Associate Director/Principal Scientist, Biotherapeutics In vitro Pharmacology

41 - Biochemistry - Redwood City, CA - Full Time

Associate Director or Principal Scientist, Biotherapeutics In vitro Pharmacology

Codexis, Inc. (Nasdaq: CDXS) is a protein engineering industry leader with successful track record of developing novel enzymes used as biocatalysts for the commercial production of small molecule pharmaceuticals, chemicals used in the food industry, as well as multiple other applications. Codexis has also applied its CodeEvolver technology platform to discover and develop novel biotherapeutics for the treatment of rare genetic disorders, among other indications with significant unmet medical need.  

In 2017, the company announced a broad collaboration with Nestle Health Science, in which Nestle took an option to co-develop and potentially commercialize Codexis’ first self-developed therapeutic candidate, CDX-6114 for the treatment of Phenylketonuria (PKU), and also gained access to employ Codexis’ protein engineering platform in a multi-project partnership for the discovery and development of new therapeutically relevant enzymes. This transaction marked the company’s first partnership for an internally developed biotherapeutic product, and validated the CodeEvolver protein engineering platform as a biotherapeutic discovery engine.

Codexis seeks a seasoned and highly creative scientific leader with drug discovery experience and specific expertise in biochemical and cellular assay development and operations as well as a proven track record of leading multi-disciplinary project teams and managing highly effective PhD and Associate-level direct reports. Successful candidates will be part of a growing interdisciplinary, dynamic and enthusiastic team responsible for further expanding Codexis’ biotherapeutic project portfolio and maximizing Codexis’ core technologies for the design, optimization and development of transformational protein therapeutics. This leader will use his/her critical thinking and build on their experience to drive all in vitro pharmacology activities supporting the biotherapeutic portfolio and will play a key role in project inception through clinical candidate nomination. Strong experience in discovery and optimization of protein therapeutics and a proven track record of advancing biotherapeutic research programs to candidate nomination is required.

Responsibilities include:

  • Lead a talented group of PhD and non-PhD scientists dedicated to developing and running quantitative biochemical and cell-based high throughput screening assays in support of multiple portfolio projects.
  • Lead multi-disciplinary project teams to discover, optimize and develop novel biotherapeutics in niche therapeutic areas.
  • Play an active role in project inception and risk assessment.
  • Develop lead discovery and optimization strategies that enable rapid and optimal screening of large numbers of protein variants in high throughput format. 
  • Use state of the art technologies to ensure assay physiological relevance while meeting the highest standards of data quality.
  • Provide scientific leadership in the in vitro pharmacology areas, including protein biochemistry, enzymology and cell biology.
  • Identify, develop, and manage external collaborators (academic, industrial partners, and CROs) to advance project needs.
  • Work closely with leaders and scientists from other Codexis functions and ensure full integration of his/her team within the overall organization.
  • Ensure clear and effective oral and written communication of plans, results and ideas with Codexis R&D, senior leadership, and external collaborators.
  • Provide hand-on training to junior staff as well as to external collaborators when needed.
  • Apply highest standards for data quality and analytical tools and use effective informatics tools for data visualization and communication.
  • Develop in vitro assays that can be used to predict disposition and biological activity profiles and to establish structure activity relations (SARs) of protein therapeutics to advance protein engineering approaches.
  • Lead peer reviewed publication and patent application strategies.

Job Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell Biology or related fields with a minimum of 12 years of biotech/pharma industry experience.
  • Proven track record of management of PhD level scientists in an industry setting.
  • Ability to lead initiatives and put in place effective processes and systems is highly desirable.
  • Strong and successful experience in protein therapeutic drug discovery and optimization,
  • Highly proficient in biochemistry, enzymology and cell biology as evidenced by a track record of publications in top tiered peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Significant experience developing, optimizing and running multiple biochemical and cell –based high throughput assays.
  • Proficient in devising lead discovery and optimization strategies using multiple assay platforms and technologies.
  • Ability to troubleshoot technical and operational issue related to in vitro assays.
  • Background in protein expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, purification, and biochemical characterization is a plus. 
  • Ability to adapt, learn, and provide methods, analyses, materials, services in a fast paced environment.
  • Effective communication (oral and written), documentation (record keeping, lab notebook, reports, SOPs), organization, and interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail, safety, and good laboratory practice.

The position comes with a competitive compensation and benefits package, including paid company holidays, paid time off, health benefits, 401k match, and much more.  For more information about our plans for the future, and to be considered for this career opportunity, please visit




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