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Target Validation Senior Scientist



Paris, France
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2023
    • Paris
    • Full-Time


Owkin exists to find the right treatment for every patient. Our focus is to use artificial intelligence to discover and develop better treatments for unmet medical needs, starting with the fight against cancer.

In November, Owkin became a 'unicorn' - a startup worth more than $1 billion - through a $180 million investment from pharmaceutical company Sanofi. As a result, we are now looking for the brightest and best talent to help us to go even further in achieving our mission.

Job Description

About us

Owkin is an AI biotechnology company that uses AI to find the right treatment for every patient. We combine the best of human and artificial intelligence to answer the research questions shared by biopharma and academic researchers. By closing the translational gap between complex biology and new treatments, we bring new diagnostics and drugs to patients sooner.

Owkin has raised over $300 million and became a unicorn through investments from leading biopharma companies (Sanofi and BMS) and venture funds (Fidelity, GV and BPI, among others).

Owkin is seeking the best and brightest to join our fast-growing and dynamic team.

About the role:

Owkin is currently recruiting a Target Validation Scientist to join our expanding team. The successful candidate will be a driven, experienced cancer cell/molecular biologist who is enthusiastic about leveraging state-of-the-art techniques and developing translational in vitro complex preclinical assays/models to validate therapeutic targets and deliver high quality biological and mechanism of action data packages to understand target therapeutic potential.

The best person for this role has the capacity to think creatively and a demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary collaborations involving a high level of teamwork. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute your in-depth knowledge and technical hand-on skills to our growing BioMedical department and support Owkin's discovery pipeline.

In particular, you will:

  • Contribute to develop clear biological hypotheses for multiple novel target genes, select appropriate assays, then establish and validate their mechanism of action in complex in vitro models using primary cells
  • Design and execute genetic and drug perturbations experiments to study novel oncology/immuno-oncology targets
  • Develop and exploit novel cutting-edge disease-relevant complex models using primary patient cells (organoids, 3D culture, spheroids, co-culture) to enable validation
  • Develop SOPs on your area of expertise and optimize workflow to grow capabilities
  • Design, optimize and execute cellular-based assays and in vitro functional validation experiments
  • Analyse, interpret data and present results in team meetings and to the BioMedical department
  • Collaborate with colleagues in other functional areas including target discovery and prioritization and therapeutic area teams to pursue target validation experiments and support drug discovery efforts
  • Maintain accurate electronic laboratory notebooks in a timely fashion and prepare technical reports, summaries, protocols, etc.
  • Train, mentor and contribute to building the experimental team

About you

Education & Experience:

  • PhD or equivalent in an Oncology/Cell Biology or relevant discipline (or MSc with equivalent industry exposure)
  • Minimum of three years’ experience working in an industrial setting after PhD
  • Experience in isolating and handling primary tumor derived cells and performing flow cytometry based assays (apoptosis assays, cell cycle determination and multicolor staining)
  • Experience with 3D model systems (matrix-attached models, spheroids and/or organoids) using primary cells
  • Experience designing, cloning, and implementing gene modulation experiments using transfection/electroporation techniques in cell lines or primary cells, e.g. CRISPR Cas-9/RNAi.
  • Experience with plate-based functional assays such as cell viability assays (e.g. CTG), apoptosis assays (e.g. Caspase), etc.
  • A practical understanding of assay optimization to enable generation of reproducible cellular assays

Skills & Competencies:

  • Deep understanding of cancer biology and comprehension of crucial steps in early steps of target validation
  • Curiosity: you enjoy understanding how pieces fit together in the larger, complex system
  • Able to scout for scientific and technical developments in the area of gene modulation and 3D complex tumor models.
  • Strong communications skills and ability to present research succinctly
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team-oriented, fast-paced environment
  • Ability to troubleshoot experiments independently
  • Great attention to detail with excellent record keeping skills
  • Capable of interacting effectively across interfaces of discipline, culture, and expertise
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to fit and thrive in a continuously-learning and supportive work environment

What we offer

  • Competitive salary & excellent benefits package
  • Flexible work organization and access to remote work
  • Friendly and informal working environment
  • Opportunity to work with an international team with high technical and scientific backgrounds

Recruitment Process & Security

  • Please attach a CV.
  • Owkin is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, color, religion, national origin, protected veteran status or on the basis of disability.
  • Owkin is a great place to work. Unfortunately, being a coveted workplace means we are vulnerable to recruitment phishing scams. We urge all job seekers and candidates to be wary of potential scams. Most of these have individuals posing as representatives of prominent companies, including Owkin, with the aim of obtaining personal, sensitive, or financial information from applicants. These scams prey upon an individual’s desire to obtain a job and can sometimes “feel” like a genuine recruitment process. Some red flags are identified below. Should you encounter a recruitment process that claims to be for Owkin but is not consistent with the below, please do not provide any personal or financial information:
  • Legitimate Owkin recruitment processes include communication with candidates through recognized professional networks, such as LinkedIn. However, further
  • communication is always through an official Owkin email address (from the domain), over the phone or though Recruitment platforms (WelcomeKit,,, Fifty Talent or Hiresweet);
  • Legitimate Owkin recruiters will not solicit personal data from candidates during the application phase including, but not limited to, date of birth, social security numbers, or bank account information;
  • Legitimate Owkin interviews may be conducted over the phone, in person, or via an approved enterprise videoconferencing service (such as Google Meets or Highfive). They will never occur via Signal, Telegram or Messenger
  • Legitimate Owkin offers of employment are based on merit and only extended once a candidate has interviewed with members of the hiring team. Offers will be extended both verbally and in written format. Owkin may request some personal information to initiate the hiring process, but this will be through protected means.

If you think that you have been a victim of fraud,

Additional Information

  • Contract Type:Full-Time
  • Location:Paris
  • Education Level:PhD and more

Sounds like something made for you?