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Scientist I / II, Lead Discovery


Menlo Park, CA, US
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: Research Sci/Assoc/Mgr
  • 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. 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 creative Scientist in Cytokine Lead Discovery, reporting to the Director of Cytokine Biology. This group engineers and characterizes the bioactivity of cytokines with altered functionality, tailoring the molecules for therapeutic uses in immune-oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.  We use crystal structures and in silico modeling to design modified cytokines, generate the proteins, and characterize their binding and bioactivity in multiple assays formats. This is typically an iterative process of engineering, testing and modifying the cytokines to build a set of therapeutic candidates and mouse surrogate molecules for proof of concept studies.

The ideal candidate will be proficient with some of the following skillsets:  molecular biology, protein expression (bacterial, mammalian, insect or viral), small scale affinity purification (Ni, Protein A), screening for binding (yeast/mammalian display, ELISA, or Octet), in vitro characterization of bioactivity (FACS, or mammalian cell-based assays), HPLC (Size Exclusion Chromatography) and protein modification (pegylation or labelling). The candidate is expected to be able to adjust to a flexible, dynamic and high-paced research environment with shifting priorities and deadlines.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Molecular biology:  design, assemble, sequence expression vectors, or oversee outsourcing.
  • Protein Biochemistry:  small scale protein purification; modification of proteins (ex: pegylation, biotinylation), formulation and stability studies, analytical HPLC.
  • Tissue Culture:  small scale mammalian, bacterial, or insect cells.  
  • Assays:  ELISA, western, cell-based assays, FACS, de novo design of basic assays.
  • Collaborate with in vivo researchers to evaluate the therapeutic potential of engineered cytokines.
  • Communicate experimental findings accurately and concisely in both oral and written form.
  • Analyze, document and report laboratory data in accordance with Synthekine’s standards and procedures.
  • Present at group meetings, project team meetings and company-wide meetings.
  • Develop data to support patent filings, and interface with intellectual property team.


  • Scientist I level: PhD in Immunology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, or relevant field with 0-2years of industry experience(or Master or Bachelor’s degree with 2-5 years of industry experience)
  • Scientist II level: PhD in Immunology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, or relevant field with 2-5years of industry experience(or Master or Bachelor’s degree with 5-7 years of industry experience)
  • Experience and knowledge of molecular biology, protein expression and yeast display.
  • An understanding of the structural underpinnings of designer cytokines.  
  • Expertise in the fields of immunology and/or cell biology.  
  • Ability to independently design, plan and execute and interpret experiments.
  • Ability to organize and communicate complex data sets in a clear and concise manner.
  • Excellent organization and planning skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment, good verbal skills and written communication, and strong motivation with a dedicated work ethic.

Synthekine requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated prior to the first date of employment (subject to any legally required exemptions).

Synthekine is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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