Job Description. 

Cajal is seeking a Scientist, Molecular Pharmacology, motivated by Cajal’s mission to develop new medicines for patients suffering with neurodegenerative disorders. We are a multi-disciplinary team of experienced scientists, combining state-of-the-art approaches in computational biology, functional genomics, high-throughput imaging, translational models, and drug discovery. In a short time, we have assembled a terrific team of talented, innovative, and passionate individuals to transform the field of neurodegeneration drug discovery. We aim to identify novel drug targets based on a deeper understanding into the spatiotemporal progression of disease and translate those discoveries into therapeutics that change the course of neurodegeneration. Cajal is now expanding to establish a world-class drug discovery organization.

The Scientist, Molecular Pharmacology will craft, implement, and manage phenotypic or target-based drug discovery campaigns from Lead Generation through Candidate Selection. The candidate will lead internal or external efforts to identify therapeutic agents, including phenotypic and target-centric screening campaigns. The position involves collaborating with multiple departments within Cajal and a larger team of external collaborators at contract research laboratories.


  • Developing and managing biochemical and cell-based assays for high throughput and high content screening campaigns relevant to biological mechanisms and targets central to Cajal’s mission.
  • Assay development to support medium and high-throughput cell-based screening campaigns using crispr-based methodologies and small molecule libraries.
  • Developing cell-based assays to assess mechanism of action of hits.
  • Partnering with medicinal chemistry and DMPK staff to evaluate the progression of lead compounds.
  • Working closely with other scientific directors for target biology validation, pharmacodynamic target engagement, pathway modulation in relevant animal models, and assessment of disease modification.
  • Achieving milestone-based goals to rapidly identify proof-of-concept candidates for in vivo testing in animal models of neurodegeneration and to nominate clinical candidate molecules.
  • Selecting and managing external vendors to provide needed services.
  • Manage a network of external partners and CROs to support ongoing programs.
  • Preparing detailed reports for each campaign or collaboration.
  • Participating in technology assessment and implementation activities. 
  • Writing peer-review publications and preparing presentations internally and at relevant conferences.


This job might be great for you if you have:

  • PhD in pharmacology, biochemistry, biophysics, or another relevant discipline, with strong background in neuroscience drug discovery and if possible, in neurodegenerative diseases of the brain.
  • 5+ years of drug discovery experience in industry leading drug discovery campaigns
  • Proven track record of developing target based HTS for multiple target classes, including biophysical and biochemical assay platforms
  • Track record of advancing small molecule, Crispr-based agents, ASOs or biologics programs from target identification/validation through sanctioning milestones, e.g., lead declaration, pre-clinical candidate selection.
  • Demonstrable evidence of closely working with medicinal chemistry, DMPK and biology teams to advance small molecule programs in varied therapeutic target classes.
  • A detailed theoretical and practical knowledge of pharmacology
  • A keen interest in exploring complex & difficult targets and novel therapeutic modalities to address difficult biological challenges in drug discovery.
  • Experience managing CRO driven projects, and effectively engaging external consultants
  • Preferably, knowledge of various neuronal or glial cellular models to enable drug discovery
  • Experience in pathway screening and target deconvolution.
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate, interpret, and present complex scientific data 
  • Familiarity with industry standard quantitative biology tools, technologies, and vendors.
  • A disposition to be very science- and data-driven, detail-oriented and thrive in a highly collaborative, team-oriented startup environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


Important Considerations

  • Cajal operates as a hybrid workplace, but we prefer that team members spend part of their time working on-site in our Seattle offices. Fully remote roles may be considered for exceptional candidates.
  • Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance.
  • The annual base salary range for this role is $135,000-175,000 *

*Final salary depends on qualifications, experience, and level of skills relevant to the role, along with location, where applicable.



Cajal is a team of people first, motivated by our shared mission to advance the field of neurodegeneration. We are committed to ensuring that all our team members feel supported, connected, and energized at work. Our team members eagerly navigate the uncertainty and fast-paced environment of an early-stage biotech company and thrive on getting things done. We value creativity and curiosity in our work, and we take pride in the generosity, sincerity, and kindness of our team members.

Benefits include:

  • Competitive compensation based on experience level
  • Health insurance: 100% coverage of premiums for employee, partner, & all dependents
  • Dental insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Vision insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Life insurance: 100% of premiums for 2x salary coverage
  • Access to Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(K) Plan with matching contributions
  • 5 weeks paid time off plus 13 company holidays (2 floating)
  • 8 weeks parental leave for primary caregiver or 4 weeks for secondary caregiver in additional to WA Paid Family & Medical Leave (up to 12 additional weeks)
  • Generous commuter benefits including free metro cards, on site locker rooms/showers/towel service, modern bike cage and free bike tunes

Located in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle, Cajal sits at the heart of a vibrant biotech community, directly between research giants such as the Allen Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. We are surrounded by fellow innovative biotech companies and startups and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Lake Union and the University of Washington. Our newly renovated office and labs offer ample natural light and stunning views of the Space Needle downtown. Our kitchen is fully stocked with coffee, tea, and snacks. All desks are sit-stand for maximal comfort and our meeting rooms seamlessly support hybrid teams.

Cajal is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. If you require any accommodations during the recruiting process, please contact


To the extent permitted by applicable law, employment is conditioned upon full vaccination (per CDC guidelines) from the COVID-19 virus, including submission of documented proof thereof, as of the start date. Cajal will comply with applicable law regarding the reasonable accommodation of individuals who are not vaccinated because of a disability and/or sincerely held religious belief.

Apply for this Job

* Required
resume chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
cover_letter chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)

Please reach out to our support team via our help center.