Technical Scientist/Senior Technical Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology

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 lead the technical and operational activities of Rakuten Medical’s preclinical in vivo pharmacology program. The candidate will design and execute studies to evaluate the efficacy and mechanism of action of hit and lead candidate products utilizing the most appropriate in vivo pharmacology models. As the technical lead, this individual is expected to train members of the in vivo pharmacology team in relation to the technical and operational aspects and will be responsible for study performance and data analysis. Furthermore, this individual will oversee the operational aspects of the vivarium, supporting other personnel as needed. In alignment with the Rakuten Medical company culture, this individual is expected to be highly collaborative as he/she will interface with other key functions and members of the multidisciplinary research team.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • • Serve as a technical lead for in vivo pharmacology studies to demonstrate efficacy and characterize mechanism of action of lead targets in immunocompetent and immunocompromised mouse models to accomplish the goals of the Translational Sciences team.
    • Work collaboratively with other members of the Translational Sciences team to guide studies for evaluating efficacy and characterizing mechanism of action of lead molecules
    • Serve as the main interface between necessary functions, e.g., Protein Engineering/Biologics, TechOps, etc
    • Train and support personnel to manage and execute complex experimental testing and models.
    • Perform in vivo tumor implant studies with caliper measurement, bioluminescent and fluorescent endpoints, IV/IP/RO test article administration, RO and cardiac puncture blood collection, tissue harvesting for downstream analysis
    • Identify gaps in knowledge or expertise in In Vivo Pharmacology, resolve technical challenges with sophisticated approaches including the development and implementation of new assays or new models to test hypotheses and answer technical problems.
    • Oversee, manage, and be responsible for daily activities of vivarium operations, including but not limited to maintaining stocks of all supplies, scheduling experimental activities, maintaining and calibrating equipment as needed, etc.
    • Generate and be accountable for the necessary Animal Use Protocols that ensures team members comply with all policies and requirements, staying up to date with current animal use guidelines
    • Keep accurate records and enter data into an electronic laboratory notebook in a timely manner
    • Follow laboratory safety guidelines and practices.
    • Contribute to the writing of publications and regulatory documents to support regulatory filings of non-clinical experimental data
    • Other duties as assigned (always end the essential functions section with this bullet)

Desired Education, Skills and Experience

  • • B.S. with minimum 10+ years or M.S. with minimum 8+ years of pharmaceutical industry experience executing in vivo pharmacology studies with immunocompetent and immunocompromised animals in oncology or immunology.
    • Experience with a variety of in vivo translational model systems to demonstrate mechanism of action (immunocompetent and immunocompromised mouse models, GEMM, PDX, etc.)
    • Superior technical expertise with standard in vivo techniques, including dosing and sampling routes (e.g., po, ip, sc, iv dosing; submandibular, retro-orbital, cardiac bleeds; necropsy and organ/tumor harvest) and tumor measurements is required.
    • Competency with mouse surgical techniques (stereotactic implants, orthotopic implants, etc.) will also be highly valued.
    • Experience with managing overall vivarium operations to ensure smooth execution
    • Experience with ex vivo techniques and analysis (tissue extraction, single cell dissociation, multi-color flow cytometry to analyze tumor infiltrates) will be highly valued.
    • Experience working with antibody-based therapeutics.
    • Experience with IACUC and AAALAC
    • Excellent communication skills, organizational skills, and the ability to work independently and in a matrix team environment are essential.
    • Excellent emotional intelligence and sound character.
    • Able to occasionally work weekends as study schedules dictate.
    • Alignment with company and research team 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.