Research Scientist, Translational Research

92109, San Diego
Salaried, negotiable according to experience and fit
Mar 02, 2018
No One Should Die Of Cancer™
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Tocagen is a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company focused on developing first-in-class, broadly applicable product candidates designed to activate a patient’s immune system against their own cancer from within.

Every member of our team plays a significant role in our success. Tocagen hires individuals who share our passion for ending cancer mortality and have exceptional talent that will contribute to this goal.


The Research Scientist, Translational Research will be responsible, with minimal supervision, for the execution of scientific research experiments relating to immune-oncology and cancer gene therapy research. Specific duties include working with technical staff to conduct in vivo experiments using existing models and participating in establishing new animal model capability to support the development and assessment of replicating retroviruses for preclinical product development against immunotherapeutic targets.

Duties and Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Understand the goals of the Translational Research group and their relationship to strategic R&D and corporate goals and objectives. Develop personal goals and maintain strategies to meet such goals within set timeframes.
  • With team members, plan collaborative research experiments requiring initiative and judgment within defined procedures and practices; exercise judgment and show initiative in making scientifically sound decisions.
  • Work on problems of defined scope with minimal supervision. Identify, analyze, and interpret experimental results.
  • Prepare written reports of scientifically/technically complex experiments. Present results to an audience with a diverse background.
  • Conduct experiments and prepare written reports conforming to defined documentation practices in support of regulatory filings, internal company documents, and external company presentations.
  • Participate in cross-functional project team meetings as an expert in your field, and with the support of the Translational Research Department, perform corresponding experiments as appropriate and needed.
  • Comply with the company safety policies and minimize risk to self, others and the environment, consistent with the community and industry standards.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Desired Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Established knowledge of discipline including knowledge of protocols, scientific method and its applications, and use of specialized equipment.
  • Proven track record in animal models to assess efficacy of oncology products
  • Proven track record in animal models to assess anti-tumor immune response
  • Knowledge of in vivo study designs related to assessing pharmacology and toxicology as well as bio-localization is a plus.
  • Strong understanding of the role immune cells play in the tumor microenvironment
  • Demonstrated potential to think independently, contribute to cross functional project teams, and problem solve.
  • Excellent verbal/written communication skills as evidenced by published literature and/or presentation of scientific data.
  • Enjoys working in a fast paced dynamic environment.
  • Technical expertise with immunological assays, both ex vivo and in vitro.
  • Flexible and cooperative spirit with strong commitment to team efforts.

Education and Experience:

  • Ph.D. with at least 3 years postdoctoral experience, MS with 8 years industry experience or equivalent
  • Degree in immunology, cancer biology or similar discipline.
  • Experience with Flow cytometry and immune assays are a must.
  • Industry experience is a plus.
  • Technical documentation experience is a plus.

Reports To: Associate Director, Translational Research

Position Type: Salaried, negotiable according to experience and fit; package includes company stock options, bonus plan, as well as tax advantaged employee benefit plans.