Principal Scientist (Neurologist, Project Leader)

Vancouver Area, BC
Annual Salary + Benefits
Oct 06, 2020
Nov 05, 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Senior Level

Xenon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XENE) – a biopharmaceutical company with operations in Vancouver, BC, Canada and Boston, MA, USA – is advancing an exciting pipeline of therapies for neurological disorders, with a particular focus on innovative treatments for epilepsy.

Xenon has a number of promising therapeutics in clinical development, valuable collaborations with pharmaceutical partners, and innovative early-stage research underway and also has a strong balance sheet to support its continued growth in 2020 and beyond.

We are a collaborative, ambitious, and driven team with a common mission to improve the lives of patients with neurological disorders. Creating a healthy and productive work environment is a priority, and we understand the importance of investing in our employees’ growth and development. We support charities and volunteerism, knowing that when our people contribute to their local communities, they are gaining new experiences and becoming even better leaders. Xenon’s employees are smart, passionate, and driven by their incredibly important work to discover, develop and deliver new medicines for patients in need. We are looking for talented and determined individuals who thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment to join our team during this transformative time for the company. If you want to learn more about job opportunities at Xenon, please visit

We are seeking a Principal Scientist (Neuroscientist, Project Leader) to join our Vancouver Biology team to discover first in class therapeutics. The individual will be responsible for initiating and directing a new project’s biology efforts including the development, implementation and execution of a flow scheme of in vitro and in vivo assays to support project progression and the optimization of human therapeutics. The ideal candidate must be able to think strategically and possess leadership abilities to inspire, direct and manage Scientists, and coordinate activities across the organizational matrix, programs, and departments.

The Scientist will serve as a member of Xenon’s Discovery management team at our Burnaby (Vancouver area), British Columbia, Canada site and will be expected to influence the team’s direction via direct interaction with senior leadership, including members of the executive team.

Reporting to the Vice President, Biology, this position will be located in the Vancouver area, BC, Canada. 


  • Lead, manage and direct the project team’s biology efforts in the development of a flow scheme of in vitro and in vivo assays to support project progression and the optimization of human therapeutics
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders from Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology, Formulations, Intellectual Property, and Clincal teams, design and implement pharmacological assays to determine drug potency, efficacy, mechanism of action, and tolerability
  • Regularly report project status updates to the Senior Executive Team
  • Develop, facilitate and support new and evolving business systems and processes to enable rapid growth and change
  • Develop and maintain relevant Standard Operating Procedures and other policies, procedures and systems relevant to the department; collaborate with Quality to plan and execute compliance activities
  • Develop and propose short and long term goals for the department in accordance with overall Company and Discovery strategies
  • Plan and manage budget proposals and approved budgets in accordance with the Company’s strategic and operating plans and Finance policies
  • Recruit, lead, direct, develop, coach and evaluate direct reports, if any, in accordance with the Company’s Human Resource policies and practices
  • Act in accordance with Company policies, including, for example, the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and ensure policies are understood and followed by direct reports, if any
  • International travel may be required


  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Biophysics, Physiology, Cell Biology, Systems Biology, Pharmacology or related field and relevant post-doctoral experience
  • 7+ years of drug discovery experience
  • Strong strategic, scientific, and technical leadership in the design, execution, analysis, and interpretation of a broad range of pharmacology assays to drive compound progression and elucidate mechanism of action
  • Understanding of pharmacological principles and drug discovery processes in order to support assessment of potency, efficacy and contribute to predictions of human efficacy
  • Experience leading cross functional neuroscience projects in a pharmaceutical or biotechnology setting is preferred
  • Expertise in neural excitability and signaling pathways, ion channel or GPCR biology and allosteric modulation is preferred
  • Experience in pain, epilepsy, or other neurologic drug discovery is preferred
  • Excellent people management, communication and leadership skills
  • Ability to lead in a matrix environment

To apply for this position, click Apply and complete the application. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, due to the volume of applicants, only those chosen for interview will be contacted.