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A Range of Possibilities

(Jr/Sr) Research Associate Downstream processing (DSP)

date posted 07/08/2019
contract type Full time
job id R2514359
location Ghent, Belgium


(Jr/Sr) Research Associate Downstream processing (DSP) within the CMC Pharmaceutical Development & Technology department

The DownStream Processing (DSP) team within the Chemistry Manufacturing and Control (CMC) Pharmaceutical Development & Technology Department at Ablynx is looking for a Research Associate to join the DSP team that is responsible for:

  • Generic purifications to deliver CMC-grade Nanobody® batches for all projects running in Ablynx;
  • Development of DSP processes for Nanobody® pre-candidates during pre-clinical development;
  • Large-scale DSP activities (purification of tens to thousands of grams), including in-house production of non-GMP DS for toxicology (Tox) studies;
  • DSP-related activities to support late-stage projects (e.g. PAR studies and process validation);
  • DSP platform improvement and new Technology exploration.

Responsibilities (Jr) RA level

  • Uses state-of-the-art equipment (AKTA, Sartorius, TECAN) and different types of column and membrane chromatography (affinity, IEX, HIC, mixed mode) and filtration (µ-filtration and ultrafiltration TFF, depth filtration) techniques to perform generic purification in a timely manner with eye for quality;
  • Is part of the team that performs large-scale DSP campaigns to facilitate Tech Transfers to CMO (Man-in-Plant runs) and provide non-GMP DS material for Tox studies;
  • Reports about the results and progress to the line and/or project supervisor, project team and project leader;
  • Prepares experimental reports (eLN), meeting summaries/presentations and drafts working protocols in English;
  • Is responsible for one or more lab responsibilities to keep the different DSP platforms and labs operational at all times.

Additional responsibilities for Sr RA level

  • Is part of a team that, using a Design-of-experiment (Doe) approach and high-throughput equipment (TECAN robotics and AKTA Avant), develops a DSP process for Nanobody® Development Candidates which has a high process yield, delivers high quality Nanobody material, is robust and scalable and can be successfully transferred to a CMO of choice for GMP manufacturing of Nanobody batches for clinical studies;
  • Is responsible for exploring new DSP-related technologies and improving platform work flows in an independent manner;
  • Is responsible for (technical) coaching of more junior colleagues in the team.


The candidate applying for a Jr RA level position should:

  • Have degree B. Sc., M. Sc. Biotechnology/(Bio)chemistry/Pharmacology/Industrial engineer or equivalent;
  • Have excellent communication skills (fluent in English, written and spoken as English is the official communication language);
  • Have knowledge of Word, PowerPoint and Excel;
  • Have sense for initiative, quality and accuracy;
  • Have the ability and desire to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment;
  • Be a team player, enthusiastic and flexible.

In addition, the candidate applying for a Sr RA level position should:

  • Have at least 5 years of experience in laboratory work;
  • Have hands-on experience in purification of biological and preferably knowledge of DSP process development (different types of resin screening, Design-of-Experiment (DOE) approach for process development, gradient optimization, etc…);
  • Have hands-on experience in using (AKTA or related) chromatography and filtration equipment;
  • Have proven organizational skills;
  • Have good troubleshooting skills;
  • Be able to coach more junior colleagues;
  • Experience in using TECAN workstation (script writing and handling) is a plus.

Please make sure your attached CV contains a paragraph describing your technical expertise.

What we offer

You will be part of a dynamic, international and fun team consisting of ~25 people with different levels of experience and you will have the opportunity to work alongside some of the top experts within our field using state-of-the-art equipment and workflows allowing a steep learning curve in the wonderful world of downstream processing.

People applying for a (Jr) RA level position will be offered a 1-year temp contract to start. People applying for a Sr RA level position will be offered a permanent contract.

At Sanofi diversity and inclusion is foundational to how we operate and embedded in our Core Values. We recognize to truly tap into the richness diversity brings we must lead with inclusion and have a workplace where those differences can thrive and be leveraged to empower the lives of our colleagues, patients and customers. We respect and celebrate the diversity of our people, their backgrounds and experiences and provide equal opportunity for all.

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