Analytical Development Technical Operations Co-Op

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Voyager Therapeutics is a gene therapy company developing life-changing treatments for severe neurological diseases.  Voyager is committed to advancing the field of AAV (adeno-associated virus) gene therapy through innovation and investment in vector optimization and engineering, dosing techniques, as well as process development and production. The company’s pipeline is focused on severe neurological diseases in need of effective new therapies, including advanced Parkinson’s disease, a monogenic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Friedreich’s ataxia, Huntington’s disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and severe chronic pain.
 
Overview: 
Voyager has an exciting semester long, full-time Co-op opportunity.  The main goal of the project is to explore the use of AAV-specific antibodies as an analytical tool for the quantitation of viral capsids. Since anti-AAV single chain antibodies are available both in biotinylated form, suitable for use coupled to biosensors, and crosslinked to chromatography resins, the evaluation of two alternative quantitation techniques will constitute two distinct sub-goals of the project. The first will explore the use of Surface Plasmon Resonance; the second will look at the development of an HPLC-based method.
A fast, reliable, and high-throughput method for viral capsid titer would benefit all of the Company’s programs, and the candidate would gain experience in analytical and biophysical method development in one of the fastest moving fields of drug development.
  
Qualifications and Learning Objectives: 
The ideal candidate is a 3rd or 4th year student majoring in Biochemistry, Chemistry, or Biology, with at least some prior experience in the use of chromatography and/or biophysical techniques used to detect and measure biomolecular interactions. An enthusiastic attitude and desire to learn, coupled with a good understanding of the principle of biochemistry is essential
The intern would be provided with mentorship and training in various techniques, including HPLC and SPR, and would have the opportunity to learn basic industry skills such as experimental planning, data analysis, interdepartmental presentations and effective documentation.

The supervisor will define the general project goals and will meet weekly with the candidate to discuss data and results, to plan future experiments, and to provide overall guidance.
 
 Evaluation and Project Completion: 
The project will be evaluated based on the progress made on the goals outlined in the description, in accordance to the timeline provided. The completion of the project would entail the development of alternative methods, if feasible, for quantitation of viral capsids making use of HPLC and SPR, together with an in-depth comparison of the strengths and weakness of each of them.
As a member of Analytical Development, the intern would be presenting regular updates and receive feedback both in analytical development meetings and in meetings to a wider tech ops audience. The outcome of the project will be shared in a final presentation at the end of the internship.