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Arrakis Therapeutics

Scientist, RNA Chemical Biology

RNA Biochemistry · Waltham, Massachusetts
Department RNA Biochemistry
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level

Scientist, RNA Chemical Biology

Do you have the passion to join a group whose mission is to pioneer the discovery of a new drug class to treat diseases unaddressed by today’s medicines?  Does it excite you to be a part of a company with a focus on cancer and genetically-validated targets in other disease areas with unmet medical need?  If yes, you may be a great fit to join Arrakis on our path to bring powerful new therapies to millions of patients.

Your Impact at Arrakis

The mission of Arrakis Therapeutics is to extend small molecule drug discovery into new realms of biology by discovering and developing compounds that selectively target RNA. By targeting specific RNA structure/function relationships, Arrakis will generate drug candidates with novel mechanisms of action for high-value molecular targets that are challenging to address via traditional approaches in therapeutic indications with high unmet medical need.  

It is critical to Arrakis’ mission to determine what RNA species are engaged by a given small molecule and what the structural and functional impacts of that interaction are on the RNA. To this end, we are building world-class chemical biology tools for interrogating RNA-small molecule interactions. By developing and applying these methods, the Scientist will have an opportunity to advance the burgeoning field of RNA-targeted drug discovery. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a collaborative, fast-paced start-up environment, leveraging a high degree of integrity, intelligence and innovation to make a large impact on our mission.  

Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop methods to interrogate interactions between RNA and small molecules in cells and determine their effect on the structure and function of the RNA.
  • Apply these methods within drug discovery programs to assess target engagement, selectivity and mechanism of action.
  • Work closely with the chemistry, computational, and biology teams to design experiments, analyze data, and interpret results.
  • Work with automated liquid handlers for high throughput NGS library preparation.
  • Generate new and innovative approaches to problems by exhibiting a probing mind and penetrating insights. 
  • Carefully document experiments in an electronic lab notebook and communicate results to collaborators.
  • Work effectively with a cross-functional biology, informatics, assay development and chemistry team to deliver high-quality results in an efficient manner. 


  • Ph.D. in Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, or a related field with three or more years of industry experience strongly preferred.
  • Extensive experience using molecular biology tools (e.g., reverse transcription, ligation and PCR) to build NGS library preparation workflows.
  • Strong expertise in RNA biochemistry including familiarity with gel electrophoresis, chemical probing (e.g., SHAPE) and 3D structure analysis.
  • Experience culturing human cell lines.
  • Firm understanding of molecular recognition and chemical reactivity.
  • Experience with synthetic organic chemistry preferred, but not required.
  • Ability to structure and process qualitative and quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions. 
  • Proactive and efficient to enable high-quality results while fostering a positive work environment.
  • Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has a can-do attitude without losing objectivity.
  • Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions and copes effectively with complexity and change. 


Arrakis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, military service, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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  • Location
    Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Department
    RNA Biochemistry
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience