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Astellas Pharma Senior Scientist, Neuroscience in La Jolla, California

Senior Scientist, Neuroscience

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.

There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.

Astellas is announcing a Senior Scientist, Neuroscience opportunity at their Astellas Research Institute of America (ARIA) site in La Jolla, CA.


The primary purpose of the Senior Scientist is to develop innovative therapeutic strategies for patients suffering from neurological illness. Primary objectives include supporting ongoing preclinical programs and developing new programs to maintain a rich early discovery pipeline.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Creates new programs related to neurodegenerative disease including target discovery and validation using tools of genetics, molecular cell biology, neurophysiology.

  • Develops and executes objectives through independent research, team projects, or managing outsourced research activities to maximize efficiency.

  • Prepares and communicates presentations of scientific strategy related to programs, data and interpretation to audiences at different levels of knowledge and expertise.

  • Maintains expert knowledge of state-of-the-art principles/theories related to pathological mechanisms and development of therapeutics.

  • Supervise/train research associates

  • Flexibility to perform unanticipated duties as assigned or special projects as needed.



  • Education

  • D. or M.D. Strength in neuroscience or a related discipline with 5+ years of relevant post-graduate experience, or a MS with 8+ years, or a BS with 12+ years of highly relevant experience

  • Strong publication record supporting expertise in neuroscience

  • Experience

  • Clear examples of both individual achievement and team achievement in successful initiation and completion of projects related to cellular, molecular, or systems neuroscience.

  • Ability to rapidly execute key experiments necessary for project progression.

  • Technical skills

  • Expertise in standard molecular biology methodology

  • Expertise in establishing experimental systems for hypothesis testing with human iPSC-derived neural cultures

  • Expertise in widefield/confocal microscopy and image processing.

  • Operational skills

  • Strong organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills with attention to detail

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

  • Excellent work planning, organization, record keeping and reporting

  • Ability to establish and manage outside collaborations


  • Experience

  • Prior biotech or pharma research environment focused on development of therapeutics for neurodegeneration.

  • Translational biomarker development

  • Technical

  • Handling patient samples, performing primary rodent neural cell culture, immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, phenotypic screening, cell-based assay development, quantitative image analysis, multi-electrode array recording, systems-level analysis, neurophysiological recordings (Ca2+ imaging, EEG/ERP)

  • Animal studies including drug administration via stereotactic injection, PO, IP, IV, IT injection.

  • Comparative neuroanatomy

Category Research and Development

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