Research Associate 4, Flow Cytometry

Reports To: Director, R&D Diagnostics

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 Research Associate 4, Flow Cytometry demonstrates expertise in flow cytometry, preferably with a research background in oncology and/or immunology. This scientist will support projects that aim (i) to identify markers that are predictive or prognostic of patient response following treatment with Tocagen’s propriety gene therapy technology and (ii) to characterize mechanism of action of the therapy. The primary responsibility of this position will be to carry out immunophenotyping by flow cytometry and to help process and analyze flow cytometry data coming out of key clinical trials.

Duties and Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Operates and maintains BD LSRFortessa X-20 and FACSCanto II instruments as well as HTS modules.
  • Utilizes experience and flow cytometry knowledge to help develop polychromatic panels for a wide range of investigative and clinical assays across multiple species. Tests, optimizes and implements methods on all instruments.
  • Performs studies in laboratory and ensures studies are progressing according to internal quality standards (Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Good Laboratory Practices).
  • In conjunction with director and research scientists, plans and projects resources required to fulfill study objectives.
  • Ensures completion of accurate project documentation, including interim reports, statistics and final reports.
  • Performs and documents daily, weekly and monthly preventive maintenance of all cytometry instruments.
  • Processes specimens as required for common and functional immune assays and performs associated antibody staining prior to data acquisition on the flow cytometer.
  • Helps to analyze complex data and generate summary reports.
  • Trains users to operate instrumentation, as needed; assists users with instrument troubleshooting, experimental design and data analysis (ad-hoc, and scheduled).
  • Collaborates with research scientists to propose, design and execute non-routine studies.
  • Proposes new approaches based on literature review as well as overall understanding of drug discovery/development process.
  • Reports and handle data with a high level of integrity and ethics; contribute to project related documents, papers and scientific manuscripts.
  • Reads pertinent scientific journals and article and maintain relevant current scientific awareness.
  • Flexibility and the ability to multi-task to meet deadlines, while delivering high quality work in a dynamic environment.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Desired Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Expertise in implementing flow cytometry laboratory assays and use of associated instruments.
  • Proficiency with flow cytometry data acquisition and analysis software including BD FACSDiva and FlowJo.
  • Proficiency in tissue culture and handling of primary cell cultures.
  • Maintain proper records in accordance with SOPs and policies.
  • Excellent verbal/written communication skills.
  • Well-organized.
  • Competent understanding of immunology, oncology and drug development is preferred but not essential.

Education & Experience:

  • Ph.D., M.S. or B.S. in Immunology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology or equivalent.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience implementing flow cytometry assays and performing analysis in a contract research organization, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology company, or similar environment.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience developing and executing polychromatic flow cytometry panels.

Application Form