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Senior Principal Scientist, CAR-T and TCR-T Biology

Bristol Myers Squibb
Washington, Iowa, US
Closing date
Aug 16, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Project Management, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
At Bristol Myers Squibb, we are inspired by a single vision - transforming patients' lives through science.In oncology, hematology, immunology and cardiovascular disease - and one of the most diverse and promising pipelines in the industry - each of our passionate colleagues contribute to innovations that drive meaningful change. We bring a human touch to every treatment we pioneer. Join us and make a difference.

The Immuno-Oncology and Cellular Therapy Thematic Research Center within BMS is one of the fundamental research and early development engines delivering new therapies to patients. Our mission is to drive leadership in cell-based therapies for hematological malignancies and solid tumors. The team integrates discovery research seamlessly with preclinical sciences, translational research and early clinical development in collaboration with colleagues across the Research and Development organization. Our thematic focus allows the group to capitalize on the cutting-edge science that underpins the action of many of the company's most innovative therapeutics, without being constrained by drug modality or disease indication.

The Cell Therapy Preclinical Biology team is seeking a passionate scientific leader to help us deliver on this critical goal. The ideal candidate is an experienced and highly motivated scientist with a strong background in T cell engineering and strategic project leadership who will lead teams in optimization and engineering of next generation cell therapy candidates. The preferred candidate will have in-depth conceptual understanding of tumor-associated T cell biology and advanced cell engineering techniques with demonstrated successes in leading teams for results, including direct line management and matrixed cross-functional teams. This position is ideal for the scientist leader who thrives in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. Candidates with demonstrated experience advancing immunotherapy or cell therapy candidates through both matrixed and direct line leadership are preferred.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Strategic project leadership to lead teams in optimizing and advancing cell therapy candidates from late discovery to IND
  • Direct line management and matrixed project leadership to innovate cell therapy design, optimize therapeutic candidate configuration, and execute IND enabling biology
  • Provide scientific leadership on cross-functional initiatives and recommendations on department-level strategic decisions
  • Designing and overseeing critical studies required to drive hypothesis-driven research through interpretation of complex experiments and development of novel assays and research tools
  • Identification and conception of novel mechanisms for improving T cell function and corresponding characterization activities to enable science-driven decision making
  • Application of extensive knowledge of T cell biology including activation pathways, signaling pathways and antigen-specific differentiation
  • Represent the company in external settings and work with internal and external collaborators
  • Mentor direct reports for designing, executing, interpreting, and communicating results of studies required for project advancement
  • Develop and deliver decisional data packages to support project advancement. Preparation of data and report writing, IP generation and regulatory filings.

Basic Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's Degree with 10+ years of academic and/or industry experience, Master's Degree with 8+ years of academic and/or industry experience, or Ph.D. or equivalent advanced degree in the Life Sciences with 6+ years of academic and/or industry experience
  • 2+ years of leadership experience

Required Skillset:
  • Strategic scientific and project leadership abilities and demonstrated successes in advancing immuno-oncology or cell therapy candidates towards clinic
  • Direct line management and matrixed project leadership
  • T cell biology expert able to apply skills, theoretical knowledge and experience to provide scientific direction and approach to projects and challenges
  • Experience with in vitro technologies typically employed to assess T cell functionality including but not limited to MSD, IncuCyte-based assays, multi-parameter flow cytometry for phenotypic characterization of T cells, T cell activation assays, T cell proliferation analysis, imaging
  • Strategic scientific mindset and project management-oriented thinking
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills for working with cross-functional teams and cross-departmental colleagues
  • Strong organizational skills to ensure thorough and timely documentation of experiments, including those of their direct reports, and preparation of data for compiling reports

Preferred Skillset
  • Ph.D. in immunology, immuno-oncology or tumor immunology with at least 3 years of successful postdoctoral experience, evidenced by a strong publication record, plus at least 5 years experience in biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry setting
  • Industry experience with engineered T cell therapies (CAR T or TCR T)
  • Experience advancing cell therapy candidates to IND
  • Experience with gene editing technologies (CRISPR-based preferred) in primary human cells or cells lines (primary T cells preferred)
  • Experience with next generation sequencing or large gene expression analyses and expertise in R and/or Python for NGS analyses or data-driven statistical modeling


Around the world, we are passionate about making an impact on the lives of patients with serious diseases. Empowered to apply our individual talents and diverse perspectives in an inclusive culture, our shared values of passion, innovation, urgency, accountability, inclusion and integrity bring out the highest potential of each of our colleagues.

Bristol Myers Squibb recognizes the importance of balance and flexibility in our work environment. We offer a wide variety of competitive benefits, services and programs that provide our employees with the resources to pursue their goals, both at work and in their personal lives.

Physical presence at the BMS worksite or physical presence in the field is an essential job function of this role which the Company deems critical to collaboration, innovation, productivity, employee well-being and engagement, and enhances the Company culture.

To protect the safety of our workforce, customers, patients and communities, the policy of the Company requires all employees and workers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have received an exception based on an approved request for a medical or religious reasonable accommodation. Therefore, all BMS applicants seeking a role located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico must confirm that they have already received or are willing to receive the full COVID-19 vaccination by their start date as a qualification of the role and condition of employment. This requirement is subject to state and local law restrictions and may not be applicable to employees working in certain jurisdictions such as Montana. This requirement is also subject to discussions with collective bargaining representatives in the U.S.

Our company is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities can excel through a transparent recruitment process, reasonable workplace adjustments and ongoing support in their roles. Applicants can request an approval of accommodation prior to accepting a job offer. If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application or if you are applying to a role based in the U.S. or Puerto Rico and you believe that you are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief, during or any part of the recruitment process, please direct your inquiries to Visit to access our complete Equal Employment Opportunity statement.

Any data processed in connection with role applications will be treated in accordance with applicable data privacy policies and regulations.

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