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Sr. Scientist - RNA Biology

Takeda Pharmaceutical
La Mesa, California, US
Closing date
Oct 21, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Genetics, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description

Are you looking for a patient-focused, innovation-driven company that will inspire you and empower you to shine? Join us as a Scientist RNA Biology with the Early Target Discovery Team located in our San Diego, California office.

At Takeda, we are transforming the pharmaceutical industry through our R&D-driven market leadership and being a values-led company. To do this, we empower our people to realize their potential through life-changing work. Certified as a Global Top Employer, we offer stimulating careers, encourage innovation, and strive for excellence in everything we do. We foster an inclusive, collaborative workplace, in which our global teams are united by an unwavering commitment to deliver Better Health and a Brighter Future to people around the world.

Here, you will be a vital contributor to our inspiring, bold mission.


The Sr Scientist, RNA Biology in Early Target Discovery group in Drug Discovery Sciences, based in San Diego, leads collaborative efforts and conducts experiments to assess target feasibility and Mechanism of Action (MOA) in the field of RNA homeostasis. The goal of such efforts is to provide knowledge and expertise for the initiation of formal drug discovery campaigns by Takeda Research. The candidate will also provide expertise in new RNA-related drug modalities (ASO, RNAi, Splicing Modulators, Epitranscriptomics-targeting small molecules). The candidate will work and interact in a highly matrix environment including structural biologists, biophysicists, computational & statistical geneticists and drug discovery units with the goal of providing insights into RNA Biology, druggability, and modulator MOA.


  • Initiates and coordinates the Early Target Discovery's efforts in RNA Biology space
  • Serves as project leader to assess feasibility of new targets for modulation or RNA and to initiate drug discovery discovery programs in alignment with Takeda Drug Discovery Unit priorities.
  • Investigates new experimental approaches to specific problems related to RNA Homeostasis and RNA-related drug modalities using scientific theory and technical literature
  • Leverage a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms of splicing, RNA Binding proteins and RNA secondary modifications to build a target validation and modulator MOA pipeline.
  • Design, build, and validate genetic splicing reporters for target identification and validation, functional screens, and mechanism-of-action studies.
  • Carefully document results in databases and in written and oral scientific reports.
  • Collect, analyze and interpret data in appropriate scientific context
  • Prepares and presents comprehensive technical or project reports and formal presentations / posters to full range of internal/external audiences
  • Industry experience in RNA modulation is a plus
  • Professionally represents the organization in collaborations, partnership discussions, and external conferences.
  • Proactively builds external relationships and collaborations that supplement group's capabilities
  • Supports an overall group culture that is agile, proactive, collaborative, innovative, and external facing


Technical/Functional (Line) Expertise
  • The position requires broad technical experience that spans molecular biology, synthetic biology, RNA synthesis, structural RNA biology and RNA binding protein biology
  • Develop innovative tools/assays for synthesizing, manipulating and analyzing RNA
  • Determine, analyze and optimize RNA structure for functionality with cutting-edge technologies
  • Demonstrated independent thought/creativity
  • Additional documented experience in new RNA-based drug modalities is a significant plus.
  • Demonstrated effective project engagement skills
  • Ability and interest to work on multiple disease areas (Neurobiology, Gastroenterology, Oncology and Rare Diseases).

  • Independent, self-motivated and innovative
  • Ability to excel in a goal-oriented, multifaceted and fast-moving team environment is required.
  • Identifies, plans and executes novel scientific projects and may manage the work of others a direct or matrixed structure
  • Outstanding communication, organizational and leadership skills, with a successful track record of collaborating with cross-functional scientific teams is required.

Decision-making and Autonomy
  • Independently manages workload and expectations to advance projects
  • Scientific driver for research strategy that impacts group internally and outside area of function
  • May influence decision making within the drug discovery sciences organizatio
  • Interaction
  • Initiates and leads external interactions and collaborations on RNA Biology.
  • Frequent contact with internal and external personnel at various management levels

  • Determines methods on new assignments; makes strategic recommendations on projects
  • Ability to provide novel creative solutions to challenging problems
  • With big picture guidance, determines methods, generates high quality data on projects

  • Ph.D. in molecular biology & RNA Biology in broad areas of neuroscience, gastroenterology, oncology or rare diseases
    • 5+ years of post PhD experience, or
    • MS with 10+ years experience, or
    • BS with 12+ years experience
  • Biotech/pharma drug discovery experience is a strong plus.
  • Experience in studying RNA splicing, Epitranscriptomics, RNA Binding Proteins
  • Experience in CRISPR, base editing methodologies is a plus
  • Proven track record of scientific contributions in RNA Biology studies, functional characterization of RNA, RBP, splicing mechanisms.
  • Positive can-do attitude with strong collaboration skills and ability to team effectively with drug discovery scientists.
  • Highly motivated and flexible with ability to work in fast-paced environment.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills, especially the ability to work across multiple scientific disciplines and functions are preferred.

  • 401(k) with company match and Annual Retirement Contribution Plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Company match of charitable contributions
  • Health & Wellness programs including onsite flu shots and health screenings
  • Generous time off for vacation and the option to purchase additional vacation days
  • Community Outreach Programs

This job posting excludes CO applicants.

Effective November 1, 2021, absent an approved religious or medical reason, all US office-based and lab-based Takeda employees who work fully on-site or in a hybrid model (as determined by Takeda) must be fully vaccinated to work at a Takeda site or to engage with Takeda colleagues or anyone else on behalf of Takeda. As of the same date, absent an approved religious or medical reason, US field-based employees, employees must be fully vaccinated in order to continue in their current roles. US employees who work at a Takeda manufacturing facility, and those who work at a BioLife center or BioLife lab, may be subject to different guidelines. Candidates are encouraged to speak with their recruiter to seek further information on the applicable guidelines for the Business Unit/Function for which they have applied.

Empowering Our People to Shine

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EEO Statement

Takeda is proud in its commitment to creating a diverse workforce and providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, national origin, age, disability, citizenship status, genetic information or characteristics, marital status, status as a Vietnam era veteran, special disabled veteran, or other protected veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, and any other characteristic protected by law.


San Diego, CA

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