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Principal Scientist, Human Genetics

September 14, 2023
South San Francisco, CA
Job Type
Work Setting


Genentech is inviting applications for a Principal Scientist position within the Department of Human Genetics. The focus of this position is to accelerate the use of human genetics to support internal efforts to manipulate the immune system for therapeutic advantage – most obviously in relation to cancer immunotherapy, but also to address autoimmunity and loss of immune tolerance.

Genentech has access to vast, and growing, repositories of genetic, genomic and clinical data, gathered from internal studies (including whole genome sequence from many of our trial participants), as well as extensive and public external data sets. These power our ability to identify and characterize the genetic basis of disease risk and progression, of safety liabilities, and of therapeutic response. We have extremely strong capabilities in molecular and spatial profiling, functional genomics and computational biology that allow us to rapidly interpret the molecular and cellular functional consequences of those genetic discoveries, and to ensure that we feed the most promising targets into our therapeutic areas for further development, and/or inform strategies for patient stratification.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The Principal Scientist appointed to this position will play a pivotal role in developing and implementing research strategies to accelerate these efforts. They will lead a small group (currently two scientists and a contractor) with extensive research experience.
  • They will interact extensively with other members of the Human Genetics team, and with biologists within the cognate Therapeutic Areas to ensure alignment with TA strategic goals.
  • The group has, historically, contributed its knowledge in HLA variation to support analysis of MHC-related safety liabilities, and it will be important to bolster collaboration with relevant groups in Safety.
  • Finally, the group will continue to exploit the capabilities in large-scale experimental and computation to place genetic findings in their functional context.

Human Genetics at Genentech

Genentech is committed to the development and delivery of precision medicines, which take individual variation as well as diagnosis into account in the delivery of health care. Because genetic makeup is a major component of individual variation, the work of the Human Genetics Department is a central pillar for achieving our vision of modern medicine, and the scientists in the Department are key contributors to making this happen. Major disease areas of interest to Genentech include a range of chronic inflammatory and neuro-degenerative conditions, as well as diverse cancers, and a number of ophthalmic and metabolic diseases. Though the principal focus of this position will be to support the Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunology Therapeutic Areas, we expect the research findings to have broad relevance across all disease areas. Genentech provides an exceptional research environment composed of internationally recognized scientific leaders, as well as state of the art core facilities with cutting edge technologies and computational resources to support your research activities. We provide a highly collaborative community, and as such, you will interact closely with clinical development teams and other scientists in the areas of biomarkers, bioinformatics, and research discovery departments including Immunology, Neuroscience, Infectious Diseases, Cancer Immunotherapy, and Molecular Oncology.


  • PhD training with a strong focus on Cancer Immunology, human genetics, computational biology or a related field.
  • Substantial (at least 5y) experience in academia and/or industry (as a postdoc or equivalent role), with a focus on cancer immunology, human genetics and/or computational biology.
  • A thorough understanding of human genetics and its application to biological discovery for complex traits.
  • Strong computational skills, with demonstrable competence in the analysis of large scale data.
  • An excellent record of scientific publications in top tier journals.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to present and explain findings to a diverse audience.
  • Motivation and ability to succeed in a fast-paced, highly collaborative environment.
  • A keen interest in applying human genetics to solve biological problems and achieve translational goals.
  • Experience in industry, including in drug development, would be a plus, but is not essential.
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