and the UVM Medical Center.  Check out for more information. The Burlington area, set on the shores of Lake Champlain, features the best of two worlds:

  1. Multicultural hub with great schools, restaurants, breweries, shopping, arts, and an affordable cost of living
  2. Gateway to the Green Mountains including world class hiking, camping, bicycling, and alpine and Nordic skiing