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Platform Biology Lead
San Francisco, USA

Cairn Biosciences is an early-stage platform-enabled therapeutics discovery company.  By experimentally simulating living biology, our proprietary COMPASS discovery platform unlocks exclusive pathways to intervene in the progression of serious disease. We are initially orienting COMPASS to the exciting challenge of discovering new drugs that overcome acquired resistance to targeted cancer therapies.

We are seeking a talented, energetic, and entrepreneurial Platform Biology Lead to augment our diverse, multidisciplinary team of experts that is pioneering a new paradigm of decoding disease dynamics to discover new drugs. In this role, you will lead our molecular and cellular biology activities and spearhead generation of  live-cell microscopy datasets to advance our discovery programs. You are a skillful and adaptable hands-on experimentalist who is motivated to apply and extend your skillset to address drug discovery challenges. You are an effective collaborator eager to develop and iterate scalable innovations that will enable the discovery of new therapeutics. As a key member of our growing team, you lead by example and inspire and empower others to relentlessly pursue bold, impactful goals to unlock novel biology and deliver new therapeutics.


Key responsibilities:

  • Extend our cell modeling capabilities to maximize mechanistic insights from disease-relevant live cell models.

  • Conceive, establish and oversee the design, implementation and validation of expression constructs and multi-reporter cell lines-based models. 

  • Champion microscopy innovation and rigor to extend the capabilities and robustness of the COMPASS platform.

  • Collaborate closely with broader technical senior staff and leadership team to define key technical milestones in support of company strategy. 

  • Partner with in-house disease biology, engineering and computational experts to design and implement studies to identify new therapeutic targets, drugs and biomarkers.

  • Assess literature to propose strategic incorporation of new ideas and technologies that further our platform capabilities and therapeutics discovery goals.

  • Mentor, coach and steer junior technical staff and fuel technical team performance.

  • Documentation of SOPs and protocols and presentation of findings internally and externally via reports, presentations, invention disclosures and publications.



  • Ph.D. degree in biology, bioengineering or related scientific discipline with 2+ years of post-graduate experience in academic and/or industry setting. Professional drug discovery industry and/or supervisory experience preferred. 

  • Hands-on fluency in routine cell and molecular biology techniques. Track-record of inventing or adopting cutting-edge gene editing / cell and molecular biology tools to enable novel assay formats and mechanistic insights is highly desirable.

  • Broad expertise in quantitative fluorescence microscopy and digital imaging, ideally including proficiency in live cell imaging and automation.  Experience in high-content assay development, screening and analysis and familiarity with coding/scripting for microscope automation and/or processing and analysis of microscopy datasets would be a plus.

  • Proven track-record of coupling cell-based modeling with microscopy readouts to deliver new biological insights. Background in cancer signaling, functional genomics and oncology drug discovery, particularly target and biomarker identification lead optimization and toxicity assessment would all be advantageous.

  • Exceptional communication, scientific rigor, and critical thinking skills that promote a goal-oriented work culture while fostering an environment of technical excellence, flexibility and productivity in a fast-paced, team-oriented startup environment. 

  • Innovative mindset focused on pioneering new technical approaches to unlock scientific insights. Resourceful, can-do, problem-solver who is self-motivated to champion and deliver new capabilities to overcome tumor evolution and address oncology drug discovery’s most pressing unmet need.

  • Current US work authorization.

Cairn Biosciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer offering a competitive salary and benefits package. We welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, gender, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. Note to employment agencies: please do not forward agency resumes; Cairn Biosciences will not be responsible for any fees related to resumes that are unsolicited.

Platform Bio Lead
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