Senior Scientist, Preclinical Development

South San Francisco, CA
Research – Gene therapy team /
Onsite, Full-time /
Are you ready to play a pivotal role in critical validation and development experiments and research activities to support Gordian’s path to clinical trials for novel drug candidates? 

We’ve shown that our platform predicts preclinical and clinical physiological responses from in vivo Mosaic screens. You’ll be at the center of a fast-paced team of scientific experts using our platform to run discovery screens for more therapeutic targets than ever before, in the most realistic models of disease!

The Destination:

At Gordian Biotechnology, we are on a mission to cure age-related disease, allowing people to lead longer, healthier lives and wake up every morning, more capable than the day before.

Age-related diseases have complex causes that include interactions with the aged environment, and traditional ex vivo screening methods have failed to produce compelling targets or effective treatments. To address this problem, Gordian’s platform enables in vivo Mosaic Screening to deliver and test hundreds of therapeutics in individual animals. We select the most clinically relevant Patient Avatars, whose age, physiology and genomics most closely resembles human patients. Using these and other proprietary tools, we can scale in vivo efficacy testing to more targets than have ever been explored by biopharma,  at the very beginning of the drug discovery process (more info on our website). This lets us develop and commercialize therapies with greater chance of impacting the world’s deadliest diseases, and eventually for the processes of aging itself. 

The Journey:

Our mission is audacious, and the path will be full of both challenges and excitement. Two things characterize the Gordian experience: 1) We work as a team, with ownership in our own roles and trust in each other. 2) We strive for extraordinary outcomes, and in doing so grow our skills and capability.

Team – Relying on each other begins with transparency. We set clear goals, visibly connecting individuals and teams to our company objectives. This empowers each of us to make autonomous decisions about our work, knowing how they will affect the bigger picture. Our communication happens out in the open. We give and receive feedback from a perspective of helping each other grow, share mistakes, and ask for help.

Extraordinary– Every day, we ask ourselves “could this process/outcome be even better?”. Knowing our overall mission, we do what we think helps us make the most progress, without asking for permission. We don’t shy away from big challenges or unknown territory, but find a way to excel. Our colleagues are amazing, both at what they do and as people. They inspire us to keep up, to not let them down, and be inspiring in return. 

Like any cutting-edge research environment, Gordian doesn't believe in a standard 9 to 5 day. We set ambitious project goals and support each other to meet them, while maintaining the balance individuals need to thrive and achieve excellence. Our team is geared towards helping each other out, an orientation best exemplified through the support we provide for each others’ projects, both experimentally as well as through “pre-mortem” meetings to discuss possible failure modes and experimental design. We like getting things done and keep standing meetings to a minimum. 

We like to have social as well as intellectual fun, including through weekly team lunches, monthly company happy hours, and regular social events hosted by Gordian for the broader community. We also encourage our colleagues to unwind; this year, in accordance with our unlimited vacation policy, each member took an average of 2.5 weeks of (offline) vacation, not including major holidays.

If this environment sounds appealing, come experience it with us. We are at the beginning of a long journey, and want both your ability and your personality along for the ride. Our culture is a source of great pride; it represents both who we are, and who we wish to be. 

You can dive deeper into our culture here. 

The Role:

Your primary mission as Scientist, Preclinical Development is to design and oversee experiments for validation (proof of concept) and development (IND enablement), to maximize scientific rigor in our drug discovery process. Specifically, you will architect experimental designs, set up new assays, disease models and gene delivery, as well as design efficacy, biodistribution and toxicity experiments to evaluate the safety and mechanism of action of potential therapeutic targets. 

Your focus at Gordian is for the validation or elimination of screen hits to happen as early as possible. Gordian is unique in that our in vivo discovery delivers results at a far greater scale than even the largest pharma company. This means that we aren’t dependent on the success of a single target, and will allow you to survey the landscape of disease biology for the most promising target (or combination of targets) before leading their development towards clinical trials. You’ll work closely with our functional teams, managing experimental schedules, and setting up in vivo systems to drive forward validation and development plans. You’ll have a significant leadership role in our Preclinical function, developing processes for your team that both minimize inefficiencies and empowers people to do their best work.

As an in vivo expert, you're able to provide meaningful guidance and mentorship, leading projects and providing support  as challenges arise.

In your first month you’ll become familiar with our technology and workflows, developing a strong understanding of the role of the preclinical team at Gordian, and you’ll use your expertise to quickly become familiar with our in vivo techniques. 

By 3 months, you’ll have a strong understanding of all ongoing validation plans, and will already be thinking critically about how we can be doing them better, working closely with our team and key stakeholders to identify assays for development of each indication. You’ll contribute to the design and execution of validation experiments for two indications and will be fully onboarded to manage at least one direct report. 

By 6 months you’ll have established efficient processes to significantly improve in vivo and assay work and will have optimized assays for four indications. You’ll have started working closely with our disease area leads, our advisory board members and our executive team to formulate a therapeutic development plan.

And You:

You want a chance to do your best work, immerse yourself and excel, alongside people who will inspire you and whom you’ll be excited to spend your days with. 

You want to play a key role in an early-stage startup: A fast-paced environment full of both uncertainty and new challenges, demanding relentless resourcefulness.

You are excited to use cutting-edge technology to find the best therapeutic targets, and turn those into drugs. 

You have >4 years hands-on in vivo experience (e.g. surgeries, dosing, behavior).

You have >3 years of industry experience in efficacy, biodistribution and toxicology studies (small molecules or biologics/gene therapies). 

You have direct experience doing preclinical / validation studies in animal models that are directly relevant to at least one of the indications - MASH/MAFLD & HFpEF/heart failure (experience across both these disease areas is preferred).

You have experience with histology and diverse assay types as well a strong data analysis skill set. 

You have a history of managing and collaborating on time-sensitive projects, and are comfortable guiding and collaborating across multiple teams to execute experiments at a scale beyond any single person.

Experience with pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, a background designing and executing IND enablement experiments, and experience working with Lentiviruses/AAVs are all pluses. 

The Details:

Gordian aims to provide everything you need to thrive. Beyond our community and science, you’ll have enough equity to be a true stakeholder in the company, competitive salary, full health/dental/vision/life insurance, 401k with match, onsite lunch paid for 3 days a week, an onsite gym, whatever vacation you need to be at your peak, remote work flexibility, and access to world-class mentors and advisors to support your professional growth. Our building is in the heart of the biotech capital of South San Francisco.
$120,000 - $180,000 a year