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Staff Research Scientist - Cancer Biomarkers



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Why join Freenome?

Freenome is a high-growth biotech company developing tests to detect cancer using a standard blood draw. To do this, Freenome uses a multiomics platform that combines tumor and non-tumor signals with machine learning to find cancer in its earliest, most-treatable stages.

Cancer is relentless. This is why Freenome is building the clinical, economic, and operational evidence to drive cancer screening and save lives. Our first screening test is for colorectal cancer (CRC) and advanced adenomas, and it’s just the beginning.

Founded in 2014, Freenome has ~500 employees and more than $1.1B in funding from key investors, such as the American Cancer Society, Andreessen Horowitz, Anthem Blue Cross, Bain Capital, Colorectal Cancer Alliance, DCVC, Fidelity, Google Ventures, Kaiser Permanente, Novartis, Perceptive Advisors, RA Capital, Roche, Sands Capital, T. Rowe Price, and Verily.

At Freenome, we aim to impact patients by empowering everyone to prevent, detect, and treat their disease. This, together with our high-performing culture of respect and cross-collaboration, is what motivates us to make every day count.

Become a Freenomer

Do you have what it takes to be a Freenomer? A “Freenomer” is a determined, mission-driven, results-oriented employee fueled by the opportunity to change the landscape of cancer and make a positive impact on patients’ lives. Freenomers bring their diverse experience, expertise, and personal perspective to solve problems and push to achieve what’s possible, one breakthrough at a time.

About this opportunity:

At Freenome, our goal is to improve patient outcomes by pioneering the next-generation of blood tests for early and accurate disease detection using our combined multiomics and machine learning platform. As a Staff Research Scientist in Genomics, you will contribute to the program’s technical base by creating and optimizing new next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays and workflows for DNA/RNA, or to the program’s scientific base by elevating our understanding of the biological context of these assay signals in cancer. In this role, you will lead projects to evaluate emergent technologies that have the potential to improve our diagnostic tests, collect and analyze NGS datasets (including genomics, epigenomics, and transcriptomics) for biomarker discovery, and augment existing multiomic models with novel signals you discover. You will also work closely with computational biologists and machine learning scientists to provide biological and technical insights, and to provide new data sources to enhance ongoing computational research projects.

What you’ll do:

  • Apply fundamental understanding of molecular biology, nucleic-acid biochemistry, and NGS to develop new molecular assays that span both genome-wide and targeted strategies.
  • Stay at the cutting edge of NGS methodology to identify and evaluate new technologies to improve our multiomics capabilities.
  • Refine and optimize existing NGS assays by characterizing assay performance and implementing workflow and protocol improvements (including nucleic acid extraction, library preparation, and downstream analysis).
  • Investigate the biological origin of blood-based biomarkers by performing detailed characterization of cell-free material, tumors, and the immune system.
  • Drive biomarker discovery studies that leverage both in-house generated datasets and published reference databases.
  • Collaborate with computational biologists and software engineers to build analysis pipelines that appropriately integrate new molecular technologies.
  • Lead projects spanning molecular and computational functions to better understand the underlying biology of non-invasive cancer biomarkers

Must haves:

  • PhD (or equivalent industry experience) in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, cancer biology, immunology, or a related field
  • 7+ years post-PhD experience in cancer related field
  • Deep understanding of cancer biology and experience working with cancer genomics datasets to interrogate molecular mechanisms (e.g., TCGA)
  • Demonstrated experience with cancer biomarkers
  • Ability to perform NGS data analysis to enable experimental iteration independent of external support
  • Clear communication skills with an ability to clearly communicate across diverse audiences with a range of technical knowledge
  • Demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional collaborations, including team members in the same and adjacent disciplines

Nice to haves:

  • Experience with methods for DNA methylation analysis (e.g., bisulfite sequencing), leading to successful publication, patent filing, funding, or other project completion milestones
  • Fluency in a common scientific programming language (e.g., Python or R)
  • Experience working with liquid handling platforms for high-throughput research projects
  • Experience mentoring and training junior scientists or research associates

Benefits and additional information:

The US target range of our base salary for new hires is $161,500 - $245,000. You will also be eligible to receive pre-IPO equity, cash bonuses, and a full range of medical, financial, and other benefits dependent on the position offered. Please note that individual total compensation for this position will be determined at the Company’s sole discretion and may vary based on several factors, including but not limited to, location, skill level, years and depth of relevant experience, and education. We invite you to check out our career page @ for additional company information.

Freenome is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. Freenome does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.

Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws.