Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the largest medical challenges of our time. Denali Therapeutics is a biotechnology company based in South San Francisco, California that is dedicated to defeating neurodegenerative diseases through rigorous therapeutic discovery and development. Denali is founded on the collaboration of leading scientists, industry experts, and investors who share the vision that scientific discovery energetically applied to translational medicine is the key to delivering effective therapies to patients.

The Opportunity

As Denali builds internal capabilities to support rapid process, analytical, and formulation development for our diverse pipeline of large molecules, we are seeking a talented and motivated Associate Director / Principal Scientist to provide strategic technical leadership to analytical development and extended characterization activities as well as oversight of control strategy development and implementation for our rapidly expanding pipeline.

Key Responsibilities

  • Independently lead early phase analytical development and product characterization activities for one or more molecules in CMC development including managing method transfer and validation at internal/external QC labs and driving the development & implementation of overall analytical control strategy.
  • Hands-on, technical leadership in the laboratory while providing mentorship and coaching junior scientists 
  • Provide oversight of analytical method transfer, qualification, and validation activities at CDMOs.
  • Assist in defining and executing overall biologics analytical development strategy to enable accelerated CMC development timelines.
  • Develop and optimize chromatography-, capillary-, spectroscopy-, and mass spectrometry-based analytical methods for product quality assessment.
  • Perform in-depth physical/chemical characterization of complex biologics.
  • Lead critical quality attributes (CQAs) assessments to support phase-appropriate control system strategy.
  • Provide technical guidance during testing-related investigations at CMOs/CROs in collaboration with Quality.
  • Author and review technical development documents and relevant sections of health authority filings.
  • Drive the establishment of internal state-of-the-art analytical capabilities to support accelerated CMC development.
  • Ensure rapid and timely analytical support for cell-line, bioprocess, and formulation development activities.
  • Maintain proficiency in the latest analytical technologies as well as emerging analytical development strategies
  • Maintain timely and accurate lab records consistent with good documentation practices.


  • PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biophysics, or related scientific discipline plus a minimum of 7 years analytical development experience for protein therapeutics in the biotech/biopharma industry; or BS/MS with a minimum of 12+ years of similarly applicable experience.
  • Previous experience serving as CMC analytical lead for multiple large molecule programs and experience managing multidisciplinary analytical and quality teams to meet program milestones and timelines.
  • Demonstrated track record of successfully transferring and qualifying analytical methods for protein therapeutic development programs, developing control strategies, and successful health authority submissions
  • In-depth knowledge and extensive hands-on experience in developing a wide array of analytical protein characterization and biophysical methods (e.g. HPLC-based methods, cIEF, capillary electrophoresis, LC/MS, peptide mapping, spectrophotometry, SPR, light scattering, etc.)
  • Strong background in developing mass spectrometry-based methods (Intact/reduced MS, peptide mapping, N-/O-glycosylation profiling, disulfide linkage determination, LC-MS/MS analysis) for protein sequence confirmation, identification and characterization of product variants, and comparability evaluations considered highly preferable.
  • Prior experience with developing bioanalytical assays or advanced mass spectrometry characterization approaches (tandem mass spectrometry, quantitative analysis, hydrogen-deuterium exchange, etc.) considered a plus.
  • Strong grasp of statistical approaches for design-of-experiments (DoE) analytical method development, robustness testing, and data analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with other scientists and leaders on cross-functional projects teams as well as CDMOs.
  • Ability to make thoughtful and meaningful recommendations and/or manage relationships in order to drive efficient advancement of the portfolio.
  • Ability to balance competing priorities and thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent critical thinking, scientific problem-solving, and organizational skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Motivated, detail-oriented, scientifically driven individual with a creative approach to problem solving.

Denali is committed to its core company value of unity by creating a diverse and inclusive environment.  We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, basis of disability, or any other federal, state or local protected class.



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