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Research Associate, Cell Culture

Product Sciences | Santa Monica, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Kite Pharma Inc, founded in 2009, is dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to fight tumor cells.  We are a small, dynamic and accomplished team with an exciting growth trajectory for the coming year.

Kite is seeking a highly motivated individual with cell culture experience to work on innovative T cell therapy for cancer treatment.  The Research Associate, Cell Culture will be responsible for cell culture media preparation, cell processing and expansion in a tissue culture facility, analytical characterization of the resultant cells, and equipment and instrument maintenance. He/she will also be responsible to plan and execute experiments, analyze experimental data and carefully document resultant information.  The Research Associate, Cell Culture will draft and review protocols and process development reports, and work with the Product Sciences and Research teams to design and execute cell therapy processes and participate in laboratory activities to support process development and process characterization of Kite’s autologous T cell products.

Responsibilities (include but limited to):

  • Setup, monitor, sample and analyze cell culture processes
  • Maintain, calibrate and operate cell culture equipment and instruments
  • Maintain laboratory, monitor lab inventory and order supplies
  • Assist in the development of standard operating procedures and batch records
  • Assist in the writing, reviewing and editing of accurate technical documents
  • Participate and report to a cross-functional development team to advance production activities
  • Develop processes for cell therapy products and develop process improvements and efficiencies
  • Design and execute process development studies to develop a thorough understanding of operating and performance parameters
  • Other duties as assigned


  • 5+ years of related lab experience
  • BS degree in Biology or related field
  • Excellent sterile techniques and prior experience with cell culture, cell culture equipment including Wave bioreactors, and aseptic technique
  • Ability to follow laboratory procedures with attention to detail, and successfully execute experiments at the bench
  • Good understating of cellular metabolism
  • Experience with handling and propagation of human primary cells, including T cells
  • Demonstrated knowledge of pharmaceutical manufacturing of biotechnology products, aseptic processing, cell therapy products, and process development
  • Ability to think critically, and demonstrated troubleshooting and problem solving skills
  • Ability to function efficiently and independently in a changing environment
  • Self-motivated and willing to accept temporary responsibilities outside of initial job description
  • Well-developed computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office suite and data analysis
  • Occasional weekend work required
  • Ability to lift over 30 lbs.

Kite Pharma, an equal opportunity employer, is located in beautiful Santa Monica, CA just steps from Santa Monica Drive and right off the 10.  We are able to offer the upside of working in a small, but growing company where everyone knows your name and respects your opinion while at the same time offering benefits and time off packages commiserate to any large corporation.   Did we forget to mention the stock options?   To learn more about us, please visit our website at

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please submit your resume or CV, cover letter and salary requirements.  All submissions will be evaluated and interviews will be conducted for those applicants who most strongly fit our needs. If you are not contacted for an interview, your resume will remain on file and active for available positions for a period of one year.

No phone calls please and no agencies or recruiters.