Research Associate/Sr. Research Associate - Analytical Development

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

Job Description

This position works with the Technical Operations teams to develop and/or improve cell assays for cell product characterization and release.  The Research Associate or Senior Research Associate participates in laboratory activities to support process development, evaluate and develop new assay methods, and perform product characterization for Atara’s allogeneic cytotoxic T cell products.  He/she is also involved in assay optimization and standardization and assay transfer to QC team. Under the reasonable supervision, the role includes performing assay development experiments, carefully documenting methods and materials, writing technical reports and communicating findings. 

Report to:   Senior Scientist, Analytical Development

Location:    Thousand Oaks, California

Primary Responsibilities

  • Develops T-Cell killing assays for evaluating alloreactivity of Atara’s CAR-T cell products.
  • Plays supporting role in developing other assays for cell therapy product release and characterization.
  • Supports assay optimization, qualification and validation.
  • Collaborates with and supports other assay development team members.
  • Runs routine assays to produce data on behalf of Analytical Development team.
  • Evaluates reagents and supplies to meet QC standard.
  • Documents laboratory procedures and experiments with great attention to detail in electronic laboratory notebook (ELN).
  • Writes technical reports and test methods.
  • Participates in assay transfer to QC and provides lifecycle supports.


  • Bachelor’s plus 1-year experience for Research Associate level
  • Bachelor’s plus 2-year experience OR Masters’ degree for Sr. Research Associate
  • Hands-on related experience in a lab environment.
  • Basic skills in molecular and cellular techniques.
  • Experiences with aseptic cell culture and bio-assay development and/or testing.
  • Previous experiences are not required, but open to be trained to perform assay development work with radioactive (51Chromium) reagent.
  • Ability to follow laboratory procedures with attention to detail, and successfully execute experiments at the bench.
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced environment with reasonable direction and able to adjust workload based upon changing priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain detailed lab execution records and perform data analysis.



  • Knowledge and work experiences with primary cell culture.
  • Experiences with cell-based and/or bio-assay development.
  • Knowledge about or experience with quality control in biotech industry. 

More about Atara Bio

We launched Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2012 to help patients with serious diseases and few therapeutic options. 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 425+ Atarians co-located by design in 4 different locations including South San Francisco (corporate headquarters), Thousand Oaks (R&D and manufacturing headquarters), Zug, Switzerland (european headquarters) and a R&D site in the Denver, Colorado area. 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.  

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.”


Atara offers a competitive benefits packages that includes medical/dental/vision benefits, life and disability, retirement and stock program, as well as a generous paid time off and wellness plan that supports the well-being of our staff.  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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