Sr. Scientist, iPSC & Disease Biology

Cajal Neuroscience

Cajal Neuroscience

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, August 18, 2023

Senior Scientist, iPSC & Disease Biology

Seattle, WA

Job Description.

Cajal is seeking a Senior Scientist who is an experienced manager focused in iPSC & Disease Biology, motivated by Cajal’s mission to develop new medicines for patients suffering with neurodegenerative disorders. We are a multi-disciplinary team of experienced scientists, combining state-of-the-art approaches in computational biology, functional genomics, high-throughput imaging, translational models, and drug discovery. In a short time, we have assembled a terrific team of talented, innovative, and passionate individuals to transform the field of neurodegeneration drug discovery. We aim to identify novel drug targets based on a deeper understanding into the spatiotemporal progression of disease and translate those discoveries into therapeutics that change the course of neurodegeneration. Cajal is now expanding to establish a world-class drug discovery organization.

The Senior Scientist, iPSC & Disease Biology will craft, implement, and manage Target Validation campaigns with an eye toward Drug Discovery. The position involves collaborating with multiple departments within Cajal and a larger team of external collaborators at contract research laboratories. Specifically, the Senior Scientist, iPSC & Disease Biology will work closely with the human multiomics team to take insights from human data and develop & test mechanistic hypotheses that can explain genetic associations with disease. The Senior Scientist, iPSC & Disease Biology will oversee a small team working to establish tools & methods for manipulation of genomes in iPSC-derived cell types of the CNS (oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia, and neurons) and exploiting cutting edge tools (CRISPR, RNAi, etc) to test the relevance of our mechanistic hypotheses in disease.


  • Management of 3-4 laboratory scientists and 2-3 research associates within a matrixed environment
  • Developing and managing biochemical and cell-based assays for target validation campaigns relevant to biological mechanisms and targets central to Cajal’s mission.
  • Developing cell-based assays to assess individual candidate targets & mechanisms uncovered via human data analyses.
  • Oversee iPSC biology & methodologies for differentiation, transduction, gene editing & perturbation.
  • Reinforce and expand on Cajal’s existing techniques for genetic perturbation in iPSCs using CRISPR, RNAi, and other tools
  • Building on Cajal’s existing iPSC technologies and expanding capabilities to include the differentiation of the key neurological cell types including: astrocytes, microglia, neurons, and oligodendrocytes.
  • Conceptualize, propose, and implement new scientific strategies and innovative techniques in-line with Cajal’s priorities and overall strategic direction.
  • Working closely with other scientific directors for target biology validation, pharmacodynamic target engagement, pathway modulation in relevant animal models, and assessment of disease modification.
  • Achieving milestone-based goals to rapidly advance candidate targets toward drug discovery nomination.
  • Selecting and managing external vendors to provide needed services.
  • Preparing detailed reports for each campaign.
  • Participating in technology assessment and implementation activities.
  • Writing peer-review publications and preparing presentations internally and at relevant conferences.

This job might be great for you if you have:

  • PhD in molecular biology or cell biology, or another relevant discipline, with strong background in neuroscience drug discovery and deep understanding of neurodegenerative diseases of the brain, with a particular focus on AD and PD.
  • 5+ years of experience in industry leading target discovery, validation, and or/drug discovery campaigns.
  • 3+ years leading a team of direct reports
  • Experience in stem-cell biology including the differentiation of CNS cell types (microglia, astrocytes, neurons, oligodendrocytes).
  • Track record of advancing candidate targets and mechanisms from target identification/validation through drug discovery nomination.
  • Demonstrable evidence of closely working with medicinal chemistry, DMPK and biology teams to advance drug discovery programs in varied therapeutic target classes.
  • A keen interest in exploring complex & difficult targets and novel therapeutic modalities to address difficult biological challenges in drug discovery.
  • Experience managing CRO driven projects, and effectively engaging external consultants.
  • Experience in pathway screening and target deconvolution.
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate, interpret, and present complex scientific data.
  • Familiarity with industry standard quantitative biology tools, technologies, and vendors.
  • A disposition to be very science- and data-driven, detail-oriented and thrive in a highly collaborative, team-oriented startup environment.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Important Considerations

  • Cajal operates as a hybrid workplace, but we prefer that team members spend part of their time working on-site in our Seattle offices. Fully remote roles may be considered for exceptional candidates.
  • Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance.
  • The annual base salary range for this role is $150,000-180,000 *

*Final salary depends on qualifications, experience, and level of skills relevant to the role, along with location, where applicable.


Cajal is a team of people first, motivated by our shared mission to advance the field of neurodegeneration. We are committed to ensuring that all our team members feel supported, connected, and energized at work. Our team members eagerly navigate the uncertainty and fast-paced environment of an early-stage biotech company and thrive on getting things done. We value creativity and curiosity in our work, and we take pride in the generosity, sincerity, and kindness of our team members.

Benefits include:

  • Competitive compensation based on experience level
  • Health insurance: 100% coverage of premiums for employee, partner, & all dependents
  • Dental insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Vision insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Life insurance: 100% of premiums for 2x salary coverage
  • Access to Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(K) Plan with matching contributions
  • 5 weeks paid time off plus 13 company holidays (2 floating)
  • 8 weeks parental leave for primary caregiver or 4 weeks for secondary caregiver in addition to WA Paid Family & Medical Leave (up to 12 additional weeks)
  • Generous commuter benefits including free metro cards, on site locker rooms/showers/towel service, modern bike cage and free bike tunes

Located in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle, Cajal sits at the heart of a vibrant biotech community, directly between research giants such as the Allen Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. We are surrounded by fellow innovative biotech companies and startups and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Lake Union and the University of Washington. Our newly renovated office and labs offer ample natural light and stunning views of the Space Needle downtown. Our kitchen is fully stocked with coffee, tea, and snacks. All desks are sit-stand for maximal comfort and our meeting rooms seamlessly support hybrid teams.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, employment is conditioned upon full vaccination (per CDC guidelines) from the COVID-19 virus, including submission of documented proof thereof, as of the start date. Cajal will comply with applicable law regarding the reasonable accommodation of individuals who are not vaccinated because of a disability and/or sincerely held religious belief.

To Apply

Please apply with your CV/resume and cover letter via Greenhouse.