Nkarta is a publicly traded (Nasdaq symbol NKTX), South San Francisco headquartered, early-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of allogeneic, off-the-shelf engineered natural killer, or NK, cell therapies to treat cancer.

Location                      South San Francisco, CA

Reports to                   Principal Scientist, Platform Discovery


Position Summary

Nkarta seeks a highly motivated, results oriented, and collaborative senior research associate/ associate scientist with deep knowledge and experience in immunology and various immunology models to join our growing research team to assist with NK biology characterization related functions. This individual performs research and/or development with others in the group for CAR NK projects.

Primary Responsibilities

·       Designs and conducts experiments aimed at engineering of NK cells and in vitro cell-based functional assays, and immune phenotyping and functional analyses of immune subsets in human systems.

·       Handles data analysis, and work documentation.

·       Presents and provides clear communication of results in team and group settings.


Position Requirements

·       Background in immunology, expertise in flow cytometry, with an understanding of T or NK cell biology, and experience working with primary NK or T cell.

·       Experience with primary cell culture is strongly preferred.

·       Expertise in laboratory techniques including, cytokine analysis, cytotoxicity assays, etc., and the ability to adopt new laboratory skills.

·       Previous experience with gammaretroviral generation and transduction of primary lymphocytes is highly desired.

·       Ability to work independently and to thrive in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment with colleagues from diverse disciplines.

·       Ability to think critically and creatively

·       Excellent organizational skills and oral and written communication skills.

·       Self-motivated with a dedicated work ethic.

·       Embodies the Nkarta culture of empowerment, diversity, and inclusion.


Education / Background

·       BSc or MSc in molecular biology, immunology, cell biology or related field.

·       5 or more years of industry experience


Work Environment / Physical Demands

This position requires the ability to occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities for this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus and the ability to work in and around common laboratory equipment. Normal lab PPE including eye protection as well as masking (Covid mitigation) required. The regular requirements of an office environment (computers, computer screens, workstations, etc.) apply when not working in or around a laboratory environment. 


Working Environment

This position requires the ability to occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities for this job include close vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. The common requirements of an office environment (computers, computer screens, workstations, etc.) apply when not working in or around the laboratory environment. Willing and able to travel up to 10% via car and plane a requirement.


About Nkarta

Founded in 2015 at the birthplace of biotechnology, our development pipeline of engineered NK cell therapy candidates includes two co-lead clinical programs, NKX101 and NKX019. Clinical trials for 101 are in process; 019 will begin in H2 2021. Nkarta recently announced a collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics, a world leader in gene-based medicines, for the development and commercialization of up to three new cell therapy candidates and access to clinically validated CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering.


Complementing our broad research and development capabilities, Nkarta has also built an extensive cell therapy manufacturing operation.  We have a 2,700-square foot clinical good manufacturing practice, or cGMP, facility on-site at our primary corporate location in South San Francisco, California. We plan to start in-house manufacturing of NKX019 in 2021 and NKX101 in 2022. We are also currently designing a separate, larger cGMP facility, to supply our anticipated pivotal clinical trial and commercial needs.


Working at Nkarta


·       The 130+ team members describe working at Nkarta through some of the following comments. While getting better work-life balance and improving communications between groups in an early stage start up environment are two areas in which we’re working, here are real anonymous comments of why people think Nkarta is a great place to work.

·                     “People are always open to ideas. This company provides a safe place for its employees (covid testing, etc.)”

·                     “Exceptionally talented, committed, *kind* & supportive team”

·                     “The CEO is transparent and honest with expectations for the whole company. There is genuine care amongst the leadership team for their peers and employees. I believe this is unique.”

·                    “Not to sound corny, but the emphasis on people as a valuable resource is something I  recognize doesn't often exist elsewhere, and it's here in ample supply, which is great.”

·                     “It's the first place that I've worked where the executive team truly values the employees. It's a pretty amazing thing not to hear that employees can be replaced with someone new. Institutional knowledge is understood.”

·                     “We have a very diverse team with executives that are friendly and accessible.”

·                    “Smart and dedicated colleagues. Mission to make a difference in patients lives. Empower us with tools needed to succeed.  Open and transparent culture. Transparent leadership. Handling of covid and running the company was done very well.”


To learn more about our work at Nkarta and the career opportunities that will drive us forward to serve patients, please visit the company’s website www.mkartatx.com