Scientist/Sr. Scientist – RNA Engineering

Posted on April 29,

Orna is a Cambridge-based biotechnology startup on a mission to create therapies for diseases inaccessible to existing approaches. Built on novel circular RNA technology developed at MIT, Orna is leading the next wave of RNA therapeutics with our best-in-class expression and delivery platform. We are seeking an exceptional researcher to join our team as a Scientist or Senior Associate Scientist to work with a cross-functional team to lead studies that evaluate the function of circular RNAs for our various programs. The ideal candidate is a team-oriented scientist with in-depth experience in nucleic acid sequence design and evaluation in mammalian cells. They have a PhD in a biology-related field or a BS/MS and relevant experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry. They will be able to quickly learn and integrate new protocols into existing workflows, possess strong oral and written communication capabilities, demonstrate excellent collaboration and interpersonal skills, and be adept at problem solving in a fast-paced environment.


  • Accelerate Orna’s therapeutic pipeline by engineering and optimizing circular RNAs with improved function
  • Design, coordinate, and conduct plate-based circular RNA screens to test various design elements of circular RNAs in a variety of primary mammalian cell culture settings
  • Work with cross-functional drug discovery and development teams, track cross-team responsibilities, manage timelines, and leverage internal resources to advance therapeutic programs and platform projects
  • Generate, interpret, and present data to cross-functional R&D teams
  • Maintain an up-to-date and accurate electronic notebook record of performed studies
  • Contribute to build a positive and exciting work environment and a strong entrepreneurial and creative culture


  • PhD in a Molecular Biology or a related field, or BS/MS in a biology-related field and 6-8 years of related experience in molecular biology, cellular biology or related discipline in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry
  • Proficiency with mammalian primary cell culture, nucleic acid delivery methods like transfection, and general molecular biology techniques, particularly with cellular and/or synthetic RNAs is required
  • Experience with plasmid design tools like Snapgene or Benchling; primer design fluency is required. Previous experience with cell-based screening and handling large sample/data sets is a strong plus
  • Experience with RNA and protein detection methods, and flow cytometry is desirable
  • Strong collaborative instinct with good time and resource management skills. Able to collaborate on and execute multiple parallel studies
  • Broad molecular biology knowledge with the ability to apply engineering principles
  • Ability to independently analyze, graph, and interpret data (GraphPad Prism, R) with effective written and oral communication skills
  • Detail oriented, self-motivated, and excited to take on new challenges!