Principal Scientist, Target Discovery

Cajal Neuroscience

Cajal Neuroscience

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Job Description.

Cajal is seeking a Principal Scientist and team lead motivated by our mission to develop new medicines for patients 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.

The Principal Scientist, Target Discovery will lead efforts to establish biochemical, cellular, and in vivo assays to rapidly evaluate new targets for drug discovery potential. The position requires a mixture of management of cell biologists and in vitro scientists. Productive management of internal scientific resources is required as well as strong, effective, and generous collaboration across multiple departments within Cajal.


  • Lead a nimble team responsible for rapidly evaluating new drug discovery programs from conception, evaluation of human data, and establishment of simple cellular and animal model assays to drive initial POC
  • Develop strategies to continually expand the Cajal drug discovery portfolio with lean, cost and time-sparing “killer” experiments
  • Work with stakeholders to develop key go/no-go criteria for advancement of programs to “core” program status and hand-off to drug discovery & development team
  • Design, perform, and analyze experiments end-to-end independently and as a lead for your team, removing and overcoming barriers and obstacles that prevent progress with creative problem-solving skills
  • Build strong and productive collaborations across scientific functions at Cajal, including drug discovery, computational biology, translational models, translational biomarkers, chemistry, DMPK, and clinical science

This job might be great for you if you have:

  • Ph.D. in the field of molecular and/or cellular biology or neuroscience, with at least 5+ years of industry experience in drug discovery or development for CNS diseases
  • 8+ years of professional research experience, including leading projects, with at least 5 years in industry
  • 5+ years experience applying deep knowledge of molecular biology, cell biology, and disease-related neuroscience
  • A deep desire to “lead from the bench”
  • Experience managing a small, focused lab-based team of biologists
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
  • A disposition to be very science- and data-driven, detail-oriented and thrive in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, team-oriented startup environment

Important Considerations

  • Cajal’s science and collaborative culture is supported through our regular onsite connection. Occasional hybrid flexibility may be approved.
  • The annual base salary range for this role is $160,000-195,000*

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

Company & Benefits

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.

Cajal is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. If you require any accommodations during the recruiting process, please contact careers@cajalneuro.com.

To Apply

Please submit your CV and cover letter via Greenhouse.