Sr. Scientist/Principal Scientist - Translational Research

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

Job Description

The Sr. Scientist/Principal Scientist - Translational Research, This Translational Biomarker Lead position will be responsible for executing the translational research activity for one or more of Atara’s unique cellular therapy programs targeting a diverse array of exciting immune and oncology indications. An ideal candidate would bring a broad cross functional understanding of cell therapy clinical development and a desire to engage with all members of the product development teams including regulatory, clinical operations, clinical sciences, biostatistics, data management, and translational laboratory science.  This exceptional biomarker lead will be responsible for collaboratively developing, enacting, and functionally achieving key translational research goals unique to supported cell therapy programs, disease areas, and therapeutic indications by managing both internal and external research assets and CROs.  In addition, this individual would be involved in clinical protocol review, central vendor establishment, vendor qualification, correlative assay design, translational data analysis, and CRO bidding.


Reports to Director of Translational Research

Location Thousand Oaks (NW Los Angeles), CA

Travel Travel may be required (up to 20%).

Position Responsibilities

  • 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
  • Represents the Translational Science function for a variety of cell therapy products and programs.
  • Establishes robust scientific expertise in a variety of immune and oncology scientific areas to support translational scientific leadership and maintain a focus on therapeutic strategy.
  • Implements and executes biomarker strategies for cancer and autoimmune disease to complement clinical development plans, including integration of patient sample management plans and strategy
  • Contributes to the clinical execution and integration of cutting edge molecular and immune assays to extend Atara’s Translational Science capabilities
  • Collaboratively tailors a scientifically rigorous and achievable set of translational goals designed to maximize the research potential of highly precious clinical trial specimens.
  • Understands the roles of and has frequent communication with cross functional study representation including regulatory, data management, clinical operations, clinical science, and statistical programming.
  • Perform and support efforts in correlative data analysis from a variety of translational data sources
  • Has a firm grasp on parameters of assay qualification, development, and validation.
  • Responsible for accurately maintaining budget and managing translational costs associated with a clinical trial testing.
  • Fosters the development of novel clinical assays, through internal or external resources, related to adoptive T-cell therapies and immunotherapy for use in a clinical trial setting, with focus on companion diagnostic assays having prognostic value.
  • Ensures that the department maintains current awareness in area of expertise, enhances the scientific credibility of Atara through contributions to the scientific literature (publications/presentations) and through interactions with academic collaborators
  • Establishes and maintains working relationship with contract laboratories and consultants, and Atara’s internal Translational Laboratory and Translational Research operations.
  • Contributes to development and writing of clinical trial or regulatory documents including: IND, NDA, BLA, IB, Clinical Protocols and Synopses
  • May supervise others.


  • Master’s or PhD with 7 plus years’ experience with developing and successfully executing clinical biomarker strategies in immunotherapy.
  • Degree in a field of science related to cancer and/or immunology or immuno-oncology.
  • Past laboratory research or clinical lab experience with demonstrable and significant translational medicine experience in an industrial setting
  • Translational experience in cellular therapy is highly preferred. 
  • Proven success in execution of biomarker strategies to support clinical development of immunotherapeutics.
  • Experience effectively presenting and conveying scientific data internally and externally.
  • Relevant experience in setting up CRO based projects in the clinical analysis space, working through academic collaborations and understanding of research business practices is required.
  • Broad, hands-on experience with various translational tools, assay platforms, and with essential demonstrated expertise in immunology and immunological assays is necessary for this role.
  • High level of technical competencies spanning broad range of in vitro techniques, including immune assay design & execution, phenotypic analyses by flow cytometry, molecular biology, next-generation sequencing, primary cell manipulation, T cell/immune effector cell characterization.
  • High level of enthusiasm, broad interest, and general understanding for medicinal and biological sciences, with particular emphasis on immune effector cell biology.
  • Strong project management skills and focus on delivery of results.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment evidenced by participation on collaborative projects.
  • Significant contributions and productivity in immunology and cancer biology research as evidenced by publications in high impact journals and presentations at industry/scientific conferences.
  • Excellent organizational and record-keeping skills.

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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