Associate Scientist - Drug Discovery, Protein Production and Analysis

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

San Diego, CA

Job posting number: #7111129 (Ref:spd-2118776)

Posted: September 20, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Sanford Burnham Prebys is a preeminent, independent biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding human biology and disease, and advancing scientific discoveries to profoundly impact human health. 


The Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute is seeking an Associate Scientist to contribute to drug discovery projects. Our portfolio includes cancer, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular metabolic disease targets, among others. We collaborate extensively with lead researchers and key opinion leaders from academia and industry.

This position is perfect for detail-oriented people who thrive in a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary environment.  Our ideal candidate will have demonstrated hands-on experience in a variety of expression systems, protein purification and analysis. They will also be driven by intellectual curiosity and scientific excellence. We seek a candidate with a meticulous laboratory approach, careful adherence to protocols and excellent documentation skills. The ability to learn and implement new instrumentation, techniques and skills is essential. Our preferred candidate will possess a high level of self-motivation, together with the ability to perform multiple tasks concurrently, and troubleshoot problems as they arise. Becoming part of our team means communicating and collaborating on regular basis with others; therefore, strong written and oral communication skills are key.

The Center the world’s leading academic drug discovery and development organization, an epicenter for innovative approaches to accelerate the discovery of new drugs to help save lives and treat disease. This is an exciting opportunity to directly contribute to a broad spectrum of drug discovery projects with an end goal of ultimately benefiting patients. The successful candidate will join a team involved in diverse applied-research activities and will work side-by-side with experienced scientists on projects in small-molecule drug discovery.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Performs protein expression and purification, designs and performs biochemical experiments and procedures requiring specific or technical knowledge and laboratory techniques with minimal input from supervisor.
  • Generates and maintains stable cell lines
  • Independently generates, analyzes, and interprets biochemical data and data from various sources, presents results in a concise way, and makes suggestions for next logical steps.
  • Collaborates with team members, and with cross-unit teams to successfully execute a project to meet its milestones and objectives.
  • Sets up and operates standard lab equipment, operates specialized equipment requiring a moderate degree of skill and troubleshoots straightforward problems.
  • Troubleshoots and provides input on possible solutions
  • Accurately and diligently documents and records all experiments in lab notebooks and electronic data system.
  • Trains less experienced team members as needed


  • Bachelor’s degree in a biochemistry, or cellular/molecular biology or related field or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been attained is required. Or:
    • Master’s degree in a biochemistry, or cellular/molecular biology or related field or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been attained is a plus.
  • Three years of relevant experience in academic or industrial environment.
  • Strong experience and practical knowledge of eukaryotic (insect, mammalian and yeast, viral and none-viral) and bacterial expression systems, protein expression and purification, chromatography, protein characterization and molecular cloning are required.
  • Strong experience and practical knowledge with eukaryotic (insect and/or mammalian) cell culture, cell transfection/transformation, recombinant virus generation, stable cell lines creation and propagation are required.
  • Experience with biophysical methods of protein characterization (SPR, ITC, MST, etc.) and/or structural biology (crystallography, cryo-EM) is strongly desired.
  • Proof of fully COVID-19 vaccination

knowledge, skills and/or Experience:

  • Able to use various sources of literature to practically apply information to work
  • Able to simultaneously handle multiple projects in a rapidly changing, deadline-driven environment.
  • Able to learn new instrumentation
  • Possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Work independently as well as part of a highly interactive team
  • Gain technical knowledge and skills to purify and characterize protein.
  • Be responsible and have strong time management skills
  • Able to analyze and resolve issues of moderate complexity
  • Possess strong attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Demonstrate professional communication and interpersonal skills
  • Professional proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Embody the Institute’s core values of Commitment, Collaboration, Communication, Community and Compassion.


The scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute are making research breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience, immunology, and children's disease. We are also at the forefront of finding solutions for health threats such as COVID-19, where we are working to identify drugs that may help millions of people. During our more than 40 year history, we have established an NCI-designated Cancer Center, designed one of the most sophisticated drug discovery centers in the nonprofit world, and created global collaborations that are leading to preventions, treatments and cures to improve human health. 

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute is an Equal Opportunity employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability – committed to the hiring, advancement and fair treatment of all individuals. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected status as designated by federal, state or local law.  For additional information about your rights as an applicant, click HERE.

If you need an accommodation seeking employment with Sanford Burnham Prebys, please email [email protected]. Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

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