Technical Scientist, Immunology

92121, San Diego
Aug 23, 2021
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Company Profile 

Rakuten Medical, Inc. is a global biotechnology company developing precision, cell-targeting investigational therapies on its Illuminox™ technology platform, which utilizes antibodies conjugated with payloads that are specifically activated at the tumor site.  

Our first clinical product received marketing approval in Japan from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for ASP-1929 PIT to treat unresectable locally advanced or recurrent head and neck cancer - and is also in Phase III pivotal clinical testing globally to treat terminal cancer patients. This is a first-in-class product with unique pharmacological activity and with the potential to have a broad impact in cancer.  

Rakuten Medical is committed to its mission to conquer cancer and aims to realize a society where cancer patients can lead fulfilling lives. Headquartered in the United States, Rakuten Medical has 5 locations in 4 countries, Japan, the Netherlands, and Taiwan. For more information, visit  

Position Summary 

Rakuten Medical is searching for a highly motivated individual to support characterization of preclinical assets with the execution of a wide range of in vitro and ex vivo cell and molecular assays.  The qualified candidate will contribute to the multidisciplinary team by independently designing and executing studies to evaluate the functional properties and pharmacological activity of lead candidate molecules through a variety of immunological assays.  This individual is expected to possess technical excellence with a wide range of in vitro and ex-vivo assays, proven ability to learn and master new technologies quickly, and a collaborative spirit to mentor and train others both inside and outside the lab in a professional setting.  He/she will participate and present data at research meetings to a wide audience.  In addition to these primary responsibilities, this candidate will also work collaboratively with other departments to support the company’s drug development programs. 

 Key Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Key responsibilities include development, optimization, and execution of in vitro and ex vivo assays including, but not limited to, multi-parametric flow cytometry to characterize immune cells from tissues, molecular assays such as bulk or single cell RNA-seq library preparation to analyze transcriptomic responses, tumor and serum derived molecular analysis by MSD to evaluate circulating cytokines, etc.   
  • Proficiency and experience with primary human immune cells to characterize immune responses to treatment using MLR (mixed lymphocyte reaction) assays or manipulating and/or differentiating primary human immune cells such as T cells, NK cells, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells in order to perform functional characterizations such as immune cell activation, immune suppression, antigen presentation, cell signalling, cytokine release, and other similar types of immune cell profiling in co-cultures or complex PBMC mixtures.   
  • May assist with basic in vivo pharmacology activities as needed. 
  • Participate in team meetings to provide input into in vitro and ex vivo assay development strategies and troubleshooting. 
  • Responsible for the maintenance and troubleshooting of lab equipment in coordination with the lab management team to handle all service calls and repair. 
  • Participate and provide input into the optimization of workflows related to the lab activities.. 
  • Participate in the identification and evaluation of new equipment and technologies. 
  • Author guidelines, data sheets, reports, SOPs, and other documentation. 
  • Support cell culture related activities as needed. 
  • Assist in training and mentoring other staff members. 
  • Present data and summaries at weekly team meetings, ensuring effective communication of ideas and results, and proactively identify and suggest solutions in a multidisciplinary environment.  
  • Other duties as assigned. 

 Desired Education, Skills and Experience 

  • Minimum B.S. with 10+ years, or M.S. with 7+ years, of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. 
  • Technical mastery with various assays used to evaluate cellular and molecular immune responses to therapies, such as flow cytometry, MSD, bulk or single cell RNA seq, as well as culturing and manipulating primary immune cells in vitro
  • In-depth experience with designing and executing in vitro cell-based or biochemical assays to evaluate the functional properties (efficacy, mechanism of action) of lead product candidates.  
  • Demonstrated technical excellence with cell-based, biochemical, and cytotoxicity assays, e.g. multicolor flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, ELISAs, western blots. 
  • Experience with antibody-based therapeutics will be highly valued. 
  • Experience with in vivo pharmacology in rodent models will be highly prioritized. 
  • Experience with flow cytometry software analysis (FlowJo or other) would be highly desirable. 
  • Thorough understanding of BSL-1 and BSL-2 safety practices is required. 
  • Excellent organizational skills, strong attention to detail, innovative thinking, problem-solving, and ability to meet deadlines are required. 
  • Ability to effectively communicate and present ideas and results in a cross-functional team environment.  
  • Exceptional self-management ability is required. 
  • Expected to coordinate cross-functional activities with other departments in a highly collaborative manner. 
  • Excellent emotional intelligence and sound character.  
  • Able to follow SOPs and manage multiple tasks simultaneously and with minimal supervision. 
  • Able to occasionally work weekends as study schedules dictate. 
  • Alignment with Rakuten Medical company values. 
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds. 


We are proud to offer a competitive compensation plan with an excellent benefits package including flexible time off, stock options, 401k, medical, dental, vision plans and more.

Rakuten Medical Inc. is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.