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Current Opportunities

Principal Research Scientist - Biology - Toronto, Ontario

Position: Principal Research Scientist – Biology
Site: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Drug Discovery Program
Reports To: Scientific Advisor
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Status: Full-time, Permanent

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Principal Research Scientist with expertise in cancer biology to join its Drug Discovery Program. The successful candidate will have extensive drug discovery experience, including knowledge of oncology target identification and validation, and clinical candidate identification.

New employees who may be required to work on-site are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 subject to the duty to accommodate on the basis of protected grounds pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.  

Fully vaccinated is defined as having received all of the required doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine and having received the final dose at least 14 days before your employment start date. 

As described above, the requirement to be fully vaccinated is subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code. If the candidate is unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for a reason protected by the Code, requests for accommodation from the vaccine policy will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  

Learn more about working at OICR here.


  • Propose new oncology targets for validation and potential portfolio entry;
  • Validate oncology drug discovery targets using established genetic techniques (siRNA, shRNA, CRISPR) with associated rescue experiments;
  • Lead drug discovery projects and establish critical assays to advance small molecule compounds;
  • Maintain a knowledge of new cell-based assays and methods that impact the drug discovery process;
  • Collaborate effectively with the biology team and with medicinal chemists;
  • Mentor graduate students and help with advanced technical training;
  • Work effectively under pressure and tight timelines;
  • Communicate effectively with internal and external collaborators.


  • PhD. in Biochemistry or Cell Biology with a minimum of five (5) years of experience in drug discovery in a biotech or pharmaceutical environment;
  • Familiarity with small molecule screening cascades from biophysical to cell-based assays;
  • Experience in the development of cell-based target engagement and functional assays to support medicinal chemistry efforts and validate compound mechanism-of-action studies;
  • Experience in the validation of novel anti-cancer targets using genetic techniques;
  • Experience in preclinical in vivo experimentation, including PK/PD, proof-of-concept efficacy, and toxicity studies;
  • Understanding of the drug discovery processes and timelines in general;
  • Strong knowledge of cancer biology and related signal transduction pathways;
  • Experience managing 5 or more direct reports;
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills;
  • Great team player with excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Highly motivated self-starter who enjoys an element of ambiguity and is willing to adapt to a changing environment.

OICR is a collaborative, not-for-profit research institute accelerating the development of new cancer research discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. We are dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals who share our values of excellence, innovation, collaboration, impact, responsibility and community.

Launched in December 2005, OICR is an independent institute funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

CLOSING DATE: Until Filled.

OICR is committed to fostering a climate of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. This commitment is central to, and mutually supportive of, our research excellence mandate. We welcome and respect the diversity of all members of our community and we support an inclusive culture for all. We welcome all applicants, and encourage applications from racialized persons, Indigenous Peoples, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S persons, and others who may contribute to furthering a diversity of ideas within our community. OICR is committed to fair assessment of a candidate’s abilities, and consideration for diversity of thought, method, and experience. Providing an accessible workplace and recruitment process is important to us, as described in our Accessibility Plan (https://oicr.on.ca/accessibility/).  Should you require accommodation during any stage in the recruitment process, please complete the form at the bottom of page https://oicr.on.ca/careers/. Information received related to accommodation will be handled confidentially.  

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted.

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume so that you can cut and paste it into the application box provided. Before you submit the completed application, you will be asked to attach one or two files to your application. Please attach your resume as a .pdf or .doc file.