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Astellas Pharma Research Associate I, Process Development in Seattle, Washington

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

Universal Cells , an affiliate of Astellas located in Seattle, WA, is focused on the development and commercialization of stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies. We conduct clinical-grade gene editing of stem cells to produce cells that avoid rejection and can be used in allogeneic cell therapy treatments to treat all patients that need them.



We are a dynamic team of research and scientific professionals who are passionate about turning science and innovation into medical solutions. Through our diversity, scientific knowledge, professional rigor and focus on innovation, we are merging our technology with the Astellas drug development expertise to unlock cures to many therapies. Join our team of committed, enthusiastic professionals devoted to making the most effective, life-saving cell therapy products in the world.

Universal Cells (UCI) is announcing a Research Associate I, Process Development opportunity at their facility in Seattle, WA .


The primary purpose of the Research Associate I for the Cell Editing, Process Development team is to evaluate processes and plan/execute experiments to evaluate all aspects of culturing, gene-editing, and the processing of pluripotent stem cells. Individuals in this role will be formally trained on all fundamental skills including record keeping, general lab skills, equipment use and maintenance, aseptic technique/cell culture, and basic troubleshooting. Will assist with projects and lead day-to-day activities based on abilities. Will required to keep appropriate documentation, including lab notebooks, batch documentation and experimental summaries. May assist in preparing controlled documents and data summaries.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • 75% of the time will be spent in the laboratory environment on specified projects editing pluripotent stem cells or improving processes using aseptic cell culture technique.

  • Exhibits working knowledge and understanding of aseptic cell culture technique and processing.

  • Supports the Process Development team as well as other departments with the maintenance of pluripotent stem cell cultures.

  • Assists with the design and execution of complex laboratory experiments to evaluate processes and products, including AAV-mediated gene-editing of pluripotent stem cells in a controlled manufacturing environment.

  • Supports the Cell Editing Production team to identify and troubleshoot challenges in manufacturing processes.

  • Collaborates to establish and tech transfer new manufacturing processes and assays.

  • Maintain cross-trained on batch record documentation and protocols to support the Process Development Editing and Cell Editing Production teams.

  • Keeps detailed record-keeping and demonstrates ability to write and follow established SOPs.

  • Analyzes and communicates results in both oral and written formats by participating in team meeting preparations and presentations.

  • Shows willingness to learn new protocols, relevant equipment, and related software.

  • Ensures smooth day-to-day operations of the cell culture lab.

  • Performs other duties as assigned or special projects as needed.

Quantitative Dimensions:

  • The Research Associate I will be trained to have complete competency in laboratory environment, with full team integration within 6 months. Once trained, they will move into a shifted schedule to support cell culture and data analysis activities for all process development projects.

  • The Research Associate I is an entry-level role for our Process Development team that ensures technical execution, documentation, and real-time communication of gene-editing and process development activities to facilitate advancement of clinical candidates.

Organizational Context:

  • This position reports to the Director of Process Development and Cell Editing.

  • Operates on a Sunday-Thursday, Tuesday-Saturday, or Thursday-Monday schedule.

  • May assist with onboarding, training, and guidance to new team members.



  • Biotechnology Certification or AA 2-4 or BS 0-3 years of relevant laboratory experience.

  • Solid working knowledge of aseptic mammalian cell culture technique.

  • Strong work ethic with a passion for working in a fast-paced, dynamic and diverse work environment.

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

  • Ability to work effectively both independently and with other teams.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Excellent record keeping.

  • This role will be on a shifted schedule, either Tuesday to Saturday OR Sunday to Thursday.


  • Experience with pluripotent stem cell culturing is preferred.

  • Experience with method and assay development is preferred.


  • 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