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Associate Principal Scientist, Exploratory Biology & Target Validation

Verge Genomics

Verge Genomics

South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2022
Who We Are
Technology has transformed almost every single aspect of our lives. Yet, it still takes 12 years to develop a drug. Today thousands of diseases affecting hundreds of millions of people have no effective treatment. Accelerating the pace of bringing effective, new medicines to patients is one of the greatest opportunities for humanity. Our mission is to develop better drugs, faster using technology. We have built an end-to-end technology-driven drug discovery platform centered around one of the field’s largest human genomics databases in neuroscience. We use aspects of machine learning to map the complex causes of disease and turn those insights into promising drug candidates on our internal biology and chemistry platforms.
We are developing drugs to treat some of the biggest medical challenges today: ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Our first drug entered the clinic in October 2022 as a new treatment for ALS and was discovered entirely from our platform. We have raised $134M from top tier investors (e.g. BlackRock, Eli Lilly, Merck, Section 32, Threshold Ventures, Y Combinator, etc) and in 2021 we announced a $706M deal with Eli Lilly. We are a team of data scientists, neuroscientists, and drug developers united around an audacious vision: to build the next Genentech of the digital age.
Who You Are
The Target Validation and Exploratory Biology department is seeking a creative and driven scientist with expertise in gene studies in neurodegeneration or psychiatric disorders. You will make important contributions to our mission by identifying and validating novel targets to fill Verge’s pipeline of small molecules and biologics.
In this role, you will investigate novel targets and pathways with genomic , pharmacological and biological tools. The candidate will implement phenotypic assays such as high content imaging, multi-electrode arrays and ‘omics’ assays (e.g., RNAseq, proteomics, metabolomics) in stem cell derived cultures, organoids and microfluidic systems. In addition, you will use patient brain tissues to further explore therapeutic hypotheses. In this position, you will serve as the key link between our computational, drug discovery and disease modeling teams in advancing our drug discovery pipeline.

What You'll Do...

  • Develop clear biological hypotheses for multiple novel target genes, select appropriate assays, then establish and validate their mechanism of action in cell models through genomics (CRISPR, RNAi) and pharmacological tools.
  • Serve as an internal domain expert and thought leader for top neurobiological disease mechanisms, experimental models, and cell-based assays.
  • Integrate data sources and literature research to make target recommendations, collaborating with experimental scientists, computational biologists, chemists, intellectual property and business development experts.
  • Formulate clear biological hypotheses and outline experiments in appropriate model systems for gene target validation and understanding biological mechanisms.
  • Use genomics (RNAi, CRISPR), pharmacological and biological tools to probe function of genes and pathways in disease biology.
  • Execute cellular , biochemical, molecular, functional and ‘omics’ assays.
  • Propose and execute new technologies and analysis capabilities.
  • Identify and manage collaborations with external partners, academic institutions, CROs and consultants as required.
  • Represent the company at conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

Job & Technical Competencies Requirements…

  • A PhD and a minimum of 8-12 years of postdoctoral experience, industry experience preferred.
  • Expertise in neurobiology-related gene function investigation in industry or academia.
  • Previous work leading early discovery programs with novel target identification and validation and assay development responsibilities.
  • Phenotypic assay development experience, e.g., high content image analysis, electrophysiology (MEA), gene expression analysis (such as RNAseq, scRNAseq, PerturbSeq) and proteomics (Somascan, O-link etc).
  • Experience with arrayed and pooled functional genomics screening: CRISPR, RNAi, transgenes, lentivirus, etc.
  • Collaborative, Strategic, “systems-level,” and “outside-the-box” mindset and enjoy understanding how pieces fit together in the larger scientific and competitive landscape.
Compensation & Benefits at Verge Genomics:
Our target starting salary for successful US-based applicants for this role is $131,000 - $156,000. To determine starting pay, we consider multiple job-related factors including a candidate’s skills, education and experience, the level at which they are actually hired, market demand, business needs, and internal parity. We may also adjust this range in the future based on market data.
This role is eligible for participation in our Annual Performance Bonus Plan (based on company targets by role level and annual company performance) and all employees are offered Equity, subject to the terms of those plans and associated policies.
In addition, Verge Genomics also provides our employees:
*Excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage
*401(k) plan with employer matching for contributions
*Disability insurance, Life insurance, Dependant Care FSA and Healthcare FSA
*Unlimited paid time off
*Paid parental leave
*Access to free onsite fitness center
*Free snacks and lunch for employees who work onsite
*WFH stipend for employees who work remotely
Help us revolutionize the way drugs are discovered & developed:
The startup nature of Verge Genomics provides multiple growth opportunities into other areas of the company. As one of the early employees at Verge, your work will have a direct impact on the foundation of a groundbreaking new drug development model.