Senior Research Associate, Ocular

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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 .

Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc and focused on the development and commercialization of stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies. Astellas is an R&D-driven global pharmaceutical company whose philosophy is to contribute to the improvement of people's heath around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.

AIRM has a world-class R&D team, and is pursuing a diverse range of disease indications, ranging from macular degeneration (currently in clinical trials) and other ocular indications to vascular and autoimmune disease. AIRM's intellectual property portfolio includes pluripotent stem cell platforms -- both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells as well as other cell-based therapy research programs. AIRM is headquartered in Massachusetts.

Astellas is announcing a Senior Research Associate, Ocular opportunity at their Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) site in Westborough, MA .


We are seeking a Senior Research Associate (level commensurate with experience/qualifications) to participate in discovery-based research of pluripotent stem cell-derived pipeline products for indications within ophthalmology. The incumbent will play an integral role working as part of the greater ocular research team, participating in activities such as the development of in vitro assays for product characterization and support for in vivo studies.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Carefully follow protocols to generate differentiated cell types for Research evaluation from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs).

  • In vitro characterization of PSC-derived products through transcriptional, protein, and/or function-based assays. Specific techniques include, but are not limited, to the following: immunocytochemistry, qPCR, flow cytometry, western blotting, fluorescence/colorimetric microplate-based assays.

  • Troubleshooting/refinement of protocols/assays as needed during the evolution of projects.

  • Contribute to the writing/editing of standard operating procedures (SOPs)

  • Work cross-functionally to transfer standardized assays and procedures from Research to CMC.

  • Support for in vivo ocular studies, including procedures such as surgical support, in vivo structural imaging (OCT), behavioral assays, tissue harvest/histology.

  • Execute procedures and protocols with guidance and have the ability to summarize results independently.

  • Collaborate closely and collegially within the team and across functional groups to advance pipeline programs.

  • Maintain accurate records in laboratory notebooks, appropriate databases, and inventories in a timely manner.

  • Must be able to work flexible hours, occasionally on weekends.

Organizational Dimensions:

  • With guidance, independently and efficiently perform laboratory experiments to advance departmental pipeline programs.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively in a collaborative environment.

Organizational Context:

  • Reports to Director of Research



  • B.S./M.S. in molecular & cell biology, ophthalmology, neuroscience, stem cell biology, regenerative medicine or related field, plus 4 years (B.S.) or 2 years (M.S.) of relevant experience.

  • At least 2+ years primary neuronal cell culture, stem cell differentiation, and/or neuronal cell line culture.

  • Excellent aseptic cell culture technique.

  • Experience in molecular biology techniques, for example: molecular cloning, qPCR, western blot, or ELISA.

  • The ability to perform laboratory assays in an accurate and reproducible manner.

  • The ability to iteratively follow protocols independently with attention to detail and minimal deviation.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • The ability to work well with other colleagues as part of a productive team.


  • Experience in cell therapy/regenerative medicine.

  • Experience in ophthalmology/neuroscience research.

  • Experience with in vivo/ex vivo experiments and/or handling mouse or rat eyes/retinas.

  • Experience with immunohistochemical analysis of eye tissue (e.g. tissue processing, immunofluorescence staining, and/or fluorescence microscopy)

  • Experience with histological tissue processing (cryostat, paraffin sectioning)


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation, Sick time, plus national holidays including Heritage Days, and Summer and Winter Breaks

  • 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 IRM-Research

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EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans