Scientist - Histology

US-CA-South San Francisco
Job ID
Research & Development


The Research Department is seeking a highly experienced Scientist with extensive hands-on experience at the bench to design, validate, and implement histopathology-based efforts to support early discovery and clinical programs targeting diseases of misfolded proteins and neurodegeneration.

The successful candidate must be detail-oriented, an effective communicator, expert multi-tasker, organized, team-oriented and highly collaborative. The Scientist will join a science-driven and patient-centric group developing first-in-class therapeutic antibodies at Prothena.


  • Execute on scientific and technical efforts related to histology and other tissue-based assays from study design (including appropriate tissue selection and techniques) to microscopic analysis, interpretation, and reporting.
  • Manage a high performing and dedicated team of Research Associates, providing histology support to a variety of programs at different stages of development
  • Design and optimize novel automated singleplex and multiplex IHC and ISH assays to characterize the binding properties of therapeutic antibodies, identify tissue-based markers of efficacy from animal studies, and assist with exploratory biomarker development in search of target engagement and drug response in clinical trial samples
  • Manage automated whole slide image analysis algorithms to measure protein expression levels and interpret results from large histological studies
  • Supervise and manage tissue procurement strategies (commercial and academic sources) for rare disease tissues to execute and support various ongoing studies; knowledge of database software is desirable.
  • Examine human disease, its pathology in relevant organs, and comparison of relevant transgenic animals that model the disease to support safety and toxicological characterization for drug development
  • Manage several histology contract research organizations (CROs) and project outsourcing functions when appropriate to meet deadlines and to tap into external expertise
  • Evaluate and implement state-of-the-art technologies in tissue labeling and digital image analysis as needed to drive programs through in-house efforts and/or by identifying external expertise (e.g., specialized CROs and collaborators)
  • Assist/Train various scientist from different backgrounds on the use of microscopy equipment


  • PhD with at least 5 years of relevant academic experience or BA/BS in Biology or similar discipline with at least 10 years of industry experience demonstrating direct participation and supervision of drug discovery and target identification efforts by IHC and other tissue-based techniques; ASCP certification (HT or HTL) certification is desirable
  • Experience in designing, optimizing, validating, and implementing a variety of qualitative and quantitative tissue-based methodologies ranging from tissue handling and processing, sectioning with microtome or cryostat, histochemical staining, to method development and execution of large automated immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence studies, multiplex IHC, and in situ hybridization on a Leica Bond Rx or similar is required
  • Experience with standard and advanced (confocal) microscopy and digital pathology is required. Experience with live-cell imaging is desirable
  • Proficient at employing whole-slide automated image analysis (e.g., HALO and Definiens) and analyzing large data sets using statistical and data visualization programs (e.g., Prism, Spotfire) to quantify tissue-based efficacy markers is required
  • Experience with handling clinical trial specimen, including accessioning, chain of custody documentation, and development of study protocols
  • Strong understanding of mouse and human comparative microscopic anatomy, characterization of transgenic animals, especially in identification of amyloidosis and inflammatory response in tissue
  • Expertise in the analysis and interpretation of data generated from tissue-based target expression studies with a variety of statistical approaches and successful presentation of pathology projects at cross-functional team meetings is highly desirable 


Competencies and Attributes:

  • Demonstrated leadership to drive results that are needed to achieve company objectives in accord with Prothena’s culture and core values – courageousness, creativity, selflessness and humor


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