Associate Principal Scientist, Biomarker

Redwood City, California
Oct 29, 2020
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Do you want to be part of building a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company together with a team of highly skilled colleagues who are passionate about developing best-in-class therapeutics that address significant unmet medical needs? Then Ascendis Pharma is committed to support your personal development on our journey towards becoming a leading rare disease company.

Ascendis Pharma is looking for an experienced Associate Principal Scientist, Biomarker Development, Oncology to join our team. This is an exciting opportunity to join a rapidly growing, innovative company!

Position Summary

The new biomarker group defines biomarker, translational, and personalized medicine strategies for the Ascendis oncology pipeline. The team is responsible for the generation and analysis of biomarker data from preclinical and clinical studies to evaluate disease biology and determine the therapeutic mechanism of action for our therapies to demonstrate disease modification and define patient heterogeneity.

We seek an experienced, detail-oriented, and results focused scientist who is passionate about therapeutic development and making a difference in patients’ lives. They will help to define the biomarker strategy, generate and interpret data from preclinical and clinical studies to enable effective therapeutic development.

The successful candidate will add their passion, unique talents, and expertise to a dynamic team on the frontlines of cancer biology and innovative therapeutic development. This individual will design and conduct/coordinate experiments, analyze, and interpret data to advance biomarker discovery and development efforts to impact and inform effective clinical development of our lead assets. Experience in the analysis of complex and multi-dimensional data sets and a strong understanding of oncogenic and immune pathways and tumor biology is highly desirable. This new position is based in Redwood City, CA and will report to the VP Biomarker Development. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Help build new genomics and gene analysis infrastructure and analytic capabilities
  • Design and perform biomarker experiments in house or with collaborators/vendors to generate multi-omic data sets (e.g. - bulk RNA-Seq, single cell sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, WES/WGS, Chip-Seq, NanoString, multiplex qPCR, etc.)
  • Direct hands-on experience with systems for generation of gene expression data (10X Genomics, NanoString, or others)
  • Work with bioinformatics/statistics colleagues to help develop and apply computational tools for analysis of large -omics and high dimensional data from publicly available, commercial, and real-world datasets
  • Provide expertise to help evaluate and ensure access to state-of-the-art biomarker/diagnostic technologies for clinical application
  • Develop biomarker assays in house and direct outsourcing, and validation of clinically applicable biomarker assays for pharmacodynamic, predictive, prognostic, safety and other biomarkers
  • Generate, analyse, and interpret complex preclinical and clinical data and communicate findings to project teams and senior leaders
  • Help develop and execute biomarker development and diagnostic strategies, as needed
  • Author biomarker strategy documents and reports, biomarker sections of clinical protocols, regulatory documents, patents, manuscripts and presentations


  • PhD and/or post-doc training in oncology, immune-oncology (solid tumors or hematological malignancies), tumor biology or other related field with at least 6 years of directly relevant experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries is required. Job title and salary commensurate with relevant experience
  • Strong experimental background and experience integrating complex scientific ideas in hypothesis-driven biological and translational research preferably to enable clinical biomarker discovery and development
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with key stakeholders, synthesize data and articulate seminal scientific questions and propose/execute clear actionable experiments
  • Hands on experience with one or more genomic, epigenetic, gene expression, metabolomics, multiplexed protein detection or other related platforms is required
  • Direct experience analyzing, interpreting, and integrating large-scale datasets is necessary (e.g. - single-cell or bulk RNA-seq, DNA-seq, Chip-seq, microarray or other genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and/or other) is desirable
  • Expertise in multi-omics and other data analysis and/or meta-analyses within a relevant field is needed – biology, oncology/tumor biology, and/or molecular/cellular immunology with a strong record of publication is preferred
  • Knowledge of biomarker discovery and development: assay development/validation, clinical discovery/application of biomarkers, and translational research
  • Broad understanding of drug discovery and development in both early and late stage development and familiarity with regulatory approval process
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with proven scientific/leadership expertise on teams and/or leading/managing projects is helpful
  • Knowledge of IP, contracting terms and provisions is desirable
  • Basic understanding of companion diagnostics development, is helpful
  • A proactive and self-motivated individual with a strong work ethic, ability to work in a dynamic environment and able to manage multiple objectives in parallel and adapt to changing priorities
  • Strong interpersonal skills to enable effective communication, engagement and collaboration with colleagues in a multidisciplinary team environment
  • Candidate must be detail-oriented, organized and keep excellent records


  • Medical insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Paid maternity leave
  • Paid paternity leave
  • Commuter benefits
  • Disability insurance