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Astellas Pharma Principal Scientist, Neuroscience (Mitobridge) in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.

There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.

Astellas is announcing a Principal Scientist opportunity at their new affiliate Mitobridge in Cambridge, MA.

At Mitobridge, we are passionate about developing novel therapeutics that improve mitochondrial function to treat devastating human diseases. Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly linked to disease pathophysiologies interdicting at the level of mitochondrial function can be disease altering. We are seeking a motivated and energetic Principal Scientist to join our teams and advance programs.


The role of the Principal Scientist is to build and oversee preclinical drug development programs in the CNS field from concept through IND submission. The candidate will assume responsibility for the design and execution of all non-clinical work up to and including the IND-enabling studies such as assay development, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology and toxicology studies.

The successful candidate will be an outstanding scientist with CNS pathophysiology expertise and experience in overseeing the design, execution and interpretation of non-clinical pharmacology and toxicology studies. Experience preparing successful IND submissions in a pathophysiology/biology driven approach is essential. S/he will be expected to develop and maintain strong collaborations and relations with external experts in the non-clinical and clinical CNS field.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Participate and/or lead multiple CNS focused projects within discovery, provide scientific expertise, guidance and strategy to successfully bringing programs to IND submission.
  • Propose, plan and manage and execute studies to characterize the company's drug candidates and their mechanism of action to move programs from discovery to clinical development in CNS disorders.
  • Plan and implement translational research including investigation of pharmacodynamics markers of target engagement, markers predictive of or correlating with clinical efficacy and disease biology
  • Responsible for preparation of study reports, regulatory filings and project presentations
  • Manage a portfolio of targets related to CNS disorders, oversee strategic execution of discovery research and preclinical activities to enable robust, timely and compliant IND submissions with clear development paths
  • Provide expert level guidance in designing and implementing cell biology, in vivo pharmacology and biomarker related studies
  • Interface with external partners, clinical and academic collaborators, and CROs
  • Provide high-level updates and advice to senior management, including evaluation of data and their potential impact on drug programs and clinical/regulatory strategy
  • Lead (directly & indirectly through projects) the CNS biology aspects of ongoing and future projects. Provide development opportunities and mentoring to direct reports.
  • Keep abreast of emerging developments regarding research and development in the fields of CNS disorders, emerging new biology and new modalities that could facilitate identification of new targets or development of new therapeutics



  • PhD. with 8+ years highly relevant neurobiology experience, MS with 10+, BS with 15+
  • 5+ years of experience in a biopharmaceutical setting
  • Direct hands-on experience co-leading drug discovery projects from target validation to IND-enabling studies in the CNS field
  • Demonstrated creativity and novel approaches to solving scientific problems
  • Knowledge of preclinical and clinical biomarker discovery and development
  • Good understanding of preclinical PK/PD/efficacy relationships and their translation to the clinic
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal and communication skills with an enthusiasm for participating in a fast-paced environment characterized by rigorous science and innovative thinking
  • Demonstrated application of expertise to drug discovery in the CNS therapeutic areas
  • Significant experience as a team member and/or leading multi-disciplinary teams focused on small molecule drug discovery
  • Experience with engaging and managing external efforts with contract research organizations and academic collaborators
  • At home in a results-driven, highly accountable environment where you can make a clear impact
  • A team player and mentor, who listens effectively and invites response and discussion. A collaborator who communicates in an open, clear, complete, timely and consistent manner


  • Experience in CNS pathophysiology, mitochondrial biology, small molecule pharmacology
  • Experience working within large pharma organizations and/or biotech/start up environment
  • Deep understanding and experience of CNS experimental models from rodents to non human primates and human disease samples


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Category Research and Development