Cardiac Biologist


Full Job Description

Position Title:  Cardiac Biologist

Level:  Research Scientist 1

FLSA Status: Exempt – Full time

Position Overview:  Specializing in cardiac cell biology and assay development, the Cardiac Biologist will be responsible for supervising and performing research, including designing, implementing and analyzing results of assays of: hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for Combined Cardiomyopathy, e.g., of Cancer Chemotherapeutics, and Proarrhythmia for Cardiotoxicity Clinical Trials-in-a-Dish (CTiD) with iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes, a newly funded NIH grant; and primary adult cardiomyocytes harvested from dogs, mice and rabbits. Cardiac Biologist will conduct research relevant to drug safety and efficacy.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Participate in creating new drug discovery assays of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, including participating in a team effort to develop new artificial intelligence / deep learning approaches to improve sensitivity and predictivity of human outcomes.
  • Supervise and perform cell culture work, to proliferate and aliquote cells for storage (banking), and to prepare cells for experiments (plate cells in multi-well dishes suitable for high throughput imaging/screening experiments); the cells will include human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hSC-CMs, originating from induced pluriopotent stem cells or embryonic stem cells), and primary adult cardiomyoctyes derived from hearts isolated from dogs, rats, mouse, rabbits, and humans.
  • Supervise and perform cell culture work to prepare for experiments for developing cardiomyocyte-based assays for toxicology testing and drug discovery relevant to a range of afflictions and diseases including testing of compounds for pro- and anti-arrhythmic, as well as pro-myopathic and anti-myopathic effects. Conduct experiments on cardiomyocytes that are relevant to assay development for pharmaceutical service contracts, contract- and grant-sponsored research on drug toxicity and drug-discovery, and experiments for in-house drug discovery and development.
  • Interpret data, which will include using and programming Vala’s in-house CyteSeer Analysis software platform and utilizing applications such as Image J, Excel, Graph Pad Prism to perform additional analyses and test for statistical significance.
  • Preparation and oral presentation of results to Vala co-workers in internal meetings and to summarize results and help prepare reports on progress to funding agencies (e.g., NIH), managment, investors, and for contract research with pharmaceutical companies.
  • Prepare and present poster and oral presentations, reporting the results of Vala’s research at scientific meetings.
  • Prepare and assist with preparation of: grant proposals, manuscripts for publication, application notes (instructional/promotional materials to be distributed to customers for marketing purposes), and material for Vala’s webpage and related internet content.
  • Other duties and projects as assigned by management.

Required Qualifications:

  • M.S. or Ph.D in Biology or related field
  • Experience in the preparation and use of human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and primary adult cardiomyocytes to test compounds for toxic or beneficial effects relevant to drug safety and heart failure.
  • Interest and experience in improving iPSC-cardiomyocyte maturity by developing methods compatible with 96- and 384-well plates would be a plus.
  • Experience in the use of image analysis programs for quantifying beating behavior and contractile function in cardiomyocytes; examples of such systems include Image J, and the IonOptix system, which are used to quantify calcium transients/voltage transients and or contractile motion, in vitro).
  • Ability to follow all lab safety requirements and protocols
  • Ability to grasp complex problems and find solutions
  • Ability to handle biological materials and use research equipment and tools properly and within guidelines
  • Ability to present data orally and written in a comprehensive, understandable manner
  • Ability to supervise technical staff and interns
  • The career level of this role (RA vs. SRA) will be based on candidate’s skills and qualifications. References will be required.

Work Environment:

Vala Sciences, Inc., builds high-speed (AKA slow motion) kinetic image cytometry (KIC) instruments for single-cell analyses of fast activities (action potentials, contraction, etc.) of human stem cell-derived brain, heart, muscle, and other cell types; develops and validates assays and screens for use in early drug development in pharmaceutical companies; and develops new therapeutics for related diseases.

The Cardiac Biologist will work in a lab performing experiments about 50% of the time and at an office desk about 50% of the time performing analyzing results and composing reports, publications and presentations of them.  Safe lab practices must be followed at all times following established guidelines.

Salary:  Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience


  • Paid Time Off
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
  • 401(k)

Job Type: Full-time


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