Scientist 1 or Sr. Research Associate – Immunology Back to Careers

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Based in San Diego, CA, Escient Pharmaceuticals is a start-up biotech company strategically focused on unleashing the therapeutic potential of specific orphan GPCRs, including a novel family of Mas-Related G-Protein Receptors (Mrgprs), for a broad range of therapeutic indications. We will initially pursue drugs for neuro-immuno-inflammatory and autoreactive diseases. Our diverse team at Escient shares a passion for discovering and developing therapies for underserved patients that will positively change the course of their health and well-being.  In addition, we embrace a unique and highly sought-after culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, and freedom to brainstorm and share one’s thoughts and ideas at every level. 

Of immediate need to Escient is a Scientist 1 or Sr. Research Associate, Immunology, to join our discovery biology research group.  The ideal candidate is highly motivated with a willingness to learn and try new, novel approaches to uncover the science behind MRGPCRs.  Experience in in vitro cell culture techniques, immunology functional assays, molecular biology and in vivo animal model development is highly desirable. This role will contribute to the design, planning, execution and analysis of in vitro and in vivo experiments focused on identifying small molecule agonists/antagonists within a broad range of therapeutic indications.  The candidate must be comfortable with, and thrive in, a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment which necessitates a hands-on approach at all levels. We’re open to considering in vitro / in vivo experienced candidates who are either at the Sr. Research Associate level or Ph.D. Scientist 1 level as this is a growth and learning opportunity within an entrepreneurial company.

RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

  • Experimental Design: Generate and test novel experimental hypotheses to advance discovery-based research and development;
  • Data analysis: Utilize established and novel methods to analyze data, including but not limited to flow cytometry results, protein assays, and in vivo scoring;
  • Data communication and reporting: Provide detailed reports of experimental results. Generate figures, presentations and publications to communicate results with scientific community, investors, and collaborators. Support the development of patents and grants relevant to on-going research;
  • In vitro Laboratory Procedures: Perform various standard functional experimental assays including quantitative real-time PCR, protein assays, flow cytometry, and ELISA. Work in sterile conditions to conduct cell culture experiments and maintain the growth of cell lines and primary cell cultures;
  • In vivo Animal Procedures: Conduct various IACUC approved laboratory animal procedures and techniques. Basic rodent handling, oral gavage, intraperitoneal injection, blood collection, and euthanasia;
  • Regulatory Compliance: Support regulatory compliance efforts as instructed by the senior leadership in accordance with IACUC;
  • Record keeping: Keep detailed records of all activities;
  • Aid in fostering a culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, and freedom to brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas;
  • Communicate effectively within project teams and work to progress against goals in a multidisciplinary setting; and
  • Perform other related duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS include the following:

  • Ph.D. in Immunology, Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, or a related field or B.S. / M.S. with at least 10+ years of practical in vitro / in vivo experience to support small molecule drug development;
  • Highly desirable experience includes: 
    • in vitro cell culture techniques,
    • immunology functional assays,
    • molecular biology, and
    • in vivo animal model development;
  • Disease modeling, for skin and ocular diseases is a plus;
  • Desire to perform hands-on in vivo and in vitro biological experiments in a fast-paced research and development environment;
  • Proficiency in laboratory bench skills such as ELISAs, Western blots, qPCR, Flow cytometry, and/or histology;
  • Proficiency in maintaining sterile conditions while conducting cell culture experiments;
  • Proven track record of good experimental design, in-depth data analysis and interpretation based on strong scientific rationale;
  • Proficiency in keeping detailed records of all activities;
  • Computer Skills: Advance knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Graphpad prism;
  • Alignment with the company’s culture; and
  • Core Competencies:
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, hands-on research and development environment;
    • Effective at planning, organizing, and prioritizing;
    • Able to handle multiple tasks and deliver high quality results under tight timelines;
    • High attention to detail and accuracy;
    • Effective troubleshooting and problem-solving skills;
    • Flexible and adaptable to change;
    • Adept at building strong relationships and collaborating with colleagues at all levels;
    • Effective team player and strong individual contributor;
    • Highly collaborative, self-motivated, and team-oriented; and
    • Effective communicator in both oral and written form.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee will regularly be required to use his/her hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and telephone keypad or to write, as well as talk and hear. The employee will regularly be required to sit, stand, walk, talk and hear; use hands to handle or feel; see computer screens and read printouts; and reach with arms and hands. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to focus. The employee needs to be able to stand for long periods of time in a laboratory setting including in front of a hood and at the bench. As well, s/he may occasionally be required to lift up to 50 pounds.

If you thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and are in search of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team focused on discovering and developing therapies that will positively change the course of the health and well-being of underserved patients, we encourage you to apply.  Escient Pharmaceuticals offers a positive and exciting work environment with competitive pay structures and benefits.  Escient is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position please email your cover letter and CV to