Scientist / Senior Scientist, Neuroscience Research

Near the UCSD campus-Torrey Pines area.
Jun 30, 2020
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Scientist/Senior Scientist, Neuroscience Research

At Locana, we are creating a new class of precision medicines to treat a range of human genetic diseases. Locana's RNA-targeting gene therapy platform allows us to precisely address these mutations on the level of RNA. By targeting RNA, our approach avoids the risk of off-target effects in DNA and is suited to address many diseases linked to dysfunctional processing of mRNA. The wide range of potential indications is supported by the modularity of our RNA-targeting gene therapies which are composed of interchangeable components that provide exquisite control of specificity and activity. 

Position Summary:

We are seeking an exceptional, highly motivated and creative neuroscientist to lead innovative research efforts focused on discovering and developing novel gene therapy-based therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The ideal candidate will have expertise in molecular and cellular biology using both in vitro and in vivo model systems and possess a deep mechanistic understanding of the cellular pathways that contribute to neurodegeneration. A solid track record of publications in top tier journals is required as is exceptional communication skills. The successful candidate will be responsible for designing, executing, and analyzing experiments as a member of a cross-disciplinary team and should thrive in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment. Prior drug discovery experience is preferred but not required.


  • Design, execute, and interpret experiments testing novel RNA modulating gene therapies in preclinical models of neurodegeneration
  • Independently develop and supervise creation of various iPSC-derived neuronal, neuron-glia, organoid, and genetically engineered isogenic 2D and 3D models of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Utilize the developed models to test the efficacy and activity of AAV plasmids and gene therapy vectors, utilizing knowledge of neurodegeneration biology 
  • Perform and supervise analysis utilizing molecular, biochemical, and histopathological analysis of cells and tissues relevant to models of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Work collaboratively with other scientists and research associates; may supervise one or more research associates
  • Evaluate external research landscape, initiate and manage collaborations
  • Present data internally and at scientific conferences


  • Ph.D. in neuroscience or a closely related discipline
  • ≥ 4 years postdoctoral/industry experience in cellular and molecular research relevant to neurogenerative diseases; Industry experience strongly preferred
  • Experience and knowledge of neurodegeneration biology, in areas such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, etc.
  • Expertise in cell culture and development of iPSC-derived neurons and immortalized cell lines relevant to neurological diseases; organoid experience a plus
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques such as RNA isolation, qPCR, immunoblot
  • Experience with handling cells and tissues for molecular biology and histology and staining and imaging techniques including immunocytochemistry and light and fluorescence microscopy.
  • Proven track record of accomplishments, including publications in top tier journals and presentations at meetings.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, capable of conveying technical information in a clear and thorough manner.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including a proven track record of building and maintaining effective working relationships
  • The ability to manage multiple assignments effectively in a fast-paced environment
  • Positive can-do attitude, strong organizational and time management skills and flexibility to react quickly to changing research needs
  • Self-starter who is highly motivated and not afraid to take risks

Locana is dedicated to fostering a workplace that keeps our team inspired and engaged.  We offer an inclusive company culture where employees feel respected and valued. 

Locana offers a competitive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance benefits for employees and their families.  We also offer a 401(k) plan with a matching contribution and stock options.  Locana is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other protected categories.

Send your cover letter and resume for immediate consideration.