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Scientist, Cancer Biology Drug Discovery

Zai Lab LLC
San Diego, California, US
Closing date
Oct 25, 2023

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Academic / Research, Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Company Description

Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ: ZLAB; HKEX: 9688) is an innovative, research-based, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company based in China and the United States focused on bringing transformative medicines for oncology, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders to patients in China and around the world. Our goal is to leverage our competencies and resources to positively impact human health worldwide.

Founded in 2014, our experienced team has secured partnerships with leading global biopharmaceutical companies, generating a broad and late-stage pipeline of innovative drug candidates. Based on our proven track record of success, Zai Lab has earned the reputation as a trusted partner of choice for global biopharmaceutical companies seeking to not only access the Chinese market but also find a long-term strategic partner for global clinical development. Our unique business model builds on our in-licensed assets and innovative partnerships to expand our internal discovery and development capabilities and has created a portfolio of potential best-in-class and/or first-in-class therapies. Zai currently has four products on the market in China

Zai Lab was successfully listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in September 2017 and completed secondary listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2020. In 2022, Zai Lab became dual-primary listed on both the Nasdaq and the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges. Since its inception, Zai Lab has expanded significantly with several offices across China. In 2021, Zai Lab established its U.S. Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As of January 2022, the Company has a global team of approximately 2000 employees.

Job Description

The Scientist contributes to discovery projects by designing, executing, and optimizing assays to assess biological activity of novel small molecules for cancer indications. This laboratory position supports discovery research efforts for the Oncology portfolio with target validation experiments, cell-based and biochemical assays, and mechanism of action studies. He/she generates, analyzes, and presents data within project timelines to support data driven decision making. This position utilizes a wide range of cell and molecular biology skills and works in close collaboration with other scientists as an integral member of the drug discovery team to advance programs from conception to clinical development.
  • Design, conduct, analyze and interpret biochemical and cellular functional assays to assess mode of action and therapeutic potential of novel small molecules.
  • Design, optimize, validate, and implement cell-based assays to assess proliferation, cell viability, and gene expression changes to support target validation and compound characterization efforts.
  • Identify and integrate technologies that improve or expand the ability to assess the mechanism of action of small molecule drugs.
  • Diligently document experimental procedures, data, analysis methods, and results in laboratory notebook.
  • Present and communicate results and research findings to the drug discovery team.
  • Support identification and prioritization of high-impact research activities
  • Maintain comprehensive knowledge of project status and priorities; adapt research activities accordingly.


  • BS in biological sciences with an emphasis in Oncology, Cancer Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, or related fields with 4 years experience in a drug discovery setting; or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience (MS with 2 years' experience or PhD)

  • Hands on experience in molecular biology techniques, including qPCR, gene expression analysis, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, protein-protein interaction assays.
  • Experience in mammalian cell tissue culture and cell-based assays, transfection, lentivirus transduction, stable cell line generation, viability and proliferation assays, fluorescence and luminescence based readouts.
  • Familiarity with biochemical assays, determination of Km, assessing small molecules for enzyme inhibition.
  • Familiarity with signal transduction pathways misregulated in cancer, regulation of cell division, transcription factor biology, or DNA damage response pathways.
  • Ability to design and engineer assays that address target-specific biology
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; effective team player, self-motivated, flexible, and able to manage multiple tasks under tight timelines; highly organized and diligent about documentation

Additional Information

The pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $115K and $127/year; however, base pay offered may vary depending on multiple individualized factors, including market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. The total compensation package for this position may also include other elements, including a sign-on bonus, restricted stock units, and discretionary awards in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits (including 401(k) eligibility and various paid time off benefits, such as vacation, sick time, and parental leave), dependent on the position offered. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment.

If hired, employee will be in an "at-will position" and the Company reserves the right to modify base salary (as well as any other discretionary payment or compensation program) at any time, including for reasons related to individual performance, Company or individual department/team performance, and market factors.

At Zai, we are proud of the gender diversity of our company and our promotion of women in biotech. We have achieved gender base pay equity at all levels, 58% of our employees are women and 54% of our management positions are held by women. We are committed to the health of patients and our planet. That's why our environmental protection, social responsibility, and corporate governance strategy, called "Trust for Life" is integrated within our business.

Disclaimer: This description is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of duties, responsibilities, or requirement for the position. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or based on disability.

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