Process Development Engineer 1

Reports To: Director, Process Development

Position Type: Salaried, negotiable according to experience and fit; package includes company stock options, as well as tax advantaged employee benefit plans.

Tocagen is a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company focused on developing first-in-class, broadly applicable product candidates designed to activate a patient’s immune system against their own cancer from within.

Every member of our team plays a significant role in our success. Tocagen hires individuals who share our passion for ending cancer mortality and have exceptional talent that will contribute to this goal.


The Process Development Engineer 1 (PDE1), under limited guidance, will be responsible for the design, modification, execution, and interpretation of scientific projects relating to the development, optimization and implementation of new producer cell lines, media adaptation, production and/or purification processes using scalable approaches and standard industry equipment suitable for GMP manufacturing. The PDE1 will work in a collaborative team environment to put together robust scalable processes. The PDE1 will do so by developing a deep understanding of the processing issues and possible failure modes which may impact production or purification yields for Tocagen’s replicating retrovirus products. The PDE1 may work with other internal or external contractors to ensure timely completion of research and development projects and investigate the feasibility of applying various engineering and scientific principles and concepts to potential inventions and/or products. Previous relevant experience in process engineering, computer coding and instrumentation plus formal course work in at least one; molecular virology, molecular biology, cell biology or biochemistry required.

Duties and Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Understands the goals of the Product Development group and their relationship to strategic R&D, Manufacturing and corporate goals and objectives. With guidance, helps to develop personal goals and maintain strategies to meet such goals within set timeframes.
  • Helps to identify methodological approaches and specific methods to achieve research and development objectives; exercises judgment and shows initiative in making good and rational technical, scientific and project decisions.
  • Works on process, product testing and product characterization activities of diverse scope; to identify, analyze, and interpret project results.
  • Can make contributions towards scientific and engineering solutions related to the company’s base technology and/or products.
  • Reads and keeps current of state of the art methods of industry, maintains relevant current scientific awareness, prepares written reports on all phases of laboratory and/or field experimental work in collaboration with both internal and external scientists support IND submissions, development and technical transfer reports and/or publication for journal articles.
  • Presents and/or frequently participates in scientific/technical presentations when required for R&D Meetings.
  • Contributes appropriate level of information in one-on-one and group meetings.
  • Prepares effectively for meetings and succinctly presents ideas, demonstrates the ability to be an effective member of team(s).
  • Can be a contributor in both data and written reports conforming to defined documentation practices in support of Process Development, Manufacturing, as well as regulatory filings, patent filings, grants and other company documents.
  • Can conceive and prepare project proposal recommendations for novel processes or technical advancements.
  • Can co-author and can contribute to corporate approved scientific papers, journal articles, white papers and/or publications that support product development and/or product launch.
  • Comply with the company safety policies and minimize risk to self, others and the environment, consistent with the community and industry standards.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Desired Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Requires bioprocess engineering discipline including knowledge and development of protocols, scientific engineering methods and their applications, and the use of specialized engineering and process equipment obtained from formal engineering or industrial training.
  • Demonstrated potential for technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaboration with others, and independent thought concerning bioreactor or purification skid set-up and other operation strategies.
  • Excellent verbal/written communication skills and proficient computer skills.
  • Enjoys working in a fast paced, dynamic environment.
  • Understanding, training and experience in modeling and scale down experiments to satisfy method validation rationales and requirements.
  • Common protein and/or viral in-vitro characterization techniques with experience with specific in vitro techniques such as mammalian cell culture, polyacrylamide gels, and ELISA techniques.
  • Understanding of general molecular biology techniques including QPCR, and other analytical techniques.
  • Data processing and statistical analysis skills (Excel, Prism), graphing and interpretation of experimental data.

Education & Experience:

  • Engineering BS degree plus some industrial experience developing production or purification methods and processes for biological products associated with virology, protein expression, cell biology and/or biochemistry or related scientific discipline.
  • Engineering entry level requiring a minimum 0-2 years of post-graduation work.
  • Minimum 1-2 years of direct industrial experience required.

Application Form