Senior Scientist, RNA Sciences

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The Senior Scientist will be responsible for research and development (R+D) activities within the RNA Sciences group. This includes i) development and tech transfer of DNA, RNA and LNP production processes, ii) development and tech transfer of associated analytical assays, iii) design and implementation of special client projects, iv) investigation of product quality deviations, and v) support of systems initiatives. They will analyze and interpret process data and develop process models to characterize design space, improve process performance, and inform innovation initiatives. They will support laboratory operations for R+D efforts and engage in inter-department collaborations (MSAT, RUO Mfg., GMP Mfg., QA) in support of high-quality product production and operational strategy.


  • Design and execute Quality by Design/Design of Experiment (QbD/DOE) studies towards process development and innovation initiatives
  • Leverage existing database to create models towards the optimization and streamlining of pDNA/RNA processes and workflow 
  • Utilize Vernal’s ELN/LIMS and support robust data architecture for data curation, collection, and visualization 
  • Work with QC/QA to determine equipment design and validation requirements  
  • Manage, report, investigate product deviations and Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPAs). 
  • Document all work in electronic lab notebook, QbD, or Quality Management system as appropriate.  
  • Report on internal and client project status and product critical quality attributes (CQAs)
  • Present on major developments and innovation initiatives
  • Create and support development of workflows, SOPs, and related documentation for systems, R+D, tech transfer, and quality processes
  • Act as mentor to collaborating research associates

Desired skills and background

  • Ph.D in cell or molecular biology, biomedical or chemical engineering, biochemistry, or a related field
  • 2+ years of laboratory experience
  • Familiarity with RNA generation, LNP formulation, and analysis
  • Experience performing polymerase chain reaction (PCR), qPCR, RT-PCR, in vitro transcription (IVT), nucleic acid purification, SDS-PAGE, western blots, and ELISAs
  • Experience in mammalian cell culture techniques, transfection, and experimental design
  • Optimization through design of experiments (DOE)
  • Deep understanding and practical knowledge of the scientific method and selection of experimental controls
  • High attention to detail including planning, executing, and documenting experiments
  • Strong communication skills: ability to write and edit protocols, present data in an effective manner, and explain rational for experiments
  • Communication skills including writing protocols, generating technical reports, preparing submitted documents, and interdisciplinary collaboration. 
  • Highly self-motivated, curious, and eager to thrive in a fast-paced start-up environment 

Diversity/Equal Opportunity Statement

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 medicines 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.  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

Please contact [email protected] with CVs or for more information