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Senior Research Scientist, Blood Cell Biology



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 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 Senior Scientist on the Molecular Research team, you will serve as a subject matter expert in blood cell biology applied to preanalytics and conduct research to deeply understand how blood cellular compartments, e.g, platelets, red blood cells (RBCs), neutrophils, can be consistently stabilized and separated across a wide range of pre-analytical conditions. In this role, you will develop an analytical framework to characterize residual blood cell content and establish quality control (QC) assays for blood plasma biomarker discovery studies. You will also collaborate with the Computational Science team to incorporate these QC assay readouts into our assay models to improve our end-to-end diagnostic test performance. This is an extraordinary opportunity for a dedicated scientist looking to translate their expert knowledge in blood cell biology into clinical applications in a vibrant, interdisciplinary, and collaborative scientific team and contribute to our mission of early detection and intervention in human diseases.

What you’ll do:

  • List the job responsibilities that are important and impactful for this role
  • Apply fundamental understanding of platelet, RBC and neutrophil biology to develop assays for characterizing cellular content in blood and plasma samples
  • Design and prototype blood cell-based sample QC assays for cell-free biomarker discovery studies
  • Collaborate with Computational Research teams to integrate blood cell-based QC assay readout into cell-free DNA or protein assay models to improve test performance
  • Design and execute studies to evaluate the impact of preanalytical variables (including sample collection, shipping, and storage conditions) on blood cell stability in a variety of sample collection devices
  • Identify, evaluate and/or prototype new technologies for blood cell stabilization
  • Establish scalable method for blood cell depletion, enrichment or fractionation
  • Collaborate with Genomics and Proteomics teams to rapidly iterate on functional testing and improve on blood cell stabilization and isolation workflows
  • Identify, evaluate or develop novel blood cell-based biomarker research technologies and incorporate them into Freenome’s discovery platform

Must haves:

  • Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent industry experience in blood physiology, hematology, blood biochemistry, immunology, cell biology, or a related field
  • In-depth knowledge of the proteome and/or transcriptome of any of the following blood fractions: platelet, RBC or neutrophils
  • Demonstrated expertise on functional characterization of platelets, neutrophils or RBCs
  • Practical experience with genomics and/or proteomic profiling methods on blood cells
  • Extensive hands-on experience using differential centrifugation, density gradient centrifugation, MACS or FACS workflows for the depletion, enrichment or isolation of blood cells, e.g., platelets, RBCs and neutrophils
  • Deep understanding of analytical techniques for blood cell characterization at molecular and cellular levels, e.g., flow cytometry, microscopy, qPCR
  • Excellent creative thinking, scientific problem-solving, and communication skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate with others in the same and adjacent disciplines

Nice to haves:

  • Baseline knowledge of blood cell-free fractions and analytes (e.g., plasma, cfDNA, cfRNA, EVs, lipoproteins)
  • Familiarity with the stability profile of a diverse set of blood analytes, including cells, DNA, RNA, proteins
  • Broad knowledge of common cell preservatives and fixatives and familiarity with their mechanisms of action
  • Broad knowledge of immunoassays, including western blotting, ELISA,, MSD, or Luminex
  • Practical experience with primary blood cell culture and aseptic technique
  • Experience mentoring and training research associates and junior scientists
  • Prior experience with blood-based biomarker research

Benefits and additional information:

The US target range of our base salary for new hires is $136,000 - $210,000. You will also be eligible to receive pre-IPO equity, cash bonuses, and a full range of medical, financial, and other benefits depending 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.