Co-op: Antisense Oligonucleotide (ASO) Process

  • Cambridge, MA
  • Full-time
  • Department: Interns & Co-ops
  • Region: US

Job Description

This is for a 6-month full-time co-op from July to December 2021.

The Co-op position provides an exciting opportunity to gain hands-on experience and exposure to the manufacturing process R&D activities. Working closely with the Antisense Oligonucleotide (ASO) chemistry and analytical development teams, the Co-op will conduct independent research project described below:  


The RNA solid phase synthetic method was modeled on the method of DNA synthesis, but the RNA synthesis is more challenge due to the 2’-hydroxyl group of the ribose. TBDMS (tert-butyldimethylsilyl) group is the most wildly used 2’- OH protecting group for synthesizing RNA, but there still many challenges in this TBDMS based synthesis strategy which result in the low yield and poor quality of the final product.  During ASO synthesis development we have discovered a novel facile, mild, and clean protection/deprotection methodology to minimize impurity formation. Compared with literature reported methods, this new methodology is more efficient and provides cleaner products. The new method opened the potentials to develop better RNA protection/deprotection strategy and has the potential for application in RNA manufacture.  The goal of this project is to use this new protection and deprotection strategy in RNA synthesis and solve the major challenges in RNA manufacture by increasing the purity of the RNA product.  

Position Description 

  • The student will carry out the experiments designed by his or her supervisors to address the key issues.    
  • Synthesis RNA/ASO fragments through synthesizer. 
  • Record all the experiments carried out, all the analytical data collected, and observations. 
  • Update progress to supervisors on daily or weekly basis 
  • Actively interacts with supervisors to gain understanding of principles, experimental designs and data interpretation.    
  • Complete research reports before completion of the Co-op term 


To participate in the Biogen Co-op Program, students must meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Legal authorization to work in the U.S. 
  • Grade point average of 3.2 or higher preferred 
  • At least 18 years of age prior to the scheduled start date 
  • Be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university 

Additional Qualifications:

  • Knowledge and laboratory experience in organic chemistry, oligonucleotide and peptide synthesis.  
  • Basic organic chemistry lab skills: chromatography, balance, HPLC, NMR etc. 
  • Good understanding of safety regarding working a chemistry lab. 

PhD candidate or MS students majoring in organic chemistry with extensive organic lab experience 

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Relocation is not offered for this position. 

Videos To Watch

Privacy Policy