Sr. Scientist Preclinical & Translational Sciences

Job Locations US-CA-Thousand Oaks
Translation Sciences
Regular Full-Time

Job Description

The Sr. Scientist Preclinical & Translational Sciences provides support for preclinical and translational research activities and is instrumental managing the execution of key internal and external research programs contracted through external partners. The incumbent should have keen interest and passion for work in all aspects of preclinical drug development and biomarker research in autoimmune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis, lupus), with a history of achievement in support of IND and early clinical development activities. Furthermore, she/he will implement robust plans and strategies, track progress against key milestones and program goals, an ensure effective communication across all internal and external stakeholders in a timely manner.



  • Associate Director Preclinical & Translational Sciences



  • Thousand Oaks (northwest Los Angeles area), CA



  • Executes and manages non-clinical and exploratory biomarker studies internally and with external vendors and academic partners.
  • Develops and refines preclinical study designs and technical plans for execution.
  • Coordinates with internal resources and external 3rd party services related to study execution to ensure timely provisioning and material resourcing in support of study execution.
  • Drafts, compiles, formalizes, and/or verifies study reports for internal communication and in support of regulatory submissions.
  • Drafts and authors preclinical sections of regulatory document including but not limited to INDs, IND updates, briefing books, investigator brochures, and equivalent EU/US regulatory documents.
  • May also contribute to study design and conceptualization impacting department's internal bench and clinical science activities.
  • Establishes and maintains excellent collaborative relationship with Atara's network of external research contributors and provide quality technical science contributions.
  • Manages timelines and works within a cross-functional team to define resource needs, identify potential risk area and implement mitigation plans.
  • Prepares presentation materials for meetings and project status summary to senior management team
  • Accountable for management of Translational Research input and deliverables in this function while serving as a Biomarker Lead for designated clinical programs.
  • Promotes the application of the principles of Atara’s Translational Science Department to facilitate and accelerate the development of novel cellular therapies through clinical-translational and biomarker excellence
  • Implements and executes biomarker strategies for cancer and autoimmune disease to complement clinical development plans, including integration of patient sample management plans and strategy
  • Collaboratively tailors a scientifically rigorous and achievable set of translational goals designed to maximize the research potential of highly precious clinical trial specimens.
  • Perform and support efforts in correlative data analysis from a variety of translational data sources
  • Responsible for accurately maintaining budget and managing translational costs associated with a clinical trial testing.


  • May be required (up to 10%)



  • PhD (preferred) in biology, immunology, and/or cancer biology with 5+ years industry experience, including 2+ years related to T cell or immunotherapy-based research
  • BS/MS 10+ years’ experience in similar fields.
  • Experience in T-cell, immunotherapy, cell therapy and/or autoimmune disease is preferred.
  • Hands-on experience conducting in-vivo preclinical and clinical biomarker research.
  • High level of technical competencies and understanding spanning broad range of in vitro techniques, including immune assay design & execution, phenotypic analyses by flow cytometry, molecular biology, primary cell manipulation, T cell/immune effector cell characterization, and biomarker strategies in the immunotherapy space.
  • Demonstrated skills in designing, executing, interpreting, and communicating experiments.
  • Experience with IND enabling activities and/or clinical correlative assay development.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Detail-oriented with strong organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Strong data analysis and presentation skills
  • Highly motivated and a team player
  • Ability to manage projects and work with team members in a matrix environment
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, managers and external vendors
  • Ability to handle multiple projects with demanding timelines and shifting priorities.
  • Good understanding of T-cell immunotherapy, immunology, cellular biology, and multi-dimensional immune profiling
  • Excellent record keeping and computer skills including experience with FlowJo, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and GraphPad Prism

More about Atara Bio

We launched Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2012 to help patients with serious diseases and few therapeutic options. We’re named after Atara Ciechanover who suffered from cancer before passing away. We are considered a leading off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company (Nasdaq ATRA) developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases.


We’re proud of our team of 350+ Atarians co-located by design in South San Francisco (corporate headquarters) and Southern California (R&D and manufacturing headquarters in the northwest Los Angeles area) with a newly-established European headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. Atara also has a R&D site in the Denver, Colorado area and an office in New York City. Our Southern California hub is anchored by a new 90,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art Atara T-Cell Operations and Manufacturing (ATOM) facility in Thousand Oaks, California.

Our mission – “Transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.”


Our vision - “T-Cell Immunotherapy for every patient, any time.”


Visit to learn more.

Atara Bio is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and other lawful factors. In accordance with applicable law, the Company prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity, expression or dysphoria, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, transgender status or any other classification protected by federal, state or local laws or because of the individual’s association with a member of a protected group or connection to an organization or group related to a protected group.

We comply with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All applicants must have authorization to work for Atara Bio in the United States.


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