Discovery and Development
South San Francisco, California, United States

Senior Research Associate (Discovery & Development)

Using living cells to treat – and sometimes even cure – cancer is one of the most dramatic advances in modern medicine. Patients with hematologic malignancies have been successfully treated with cell therapies. However, these profound results have not yet been achieved in patients with solid tumors, representing approximately 90% of all cancers. At Lyell, our goal is to change that. We are a clinical-stage T-cell reprogramming company advancing a diverse pipeline of cell therapies for solid tumors based on our innovative technologies. We were founded by cell therapy pioneers whose decades of research elevated the broader understanding of T-cell biology and its interaction with cancer. In our quest to defeat solid tumors, we have built a fully integrated company capable of discovering new technologies, translating science into therapies, manufacturing cell therapy products, and clinically evaluating them in patients. Our culture is based on Science, Respect, Collaboration, and Courage and reflects who we are, the environment we create, and our mission's urgency.


The Senior Research Associate works collaboratively within the project team on the design and execution of a broad number of assays required for the project. With some supervision, works on complex issues where analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of variable factors. Exercises independent judgment in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. Begins to take on a central role in developing timelines for specific objectives within their projects. Responsible for keeping abreast of current publications relative to methods, techniques, and developments within the area of research, and will report on how new external learnings can be integrated into current projects. Networks with colleagues outside their own area of expertise. Responsible for carrying out a variety of experiments within the area of focus.


  • Design, execute and analyze experiments independently 
  • Generate, maintain and review of electronic lab notebook reports
  • Collaborate internally with Scientists to interrogate our novel therapies in our assays and models
  • Interpret, troubleshoot and discuss data with Scientists and Research Associates at meetings or through reports;
  • Responsible for the completion of research, experiments and assignments that have an impact on functional goals


  • BSc in biotechnology, molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, oncology or related field with a minimum of 7 years’ experience within the area of focus; or
  • MSc in biotechnology, molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, oncology or related field with a minimum of 5 years’ experience within the area of focus;


  • Experience with molecular biology protocols (i.e. PCR, Western, RT-PCR, basic cloning); more complex experience a plus
  • Experience using and analyzing common immunology and oncology related to the specific project; cell therapy experience ideal, more complex experience a plus
  • Proficient in sterile tissue culture technique and experience working with human cells
  • Experience with flow cytometry assays and analysis; more complex analysis and cell sorting experience a plus
  • Experience in data production and reporting for IND-enabling studies
  • Additional specific experience related to the area of focus may be required


  • Understands the theoretical basis and experimental objectives and how they fit into the overall project goals
  • Knowledgeable and proficient in a range of technical skills within their area of research
  • Highly proficient in using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and data analysis software packages (Prism, Flow Jo, Spotfire, Geneious, etc)
  • Effectively communicate and discuss results with other scientists on the team
  • Ability to work in a matrixed environment
  • General comfort in learning to work with new software and automated lab equipment
  • Contribute to troubleshooting complex technical problems within their own projects
  • Identify issues when they arise and communicate to the group independently
  • Make decisions about assay set up, modifications and analysis independently
  • Integrate new types of analysis to improve data through collaborations
Lyell offers its employees a range of compensation and benefits. To assist you with your decision to apply for this role, the following decision to apply for this role, the following information and links to our site highlight our competitive market position and support to our employees and their dependents.
The salary range for this position is $110,000 and $125,000, annually, with the opportunity to earn an annual bonus. The salary range is an estimate, and the actual salary may vary based on Lyell’s compensation practices and an applicant’s qualifications and experience. Employees are also eligible to participate in Lyell’s Equity Incentive Plan.
Our Employee Benefits program is extensive and includes subsidized medical, dental and vision plans from your first day of employment, FSA, Company provided Life and AD&D Insurance as well as STD and LTD Insurance, ESPP, a 401(k) Plan with Company match, mass transit commuter benefits, cell phone reimbursement and a range of supplemental benefits that you may choose to elect. Our paid time-off benefits currently include 18 days’ vacation, 9 day’s sick leave, 8 observed holidays as well as a floating holiday. We also have a summer and a winter office shutdown. More information on our extensive benefits offering can be found here.
At Lyell, we believe that highest performing teams include people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences who respectfully challenge each other. We are committed to building an open, diverse and inclusive culture for all employees. Lyell is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristics protected under applicable federal, state and local laws.
The Company complies with all laws respecting equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants with regard to any protected characteristic as defined by federal, state, and local law.  This position requires you to work onsite at the Company’s facilities and the Company requires that all employees working in its facilities be fully vaccinated (except as required by applicable law).  Therefore, this position requires you to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.  The Company considers you fully vaccinated once 14 days have passed since you received either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.  The vaccine must have been FDA approved, have emergency use authorization from the FDA, or, for persons fully vaccinated outside of the U.S., be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.”
We’ve learned from experience that some of the best people don’t always match our requirements perfectly - if you’re interested and think you could fit, please don’t hesitate to apply.
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