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Astellas Pharma Principal Scientist, Tumor Immuno-Biology in South San Francisco, California

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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(n) Principal Scientist I, Tumor Immuno-Biology opportunity at their Xyphos site in South San Francisco, CA.


Xyphos Biosciences (South San Francisco, CA), an Astellas company is seeking a Principal Scientist I to join our Tumor Immuno-Biology group. The scientific focus of this role is improving the permissiveness of solid tumors to immune effector cells. The role of this position will be to conceive and lead programs through different stages of development pipeline focused on improving immune cell activity in solid tumor microenvironment. The successful candidate will focus on addressing the questions of metabolic fitness of effector cells, T- and NK cells homing to tumor site, challenges of immunosuppressive components in the TME, tumor heterogeneity and physical barrier. The position requires experience in solid tumor biology, immunology and cell biology. The successful candidate is expected to help lead both external collaborations and internal projects to aiming for successfully application of cell therapy in solid tumors.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Expert knowledge of adaptive and innate immunity, including the roles of various immune cells and cytokines in immune regulation and cancer immunology

  • Provide extensive cancer immunology and assay development support for preclinical drug discovery

  • Establish key in vitro and ex vivo immuno-oncology assays and models, suitable for therapeutic evaluation and mechanistic investigation of TME targeting modalities

  • Contribute to program development by broad understanding of immune and tumor metabolic pathways

  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and act as a project lead to effectively collaborate cross-functionally with colleagues across the Astellas organization

  • Engage with CROs to support research and discovery needs

  • Effectively communicate with team members to efficiently conduct experiments, articulate experimental details and results with other members of the Astellas research organization, and present research findings and recommendations to senior leadership



  • PhD and post-doctoral training in immunology, cancer biology, cancer immunotherapy or a closely related fields with a minimum of 8+ years postdoctoral experience in an academic or industry setting.

  • Experience and strong interest in cell therapy and/or immuno-oncology research

  • Broad expertise in cell-based immunological assays utilizing T-cell, NK-cell and myeloid cells, as well as experience with receptor binding, occupancy and signaling assays using advanced cellular and pharmacological techniques

  • Strong foundation in flow cytometry with ability to design and implement multi-color flow assays

  • Experience in vitro and/or ex-vivo assessment of lymphocyte effector function including tumor cell killing and cytokine production.

  • Expertise in understanding of solid tumor biology, tumor model development, and the challenges that immune effector cells face is the suppressive microenvironment

  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills are essential with collegiality being a defining attribute

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

  • Ability to maintain highly detailed, accurate, and timely records of experimental designs, results, and data analysis


  • Technical expertise with immune cell-based functional assays (e.g. activation, differentiation, proliferation, and suppression assays by using T-cells, monocyte/ macrophages, or dendritic cells)

  • Prior experience with complex tumor immune cell co-culture and/or 3D models and the integration of such systems into lead characterization/differentiation is highly desirable

  • Experience supervising direct reports

  • Experience managing CROs


  • 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 Xyphos Biosciences

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