Kernal Bio is creating mRNA drugs that instruct specific cells in the body on how to make their own medicine. Messenger RNA technology has proven extremely useful in rapidly developing vaccines against COVID. Kernal is developing the next generation of mRNA therapy, called mRNA 2.0. It solves a critical problem of cancer cell selectivity that affects mRNA and oncolytic virus-based immuno-oncology drugs. Located in Cambridge, MA, Kernal received three awards from Amgen and NASA. With roots at MIT, Harvard, and Big Pharma, Kernal’s interdisciplinary team of MDs and PhDs previously built a successful Biotech company and has deep expertise in mRNA space.

Job Summary:

Kernal Bio is seeking an exceptional, highly motivated Research Associate to contribute to development of its mRNA 2.0 platform for therapeutic applications. The successful candidate will work as part of the team responsible for producing Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP) formulated mRNAs and testing them in vitro and in vivo for preclinical studies. Candidate should be proficient in LNP workflows and wet lab techniques.


  • Synthesize and characterize LNPs for preclinical studies
  • Analyze LNP critical quality attributes via Dynamic Light Scattering, Ribogreen, HPLC, etc.
  • Design and execute experiments to optimize the LNP formulation and production processes
  • Perform routine mammalian cell culture, transfection, fluorescence, flow cytometry
  • Culture diverse mammalian cell lines and primary cells
  • Help with in vivo experiments involving rodents
  • Analyze, summarize, and present experimental results to team members and management
  • Contribute to technical discussions & intellectual property related to the development and application of Kernal’s proprietary technologies
  • Explore new technologies and methods to optimize current processes in a fast-paced research environment 
  • Maintain up-to-date records and communicate results to team members in written technical reports and oral presentations
  • Participate in experimental design and troubleshooting efforts
    • Interpret, summarize experimental data and maintain excellent laboratory notebooks


  • BS/MS in Biology, Molecular Biology, or a similar field
  • 2-5 years of academic or industry experience in molecular biology
  • Experience in lab scale manufacture of LNPs including NanoAssemblr or inline mixing
  • Experience with buffer exchange techniques such as dialysis, PD-10 desalting columns, and/or tangential flow filtration
  • Experience with cell and tissue culture using sterile technique is required
  • Proficiency with plate-based fluorescence assays such as Ribogreen, to determine LNP
  • Experience with analysis of mRNA quality using capillary gel electrophoresis
  • Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and trouble-shoot
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent record keeping and data management skills
  • Adaptability and enthusiasm for new challenges, innate curiosity and a passion for learning
  • Experience working in fast-paced startup environments
  • Excellent organization skills, approaching tasks with efficiency
  • Integrity
  • Ability to analyze, summarize and communicate scientific data
  • Ability to work independently while effectively interacting and collaborating in a team environment
  • Preferred: Familiarity with Benchling and GraphPad Prism
  • Preferred: Experience with analytical techniques HPLC, MALDI-TOF MS, LC-MS/MS, NMR
  • Preferred: Experience with bioprocess engineering principles, process modeling, and Design of Experiment (DoE) statistical tools and GMP regulations
  • Nice to have: Prior in vivo experience with rodents, particularly in oncology setting


  • Competitive 401(k)   
  • Highly competitive healthcare coverage   
  • On-site subsidized cafeteria  
  • Free parking, monthly subway pass or a subsidized commuter rail pass  
  • Free MIT Athletic Membership   
  • Free Bluebikes Membership  
  • Flexible Spending Account 
  • Paid parental leave, family caregiver leave, medical leave  
  • Paid insurance coverage 
  • Competitive vacation and sick days per year 

Kernal is dedicated to providing a diverse work environment and is committed to equal employment opportunity for all its employees and qualified applicants. We do not discriminate in employment practices for reasons of race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, religion, disability, or any other legally protected status. Kernal will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.

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