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Principal Scientist / Associate Director, Cell Therapy


Menlo Park, CA, US
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: Life Sciences R&D/Engineering
  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Post Date: 09/20/2022
  • Website:
  • Company Address: 1505 Obrien Drive, Suite A/D, Menlo Park, California 94025, US

About Synthekine

Synthekine is an engineered cytokine therapeutics company developing disease-optimized treatments. The company uses immunological insights to guide targeted protein engineering to generate transformative medicines for cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Job Description

Synthekine is a Menlo Park, CA based biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing best in class cytokine therapeutics to treat cancer and autoimmunity. We use our unique insights on how cytokines bind to their receptors and tune these systems though protein engineering to generate therapeutics that have transformative potential. Synthekine was formed in 2019 and has raised $190M from leading biotech investors. We are advancing a deep pipeline of therapeutics against some of the most important cytokine targets. Synthekine is founded on multiple therapeutic platforms, including a platform that allows for non-natural pairing of cytokine receptors, potentially resulting in novel biology and unique therapeutics. Come join us and help us give patients and physicians better options to treat disease and advance cytokine science along the way.

Position Summary:

We are seeking a Principal Scientist/Associate Director for our Cell Therapy/In Vivo Pharmacology and Translational Medicine department. Title and responsibilities are commensurate with candidate qualifications. This individual will contribute to our company’s goal to utilize cutting edge protein engineering to enhance the immune response against various diseases. Specifically, you will help lead the in vitro and in vivo characterization of cell therapies that incorporate an orthogonal IL-2 cytokine-receptor that selectively enhances the efficacy of engineered cellular immunotherapies in various pre-clinical tumor models (Sockolosky et al. Science 2018, Aspuria et al. Science Translational Medicine 2021).

For the key responsibilities/requirements:

  • Help coordinate team efforts to employ pre-clinical anti-tumor studies to demonstrate efficacy and characterize mechanism of action of orthogonal IL-2 cytokine-receptor T cells in immunocompetent and immunocompromised mouse models of cancer
  • Characterize engineered mouse and human T cells with in vitro assays (including cytotoxicity, cytokine release, cell proliferation, cell signaling, and immunophenotyping)
  • In vivo characterization of modified T cells by multi-color flow cytometry
  • Help perform in vivo tumor implants, caliper measurements, bioluminescent imaging, dosing, and collect blood and tissue for downstream analyses.
  • Perform biomarker assessment and pharmacodynamic characterization (e.g. bead based cytokine quantification, ELISA)
  • Generate, collect, analyze and present experimental data in team meetings
  • Work and manage multiple projects simultaneously


  • PhD degree in immunology or related fields + 8 years (10 years for Associate Director level) of relevant experience in a biotech setting and proven track record in the development of animal models in the cell therapy space
  • Excellent knowledge of immunology and immunotherapy fields, specifically adoptive T cell therapies
  • Experience with immune cell-based assays including cytotoxicity assays, cell proliferation assays and ELISAs
  • Experience with multi-color flow cytometry and data analysis (FlowJo)
  • Expertise in aseptic techniques for cell culture and cell isolation
  • Experience with pre-clinical anti-tumor studies to evaluate T cell function in vivo
  • Experience with mouse handling techniques including tail-vein, intraperitoneal, and sub cutaneous dosing of small molecules, adoptive cell transfer, and tissue harvesting
  • Proficiency in Excel, PowerPoint, Prism, and other programs to create and distribute reports
  • Excellent problem-solving and time management skills
  • Strong organizational and record keeping skills
  • Effectively able to communicate plans and results in both oral and written form
  • Ability to work in a fast paced and highly dynamic collaborative team environment

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