Sr. Research Associate / Associate Scientist - Analytical Development

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Job Description

The Research Associate or Sr. Research Associate under supervision will be required directly to participating and performing in laboratory activities to support the design, development, and qualification/Validation of bioanalytical methods and cell-based assays for characterization, in-process and lot release testing of engineered T cell drug products and their impurities.

This role will be involved in assay optimization and standardization and assay transfer to QC team. Will be expected to perform assay development experiments, document methods and materials, write technical reports and communicate findings. This role is expected in cross-functional collaboration with other departments as needed.

Report to:    Principal Scientist, Analytical Development

Location:     Thousand Oaks, CA

Primary Responsibilities

  • Developing and performing T-Cell mediated target cell killing assays for evaluating potency or alloreactivity of engineered allogeneic CAR-T cell products.
  • Playing supporting role in developing other bioassays such as, cell proliferation, residual test, etc. for cell therapy product release and characterization,
  • Supporting assay optimization, qualification/validation.
  • Collaborating with and supporting other assay development team members.
  • Running routine assays to produce data on behalf of Analytical Development team.
  • Evaluating reagents and supplies to meet quality standard.
  • Documenting laboratory procedures and experiments with great attention to detail in Laboratory Notebook or Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN).
  • Writing technical reports and test methods.
  • Participating in assay transfer and providing lifecycle supports.
  • Role model for Atara’s Values of patients first, innovation teamwork, community, and mindset. 


  • For Research Associate: BS in Immunology, or biological sciences with 1 year of related industry experience
  • For Sr. Research Associate: BS in Immunology, or biological sciences with 2+ years of related industry experience or MS degree
  • Experiences with aseptic cell culture and bio-assay development and/or testing.
  • Basic skills in molecular and cellular techniques.
  • Previous experiences are not required, but open to be trained to perform potency and other bioassay development work with radioactive materials (such as 51Chromium) as needed.
  • Ability to follow laboratory procedures with attention to detail, and successfully execute experiments at the bench.
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced environment with reasonable direction and able to adjust workload based upon changing priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain detailed lab execution records and perform data analysis.
  • Microsoft word, Excel, Power point, statistical software.


  • Knowledge and work experiences with primary cell culture are preferred.
  • Experiences with cell-based and/or bio-assay development.
  • Knowledge about or experience with GLP and cGMP in biotech industry.
  • More About Atara Bio

    We launched Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2012 to help patients with serious diseases and few therapeutic options. We are considered a leading off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company (Nasdaq ATRA) developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases.

    Our mission – “Transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.”

    Our vision - “T-Cell Immunotherapy for every patient, any time.”

    Atara offers a competitive benefits packages that includes medical/dental/vision benefits, life and disability, retirement and stock program, as well as a generous paid time off and wellness plan that supports the well-being of our staff.  Visit www.atarabio.com/careers to learn more.

    Atara Bio is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and other lawful factors. In accordance with applicable law, the Company prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity, expression or dysphoria, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, transgender status or any other classification protected by federal, state or local laws or because of the individual’s association with a member of a protected group or connection to an organization or group related to a protected group.

    We comply with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All applicants must have authorization to work for Atara Bio in the United States.