Principal Scientist, Research
Visterra, Inc.
Remote Waltham, MA
Job details
Estimated: $77,000 - $110,000 a year
Full time
US work authorization
Vision insuranceProfessional development assistanceDental insuranceEmployee discount401(k)
Job description

We are a team of 85 talented and driven people working passionately and collaboratively to develop a robust pipeline of innovative antibody-based therapies for patients with unmet needs. Our proprietary technology platform powered by our state-of-the-art laboratory enables the design and engineering of precision antibody-based product candidates that specifically bind to, and modulate, key disease targets for the treatment of patients with kidney diseases and other hard-to-treat diseases. Visterra is a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of Japan. As a member of the Otsuka family of companies, we have the advantage of being a dynamic, nimble, innovative organization where you can make direct, meaningful impacts while benefitting from the support, stability, and long-term perspective of a 100-year-old global company.

The Opportunity

Visterra, Inc., is looking to hire a Principal Scientist with a solid foundation in human immunology and pathophysiology and broad experience in discovery and development of antibody-based therapeutics.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Research, this individual will play a key role in leading drug discovery programs, by conceiving, developing and implementing assays to support discovery and validation of therapeutic antibody candidates. The successful candidate will be a collaborative team player, effective manager, critical thinker and clear communicator. The ideal candidate should have an advanced degree in immunology, biology, biochemistry or related field and a minimum of five years (post-graduate) of research experience in a biotech or pharmaceutical setting.

This is a full-time laboratory-based position located at Visterra’s facility in Waltham, MA, with occasional opportunity to work remotely.


  • Lead project-based teams developing therapeutic biologic molecules from conception through pre-clinical in vivo studies.
  • Design and execute experiments involving antibody libraries, antibody engineering and in vitro/in vivo antibody/antigen characterization.
  • Independently analyze scientific results, troubleshoot methods and conceive creative solutions and workflows to address challenges.
  • Evaluate novel technologies in antibody discovery and molecular biology to enhance and streamline discovery workflows.
  • Document, analyze and interpret data for internal decision making, publications, presentations, patents and regulatory filings.
  • Develop research plans and manage multiple workflows and activities.
  • Manage activities at contract research organizations (CROs).
  • Maintain expertise in the field by staying current to relevant literature and attending relevant conferences.


  • A Ph.D. or equivalent advanced degree in biology, biotechnology, or related field and a minimum of five years (post-graduate) of research in industry.
  • Relevant experience in screening and characterization of biologics, protein engineering and production, and assay automation.
  • Proven track record of developing and implementing biochemical and cell-based assays.
  • Ability to design, develop and execute in vitro and in vivo experiments to probe disease biology and characterize drug candidates.
  • A strong ability to communicate scientific topics in writing and presentations.
  • Strong self-motivation and demonstrated ability for independent work in a laboratory setting.
  • Strong data analyses skills and solid written and oral scientific communication and documentation skills.
  • Occasional travel for conferences, and other industry events (less than 5% travel).

Other Qualifications

  • Strong foundation in understanding of antibody structure and function, roles in immune regulation, and therapeutic applications.
  • Experience in the screening and characterization of protein-based therapeutics using in vitro and/or cell-based assays.
  • Experience conducting original research in cell biology, immunology, target discovery, or therapeutic mechanism of action.
  • Experience with high-throughput automation technologies, such as a Tecan liquid handling robot.
  • Track record of managing a team of scientists and research associates.

Visterra provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Job Type: Full-time


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee discount
  • Flexible schedule
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Professional development assistance
  • Referral program
  • Relocation assistance
  • Retirement plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Vision insurance


  • Monday to Friday

COVID-19 considerations:
Comprehensive programs and policies in line with Federal, State and local requirements and recommendations.

Application Question(s):

  • Will you now, or in the future, require sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g. H-1B visa status)?
  • Were you referred to this opportunity by a current Visterra employee?

Work Location: One location

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