Immuno-Oncology Senior Scientist

Carlsbad, California
May 03, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, is the industry leader in the discovery and development of antisense drugs. Ionis was founded in 1989 in order to create advanced, novel medicines to treat complex and challenging diseases. We currently have an active pipeline of 30 drugs in development. The Company establishes partnerships with large pharmaceutical and smaller biotechnology companies that provide dedicated and focused drug development and technology in order to maximize the potential of the technology we pioneered. This strategy provides Ionis with significant financial strength through a continuing stream of revenue from upfront license fees and milestone payments. In this way, we remain a powerhouse in antisense technology, discovering new ways to treat disease while remaining small with a core, dedicated group of employees.

Ionis is an innovating exciting, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our founding goals have changed little in 25 years and our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while developing and expanding your career.


We are currently seeking a qualified, highly motivated individual for the position of Senior Scientist in our Oncology Drug Discovery group.  The successful candidate will be a strategic member of a fast-paced and interactive research group evaluating novel cancer immunotherapy antisense drugs.


  • Apply expertise in immunology and/or immune-oncology, tumor models and translational research to plan, design, execute and troubleshoot experiments required for preclinical discovery and validation of experimental immunotherapeutic antisense drugs as well as their transition into clinical development.
  • Evaluate and characterize pharmacological responses to immunotherapeutic antisense compounds in various in vitro and in vivo cancer systems (e.g. effects on tumor progression and composition/functions of the tumor microenvironment).
  • Apply different cell biology, molecular biology and biochemical tools to study biological mechanisms of drug action.
  • Design, optimize, characterize, validate and implement relevant in vivo and in vitro immuno-oncology models for profiling of the pharmacologic effects of immunotherapeutic antisense drugs.
  • Search, evaluate and adopt the latest methodology/ technology to increase the functionality and efficiency of preclinical immuno-oncology research.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in life sciences, with a focus on immunology and oncology
  • 3+ years of relevant (see the requirements below) experience post graduate school
  • Must be a proactive scientist who can function both as an independent researcher as well as a member within multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Attractive track record of innovative research demonstrated by a number of publications (first and co-first author) in peer-reviewed journals is essential.
  • Demonstrated practical experience (e.g. publications and job experience) with in vivo and ex vivo immunology/immuno-oncology models and experiments assessing efficacy outcomes and mechanism of action for experimental therapies in those models is essential
  • In-depth knowledge of the molecular and cellular biology of the immune system ideally in cancer and cancer immunity.
  • Experience and ability to perform animal handling (compound administration, blood collection, general necropsy)
  • Experience and ability to perform basic cells biology/immunology techniques such as tissue culture (both established lines and primary cells), enrichment/purification of different cell types from tissues (e.g. immunomagnetic selection or sorting) and multi-color flow cytometry
  • Experience and ability to perform basic molecular biology/biochemistry techniques such as RNA extraction, RT-qPCR analysis, and immunoblot
  • Computer literacy is essential. Ability to perform mathematical calculations and data analysis using Microsoft Excel, GraphPad Prism or other similar data analysis software
  • Ability to work an occasional off-hour and/or weekend schedule
  • Excellent organizational skills and multi-tasking abilities
  • Proven interpersonal skills as well as strong oral and written communication skills
  • An ability to be productive and successful in an intense work environment
  • Hands on experience with basic in vivo immuno-oncology-related models (e.g. subcutaneous/orthotopic syngeneic models) is highly desired. Experience with other in vivo immuno-oncology-related models (e.g. GEMMs, chemically-induced, humanized mice) is also desired.

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.
For more information on Ionis and to apply for this position, please visit our website, Reference Requisition # 17-0129


Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and all its subsidiaries are proud to be EEO employers.