Scientist, Oncology (Target Biology and Translational Medicine)

Target Biology and translational medicine · Waltham, Massachusetts
Department Target Biology and translational medicine
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

Do you have the passion to join a group whose mission is to pioneer the discovery of a new class of medicines 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 medicines into new realms of biology by discovering and developing compounds that selectively target RNA (“rSM”). By targeting distinct RNA structure/function relationships, Arrakis is generating drug candidates with novel mechanisms of action for molecular targets that are challenging to drug in disease areas with high unmet medical need.


This is an opportunity to participate in a small molecule drug development to deliver novel cancer therapeutics to the clinic. Decades of cancer genetics combined with modern multi-omic analyses of tumors have yielded rich understanding of aberrant signaling as well as key dependencies in cancer. Many of these well-validated dependencies have been difficult to drug at the protein level. Our platform aims to unlock these high-value targets using small molecules to ligand mRNA structures. The Oncology scientist will participate in driving the experimental biology of a target-specific program from inception through preclinical proof-of-concept in model organisms. The Scientist, Oncology will make a large impact on the Arrakis mission through their role in driving the biology of the target-specific experiments required to progress newly identified chemical hits through lead identification. The role spans design and development of cell-based assays, target validation and mechanism of action characterization of high value series in cells. The successful candidate will leverage functional genomics and/or derive cell lines with inducible degrons to assess the extent of target perturbation required for eliciting cell death, characterize effects on key downstream pathways and identify biomarkers for use in pharmacodynamic assessments.


Deep expertise in mechanisms and pathways that drive transformation and the ability to consider mechanistic implications of targeting RNA biology in elaborating the biological strategy are key requirements for this role. In addition, the ability to function in a cross-functional manner across teams with diverse expertise are critical to success in this position.


The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a collaborative, fast-paced start-up environment, leveraging a high degree of problem-solving and troubleshooting skills to make a large impact on our mission.


Job Responsibilities:


  • Drive experimental program for target biology of newly launched hit-to-lead program
  • Design, build and validate cell-based assays to interrogate the efficacy, specificity and mechanism of action of RNA-targeted small molecules
  • Identify, validate and enable preclinical models for evaluation of lead molecules
  • Manage CROs to enable additional bandwidth and/or capabilities where appropriate
  • Work collaboratively within the Target Biology and Translational Medicine team and matrix across the organization to progress projects in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Contribute to a culture of open and effective collaboration between experimental and computational scientists.



  • PhD in Cancer Biology, Biology, Genetics or related field with additional 4+ years of experience
  • Technical proficiency in performing and analyzing a range of molecular and cell biology experiments (Western blots, PCR, qRT-PCR, flow cytometric analysis, mammalian cell culture, lentiviral transduction, siRNA and plasmid transfections, CRISPR/Cas9 editing)
  • Knowledge of cell intrinsic cancer biology pathways demonstrated ability to mechanistically interrogate aberrant pathways in the context of transformed cells and preclinical mouse models
  • Ability to effectively communicate results and with colleagues with different technical backgrounds and across levels of the organization (peers, research management, project team leaders).
  • Exhibits curiosity, passion and excitement for science. 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
    Target Biology and translational medicine
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience