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Astellas Pharma Senior/Principal Scientist, mRNA in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

Astellas is announcing a Senior Scientist/Principal Scientist, mRNA opportunity at their facility in Cambridge, MA .


Modality Research Laboratory (MRL) - US is part of Applied Research and Operations (ARO), a recently established Research division of Astellas located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, center of biomedical ecosystem.

We are looking for a creative and energetic scientist to establish new therapeutic modality platform. The candidate must be capable of defining technical objectives and to plan the execution of efforts and perform experiments to meet objectives. She/He will 1) apply expertise and scientific knowledge to establish new modality platform and apply it to research programs; 2) plan and direct laboratory Research and Development activities by assessing underlying technical and conceptual risks and defining approaches and methodologies, which are innovative and creative, in order to achieve goals; 3) Initiate projects that have risks such as development of novel technologies or application of individual expertise to new areas; 4) Take a leadership role contributing across internal cross-functional groups, and through familiarity with scientific literature and participation at conferences.

The successful candidate will have a specific understanding of mRNA therapy field on both technological perspective and biological perspective with deep understanding of molecule biology and biochemistry.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Performs research on mRNA therapy (mRNA direct administration as a therapeutic modality), especially establishment of systems on design, production, purification, and evaluation of mRNA.

  • Prepares technical reports, summaries, protocols, and quantitative analyses. Investigates, creates and develops new methods and technologies for project advancement.

  • Detail-oriented, self-motivated and capable of initiating establishment of new/existing methodologies to advance new and ongoing projects

  • Aligns with company's objectives and project timelines to solve complex problems in creative and effective ways

  • Works in collaboration with Astellas R&D, CROs, external consultants and academia/BV

  • Maintains guidelines for lab supplies, instruments, lab data records, and lab safety.

Quantitative Dimensions:

This position interacts with all levels of management on a routine basis and influences strategy. Works on complex and diverse problems giving guidance and suggestions. Actions may have implications on operations, budget and/or credibility.

Organizational Context:

Reports to Senior Director in MRL-US



  • We are seeking a PhD level scientist with 5+, MS with 8, or BS with 12 years' experience in drug discovery, biotechnology, or academic leadership.

  • Demonstrated industry experience or academic achievement, as evidenced by high quality publications and/or contribution to drug development portfolio

  • Experience on RNA sequence design and modification by bioinformatics methodology, and/or RNA production/purification

  • Ability to collaborate with external partners across multiple scientific disciplines

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Knowledge in standard molecular biology and biochemistry


  • Expertise in in vitro and in vivo assays on IVT mRNA

  • Design and maintenance of mRNA production and purification system

  • Knowledge and expertise in mRNA delivery cargo (eg. Lipid nanoparticle)

  • Previous experience in assay development for drug discovery research


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program


Category Research and Development

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans