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Scientist I / Scientist II, Cancer Cell Biology

Unnatural Products Inc.
Santa Cruz County, California, US
Closing date
May 17, 2022

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Academic / Research, Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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About the Company:

Unnatural Products Inc. (UNP) is a VC-backed drug discovery company committed to tackling some of oncology's toughest challenges, drug targets previously deemed "undruggable." UNP uses both computational and empirical techniques to create a next-generation drug modality - cell-permeable, cyclic peptides. We have multiple partnerships with top-tier pharma customers as well as a growing internal pipeline driven by our platform.

Role Summary:

The Scientist will be an integral member of the UNP Biology Team. The Biology team identifies and validates molecular targets, evaluates novel drug candidates, and provides forward-thinking approaches to advance our preclinical pipeline. The Scientist will independently design and conduct cellular assays, determine the efficacy and mechanism of action of macrocyclic inhibitors, and conduct experiments that validate potential targets. This is a hands-on position for an experienced wet-lab scientist who enjoys working at the bench. The Scientist must have excellent communication skills and work with a positive attitude in a dynamic, fast-paced, cross-functional team environment.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Research, develop and validate quantitative cell-based assays to address compound activity, selectivity and mechanism of action
  • Independently validate the role of biological targets in tumor biology using genetic and pharmacological tools
  • Support lead optimization efforts and new target prioritization
  • Plan and manage assay work-flows across multiple projects
  • Design, execute, analyze and interpret experiments
  • Train and mentor junior members of the organization
  • When necessary, lead and support troubleshooting activities to achieve project aims.
  • Directly interact and update the project progress with the team
  • Learn new scientific skills as required by pipeline projects

  • PhD in Cancer Biology, Molecular/Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, or related field with 0-5 years of postdoctoral research or biotech/pharma experience
  • Strong understanding of cancer biology and signal pathways
  • Demonstrated extensive experience in mammalian cell culture; creating, developing and running cellular assays, and interrogating biological pathways using chemical biology tools
  • Hands on experience in use of genetic methods (CRISPR, shRNA, siRNA) for knock out or knock in of targets of interest in cell lines
  • Experience with general molecular biological techniques including molecular cloning, qPCR, ELISA, proximity-based assays, immunoprecipitations, Western blotting.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to communicate and interact well with colleagues, vendors, CROs, and scientific advisors
  • Highly organized with excellent analytical, documentation and multi-tasking skills
  • Breath and flexibility to adapt to changing project needs
  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated individual excited to work in the fast-paced and dynamic environment of a startup


UNP employees enjoy numerous benefits including full healthcare coverage, 401k with employer contribution, flexible time off, continuing education stipends, weekly team lunches, charity matching, and more. Our offices and lab space is located in Santa Cruz, CA, and we are a short walk to the beach with world class surf or a hike in the beautiful redwoods. We are looking for people to join our team who share our passion for rigorous science, best practices engineering, and working in a fun, fast paced, and inclusive environment.

Unnatural Products Inc. is a committed equal opportunity employer and evaluates job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability, or veteran status.
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