Senior Scientist, Target Biology

Target Biology and translational medicine · Waltham, Massachusetts
Department Target Biology and translational medicine
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor

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. Our primary focus is to target structures within mRNA to modulate the expression of disease-driving genes that are not druggable at the protein level.


The Senior Scientist, Target Biology will make a large impact on Arrakis mission by building a small team to drive the build of therapeutically relevant cell assays based on disease biology and detailed target characterization. Arrakis is scaling efforts to build more cell-based assays to power a fast-growing number of programs. This role requires the ability to manage parallel processes and data streams generated by direct reports and CROs to deliver assays in a timely manner to the screening group. The successful candidate will explore a broad array of disease biology, with primary focus in oncology and immunology. This individual will oversee both the building of a knowledge base in specific disease target biology as well as the generation of cell-based assays to monitor the effects of hit and lead compounds on target expression and downstream biology. A background in oncology, immunology, rare genetic disease and/or neurobiology are strongly preferred. This role will matrix closely with (1) therapeutic area scientists to inform biology where applicable, (2) RNA biologists to integrate platform learnings into the selection of target vulnerabilities including the modulation of translation and splicing, (3) the bioinformatics team to analyze data where necessary (4) the screening team who are the end users and (5) external collaborators where appropriate. The successful candidate will contribute to our large collaboration with Roche which applies the Arrakis RNA-targeting platform across every therapeutic area within Roche. The ability to function in a cross-functional manner across teams with diverse expertise and demonstrated management experience to lead research associates and/or scientists 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:


  • Characterize key properties of the target mRNA (5’ end, 3’ end, splicing patterns, mRNA half-lives) and protein (half-lives) using a host of NGS, molecular and cell-based methods.
  • Identify therapeutically relevant in vitro cell models (cell lines and primary cells)
  • Construct cell-based assays to read out endogenous protein levels using CRISPR-based techniques (HiBiT) or MSD/HTRF assays, leveraging CROs where appropriate
  • Recruit, hire and supervise a small group of Research Associates and/or Scientists to scale target characterization scope and throughput
  • Identify and manage CROs to enable additional bandwidth and/or capabilities where appropriate
  • Implement assays on a rolling basis to integrate platform learnings to increase sophistication of target characterization and validation
  • 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 Biology, Genetics or related field with 5+ years of industry experience
  • Background in disease biology (oncology, rare disease, immunology or neurology)
  • Expertise analyzing intracellular biology at the protein and mRNA level using a range of techniques
  • Experience driving and delivering research to meet timelines, including strategic use and management of CROs
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively supervise, inspire, and develop research associates and/or scientists.
  • Experience performing and analyzing a broad array of molecular and cellular biological methods (qRT-PCR, capillary electrophoresis WES/JES, NGS methods and readouts)
  • Ability to effectively communicate methodologies, results and program status with colleagues, including scientists, research management, project team leaders and advisors.
  • 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
    Senior Manager/Supervisor