About Initial Therapeutics:

Initial Therapeutics is pursuing a bold and original mission: discovering and developing a new class of small-molecule medicines designed to halt pathogenic protein formation in the earliest stages.  Initial’s approach is unique and starkly differentiated from protein degradation and other interventions that recognize and tackle proteins only after they have been fully formed.

Initial Therapeutics was formed in 2020 and is currently operating in labs in South San Francisco, with a substantial Series A commitment.  Initial is founded by world-renowned scientists who bring relevant expertise and proprietary technology to enable them to address high-confidence, heretofore difficult-to-drug targets in cancer and neurodegeneration.  Screening of proprietary libraries is in progress.

Initial Therapeutics is founder-led and offers a dynamic start-up environment with a close-knit team of highly skilled, mission-driven professionals. We seek colleagues who are inspired to push the boundaries of small molecule discovery using novel approaches and who excel at identifying innovative solutions to challenging problems.

At Initial Therapeutics you’ll find a career where every day brings you adventures, challenges, and breakthroughs.  Join a dynamic, diverse, and growing team dedicated to developing transformative therapies that will revolutionize the future of cancer treatment and outcomes. Initial offers a competitive compensation and benefits package.

Position Summary:

We are seeking a highly motivated Senior Scientist Translational Research to support our small molecule lead discovery efforts and efficiently progress into the clinic. This role is responsible for designing and executing preclinical translational studies in terms of endpoints and biomarkers with a focus on quick win/fail early strategies and early proof of concept. The successful candidate will identify and validate novel endpoints for early (pre-POC) decision-making and identify patient or target population stratification strategies to support rapid demonstration of safety, efficacy, and combination therapies. This scientist will also participate in and potentially lead drug discovery project teams.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Independently devise, execute, and analyze hypothesis-driven translational research experiments to identify preclinical biomarker strategies, mechanisms of resistance, inform patient selection, and test novel drug combinations to advance oncology programs.
  • Design, execute, and interpret studies for the translation of new therapeutic agents including the discovery and validation of predictive, prognostic, safety, and disease biomarkers for pre-clinical projects in oncology.
  • Routinely utilize broad technical expertise to develop and advance innovative ex-vivo drug testing methods and analytical strategies through the development of novel cancer models.
  • Develop biomarker protocols with the design of exploratory translational studies and deliver high-quality biomarker data meeting projected timelines for project deliverables.
  • Establish and maintain collaborations with cross-functional teams such as in-vivo pharmacology, bioinformatics and DMPK simulation to ensure alignment on scientific rationale and data generation to help define PK/PD/efficacy relationships.
  • Effectively communicate hypotheses, work plans, and timely data generated to support colleagues on established methodologies and troubleshoot assays internally or at CROs.
  • Make detailed observations and analyze data to provide an interpretation of results.
  • Maintain accurate and well-organized laboratory records and notebooks, prepare technical reports, and present data in project team and company meetings.
  • Stay current on the latest scientific advancements and trends in molecular biology and oncology research.


  • Proven strong track record and relevant experience in biomarkers, translational research, and small molecular drug discovery is highly desired.
  • A strong expertise in oncology and immunology and a thorough understanding of genetics and ribosome biology are highly preferred.
  • Proficiency in emerging diagnostic and predictive biomarker technologies towards novel experimental design, and strategy into action while employing strong consensus-building skills. 
  • Understanding of the oncology development process, including non-clinical study design, use of immunologic surrogates, assay development, and importance of target product profile is required. 
  • Previous hematological malignancy experience and clinical biomarker experience are a plus.
  • Sufficient experience in drug discovery and/or early and late development to serve as a translation function on a project team and to communicate high-level goals and deliverables to senior management is required.
  • Excellent problem-solving ability, drive for results, and a strong sense of urgency are critical, as well as the ability to communicate complex issues concisely and to orchestrate plans to resolve issues and mitigate risks is required. 


  • Ph.D. in Cell Biology with 5+ years of relevant work experience preferably in translational research.

The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to the job.

Vaccination Policy
Initial Therapeutics requires employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Accommodation may be made for approved medical or religious reasons.

Salary Range:

The hiring range for this position is $151,200 – $184,800 per year, for employees based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Compensation will be determined based on several factors including, but not limited to, skill set, years of experience and education.




Apply for this Job

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

Our system has flagged this application as potentially being associated with bot traffic. Please turn off any VPNs, clear your browser cache and cookies, or try submitting your application in a different browser. If this issue persists, please reach out to our support team via our help center.
Please complete the reCAPTCHA above.