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Scientist, Cancer Biology Drug Discovery

Zai Lab
September 15, 2023
San Diego, CA
Job Type
Work Setting


Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ: ZLAB; HKEX: 9688) is an innovative, research-based, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company based in China and the United States focused on bringing transformative medicines for oncology, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders to patients in China and around the world. Our goal is to leverage our competencies and resources to positively impact human health worldwide.

Job Description

The Scientist contributes to discovery projects by designing, executing, and optimizing assays to assess biological activity of novel small molecules for cancer indications. This laboratory position supports discovery research efforts for the Oncology portfolio with target validation experiments, cell-based and biochemical assays, and mechanism of action studies.  He/she generates, analyzes, and presents data within project timelines to support data driven decision making. This position utilizes a wide range of cell and molecular biology skills and works in close collaboration with other scientists as an integral member of the drug discovery team to advance programs from conception to clinical development.

  • Design, conduct, analyze and interpret biochemical and cellular functional assays to assess mode of action and therapeutic potential of novel small molecules.
  • Design, optimize, validate, and implement cell-based assays to assess proliferation, cell viability, and gene expression changes to support target validation and compound characterization efforts.
  • Identify and integrate technologies that improve or expand the ability to assess the mechanism of action of small molecule drugs.
  • Diligently document experimental procedures, data, analysis methods, and results in laboratory notebook.
  • Present and communicate results and research findings to the drug discovery team.
  • Support identification and prioritization of high-impact research activities.
  • Maintain comprehensive knowledge of project status and priorities; adapt research activities accordingly.



  • BS in biological sciences with an emphasis in Oncology, Cancer Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, or related fields with 4 years experience in a drug discovery setting; or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience (MS with 2 years’ experience or PhD)


  • Hands on experience in molecular biology techniques, including qPCR, gene expression analysis, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, protein-protein interaction assays.
  • Experience in mammalian cell tissue culture and cell-based assays, transfection, lentivirus transduction, stable cell line generation, viability and proliferation assays, fluorescence and luminescence based readouts.
  • Familiarity with biochemical assays, determination of Km, assessing small molecules for enzyme inhibition.
  • Familiarity with signal transduction pathways misregulated in cancer, regulation of cell division, transcription factor biology, or DNA damage response pathways.
  • Ability to design and engineer assays that address target-specific biology.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; effective team player, self-motivated, flexible, and able to manage multiple tasks under tight timelines; highly organized and diligent about documentation.
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