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Astellas Pharma Scientist II, Cancer Immunotherapy in South San Francisco, California

Astellas Pharma 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, 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 Scientist II, Cancer Immunotherapy opportunity at their Xyphos site in South San Francisco, CA.

Job Description:

Xyphos Biosciences (South San Francisco, CA) is looking for a motivated and talented Scientist II to join our Research and Discovery group. Our dynamic and highly collaborative team is innovation-focused in order to enhance our universal convertible CAR cellular therapy platform and advance its application to address a number of oncology indications through novel target identification, optimized engagement of convertible CAR-bearing immune cells, and minimization of the effects of immunosuppressive signals. The successful candidate is expected to help lead both external collaborations and internal projects to support platform development and to explore its application in solid tumors. This position is expected to be 50% lab-based and there will be opportunities for career growth through management of projects, cross-functional coordination and communication, building of scientific relationships in our global organization, and the opportunity to participate in the development of candidate drug programs.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Understand the biology behind targets in order to inform upon research strategy to optimize engagement of convertible CAR-bearing effector cells including T cells and NK cells

  • Actively contribute to scientific discussions through reading of scientific literature, hypothesis formation, and becoming a subject matter expert to maximally support projects and champion their continued progress or drive quickly to go/no-go decisions

  • Aid in the assessment of new collaboration opportunities, both external and internal, to help craft potential research plans and manage ongoing projects

  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and act as a project lead to effectively collaborate cross-functionally with colleagues in immunology, protein engineering, cell biology, and tumor biology

  • Proactively explore, evaluate, and implement cell-based assays to support mechanism of action studies and candidate selection for tumor-targeting biologics

  • Engage with CROs to support research and discovery needs

  • Aid in the identification of appropriate solid tumor models, contribute to the design of in vitro and in vivo studies, and facilitate their implementation as the project or program requires

  • 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 with 3+ years related industry and/or post-doctoral experience in tumor biology, immunology, or cancer immunotherapy

  • Familiarity with immuno-oncology modalities, antibody-drug assessment, and validation workflow

  • Familiarity with autologous as well as allogeneic CAR therapies, particularly approaches that involve cellular engineering

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

  • Solid laboratory skillset that includes mammalian cell culture, co-culture assays with immune effector cells, viability and proliferation assays, and direct experience with human primary immune cells

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

  • Demonstrated ability to independently plan, execute, analyze, and interpret experiments and a track record of productivity

  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate research activities and make key technical contributions to drive towards decisions on research trajectories and next steps

  • 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

  • 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


  • Direct experience with cellular therapies and/or antibody-based biologics programs

  • Experience supervising direct reports

  • Experience managing CROs


Category Research and Development

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EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans