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Astellas Pharma Principal Scientist, Protein Engineering in South San Francisco, California

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 .

Xyphos Biosciences , an affiliate of Astellas Pharma Inc. is developing a novel adoptive cell therapy technology platform and building a pipeline of innovative products.

We are a rapidly growing team of research and scientific professionals, passionate about turning science and innovation into medical solutions through our cell therapy technology platform. 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.

Astellas is announcing a Principal Scientist, Protein Engineering opportunity at their Xyphos site in South San Francisco, CA.


The primary focus of the Principal Scientist in Protein Engineering is to join our efforts in the optimization of the Xyphos' convertibleCAR cellular therapy platform. This includes construct design, managing biologics production activities, as well as leading platform development-based or immuno-oncology-based projects or programs. This position will work primarily in a laboratory setting with R&D teams with people management opportunity.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Design and optimize a high-throughput workflow for mammalian protein expression and purification

  • Functional lead for platform development-based or immuno-oncology-based programs

  • Plan and design binding and functional assays to support in vitro or in vivo validation for programs at different stages

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the biology behind programs, design and explore different antibody formats including bispecific, multispecific antibodies and antibody-fusions

  • Integrate data from sequences, binding assays, and functional characterization experiments to support a comprehensive data package for programs

  • Evaluate new technologies, instrumentation, and assays to implement and improve in-house biologics discovery, engineering, and protein production platforms

  • Manage protein engineering database with other members in the team: Standardizes processes, documentation, reagent inventories and captures data to record and share information with Xyphos scientific research team

  • Lead and collaborate internally (Astellas) and externally (CROs) on research and discovery needs

  • Mentor 1-2 research associates or scientists to perform the above activities



  • PhD with 8+ years related industry and/or post-doctoral experience in antibody/protein engineering/biochemistry and molecular biology

  • Strong understanding of antibody structure/sequence and function relationship

  • Solid, direct experience in the molecular biology and purification/characterization techniques essential for antibody engineering/reformatting/bispecific/multispecific/single domain antibodies and construct design/generation

  • Familiarity with antibody-drug assessment and validation process

  • Experience supervising direct reports and leading projects/programs

  • Experience with CRO project management

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

  • Excellent communication skills with a solid ability to articulate experimental plans, present research findings in meetings, works effectively in a cross-functional team, and collaborate with other members of Astellas R&D teams

  • Strong work ethic with a dedicated mindset of proactively identifying and productively filling gaps

  • Strong team-oriented mentality exemplified by willingness to take on tasks and responsibilities as needed to facilitate advancement of a wide variety of programs in a dynamic, start-up like environment


  • Sophisticated operational capabilities (on-site and remotely control) with Akta FPLC system and Thermo Scientific Vanquish HPLC system

  • Experience with antibody binding, epitope binning and mapping, and functional assays using ELISA, Octet/Biacore and/or flow cytometry

  • Experience with cell binding and in vitro cell / signaling assays


  • 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