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Astellas Pharma Senior Research Associate, R&D 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 Senior Research Associate – NK Cell Biology and Pharmacology

opportunity at their facility in Seattle, WA .


This Senior Research Associate position is a laboratory focused role with the primary purpose of developing and characterizing stem cell-derived engineered immune cells for oncology applications. This position will work primarily in a laboratory setting with Scientist and R&D teams.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Develops and implements in vitro assays for functional and phenotypic characterization of PSC-derived NK cells and other immune cell types, utilizing flow cytometry, cytotoxicity and other functional assays, imaging, and gene expression.

  • Collaborates with in vivo team to generate and characterize differentiated immune effector cells for in vivo studies.

  • Demonstrates creative problem-solving abilities to solve technical and biological challenges.

  • Prepares technical reports, experimental summaries, and writes protocols/SOPs to support product development.

  • Collaborates with supervisory personnel to design experiments and select appropriate methods to accomplish them.

  • Applies a high degree of scientific rigor to all aspects of the job, including experimental design, analysis, and interpretation.

  • Regularly presents findings at group meetings.

  • Collaborates with colleagues across Universal Cells and other Astellas sites.

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

Quantitative Dimensions:

  • Direct impact on Universal Cells UDC NK cell program for proof of concept and IND enabling studies.

Organizational Context:

  • Reports to Director, NK Cell Biology and Pharmacology Will collaborate with Scientists and Research Associates in the R&D team.



  • Typically requires 4+ years of experience with BS degree or 2+ years with MS degree in related scientific discipline.

  • Scientific training and laboratory skills in stem cell biology, immunology, immuno-oncology, and/or oncology.

  • Experience with in vitro cell biology, immunology and molecular assays (e.g. multi-color flow cytometry, ELISA, imaging, gene expression, and cytotoxicity analyses)

  • Experience in mammalian cell culture, including primary cells.

  • Diligence, and meticulous attention to detail in experimentation and record keeping

  • Ability to analyze and interpret data.

  • Strong organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to work independently with supervision and to effectively collaborate across teams.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

  • Willingness to learn and enthusiasm to be part of the development of a cutting-edge therapy platform


  • Experience working in a GMP environment is highly preferred.

  • Prior industry experience

  • Experience with human pluripotent stem cell culture and differentiation

  • Experience with NK cells.

  • Experience with ex vivo tissue processing, including immune cell isolation and characterization by flow cytometry and other ex vivo assays

  • Adept at managing and executing multiple projects


  • 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 & Development

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans