Sr. Scientist, in vivo Pharmacology

Cajal Neuroscience

Cajal Neuroscience

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Sr. Scientist, in vivo Pharmacology Seattle, WA

Job Description.

Cajal is seeking a Senior Scientist, in vivo Pharmacology, 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, in vivo Pharmacology, will be responsible for the design and oversight of target and therapeutic agent evaluation in multiple animal models relevant to Cajal’s research. This scientist will also have oversight responsibilities for the in-life studies of drug discovery and gene therapy campaigns for the treatment of neurodegenerative indications.

The position involves collaborating with internal scientists and program leads at Cajal and the management of a larger team of external collaborators at contract research laboratories, and will report to the Chief Development Officer.


  • Leading 1-2 cross-functional drug discovery programs or technical teams
  • Managing a small team of RA/Scientists
  • Managing the nonclinical evaluation of candidate therapeutic agents in relevant in vivo models
  • Working closely with academic and contract laboratory collaborators, including experts in DMPK, pharmacology, neuroimaging, and development of novel disease models.
  • Working closely with other scientific teams at Cajal for target biology validation, pharmacodynamic target engagement, pathway modulation and assessment of disease modification using various molecular, behavioral, histological or imaging endpoints in relevant animal models.
  • Working closely with DMPK colleagues to address formulation and dosing issues for chronic dosing studies.
  • Designing and implementing therapeutic testing strategies for the various drug discovery and gene therapy programs.
  • Selecting and managing external vendors to provide relevant services and qualification of data and reports.
  • Preparing reports and summaries of nonclinical research for health authorities, clinical investigators, and/or potential business partners
  • Writing peer-review publications and preparing presentations internally and at relevant conferences.

This job might be great for you if you have:

  • A PhD in Neuroscience or Pharmacology.
  • 10+ years of experience in the biopharmaceutical sector, with an emphasis on Neuroscience drug discovery.
  • Experience with multiple therapeutic modalities, including small molecules and oligonucleotides
  • A detailed theoretical and practical knowledge of pharmacology.
  • Experience with establishing pharmacodynamic endpoints for mechanistic engagement, in support of therapeutic drug testing.
  • Experience in the oversight and management of contract research organizations.
  • Knowledge and experience using genetically modified animals in drug discovery in the areas relevant to neurodegeneration.
  • Demonstrated track record of being part of drug discovery project teams and partnering with Medicinal Chemistry/DMPK teams to successfully advance candidate therapeutics.
  • 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.

An ideal candidate might also have:

  • Expertise in behavioral pharmacology.
  • Experience and skills in pharmacological modeling.
  • A publication record showing creative thinking as well as evidence of cross-functional teamwork.

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 laboratories/offices.
  • Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance.
  • The annual base salary range for this role is $135,000-175,000 *

*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 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.