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Astellas Pharma Scientist I, Process Development in Seattle, Washington

Universal Cells is focused on the development and commercialization of stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies. We conduct clinical-grade gene editing of stem cells and have a major effort in R&D. We design and produce stem cells that avoid rejection, and we engineer cells with improved therapeutic properties, all through our world-class gene editing platform.

Our goal is to provide cells for regenerative medicine applications that can treat all patients. Through internal R&D and our corporate partnerships, we are pursuing a diverse range of disease indications, including blindness, cancer, vascular insufficiency, and autoimmune diseases.

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


The primary purpose of the Scientist I is to work as part of a team in planning and executing experiments to evaluate all aspects of culturing, gene-editing, and characterization processes of pluripotent stem cells. This Scientist will play a key role in the development of programs and assays to support the generation of clinical-grade, gene-edited Universal Donor Cells. This position will also be cross-trained in Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Documentation Practices and will support the Cell Editing team as needed.

Universal Cells is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas Pharma. Astellas is an R&D-driven global pharmaceutical company whose philosophy is to contribute to the improvement of people's health around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Designs and executes moderately complex laboratory experiments to evaluate processes and products.
  • Performs data collection, analysis, and interpretation with a high degree of scientific rigor. Communicates results in both oral and written formats by participating regularly in team meeting preparations and presentations.
  • Establishes and maintains scientific programs/databases.
  • Collaborates with other departments to establish and tech transfer new manufacturing processes and assays.
  • Prepares and reviews the work of others to include, but not limited to, technical slide decks, reports, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Production batch records.
  • Supports the Process Development team as well as other departments with the maintenance of pluripotent stem cell cultures.
  • Supports the Cell Editing Production team to identify and troubleshoot challenges in manufacturing processes. Serves as a subject matter expert on experimental methods and Production processes.
  • Remains cross-trained on new batch documentation and protocols to support the Cell Editing Production team as needed.
  • Serves as a technical resource for preparation of regulatory filings.
  • Performs detailed record-keeping and communicates data analysis in a timely manner.
  • Ensures smooth day-to-day operations of the cell culture lab.
  • Performs other duties as assigned or special projects as needed.



  • A Ph.D. in biology, genome sciences, or a related discipline with 0-3 years of relevant post-graduate laboratory experience, or a MS with 6+ years, or a BS with 8+ years of highly relevant experience.
  • Solid technical background in aseptic mammalian cell culture and process optimization.
  • Ability to identify opportunities for process improvement and to problem solve in a timely manner.
  • Strong work ethic and adaptability 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 in collaboration with other teams.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent record keeping.
  • Experience building and managing databases.
  • Ability to write and follow established SOPs.
  • Willingness to learn new protocols, relevant equipment, and related software.


  • Experience with culturing, editing, and/or differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.
  • Experience with scale-up, fill-finish, and cryopreservation processes in cell therapy manufacturing.
  • Experience with method and cellular assay development.
  • Familiarity with Good Documentation Practices and working within Quality Systems.
  • Experience initiating/managing/leading projects.
  • Experience in leading a team and mentoring/training junior researchers.
  • Experience with technical writing.


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled Category Research and Development