Associate Director/Director, Clinical Science - Autoimmune Diseases

Job Locations US-CA-South San Francisco
Clinical Operations
Position Type
Regular Full-Time

About Us

Nkarta is a publicly traded (Nasdaq symbol NKTX), biotechnology company headquartered in South San Francisco focused on the discovery, development and manufacturing of off-the-shelf, natural killer (NK) cell therapies. Our near-term goal is to bring cell therapy out into the community setting, dramatically expanding access for patients. 


Founded in 2015 at the birthplace of biotechnology, Nkarta is a fast-growing, fast-moving, clinical-stage company that has built an extensive cell therapy manufacturing operation in anticipation of product commercialization. Our developmental pipeline of engineered NK cell therapies includes clinical programs in B-cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases.


Complementing our broad research and development capabilities, Nkarta has also built an extensive cell therapy manufacturing operation.  We recently built out a 23,000-square foot clinical good manufacturing practice, or cGMP, facility on-site at our primary corporate location in South San Francisco, California.


Nkarta is a people-driven company looking for passionate, collaborative, driven team members galvanized by a paradigm-shifting opportunity to change the cell therapy landscape.  



We are seeking a highly motivated Clinical Scientist to join our Cell Therapy Program for Autoimmune Diseases within our clinical development team. The ideal candidate will have a solid background in clinical research, with experience in both large pharmaceutical and small biotech settings. This role offers the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects in a fast-paced environment, driving the advancement of novel cell therapies from early development through to clinical trials.


With a strong focus on translating groundbreaking research into transformative therapies, we are driven by a passion for improving patient outcomes and addressing unmet medical needs. Our dynamic team combines expertise from both large pharmaceutical companies and agile biotech startups, fostering a collaborative environment where individual contributions are valued and innovation thrives.


  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to design and implement clinical development strategies for cell therapy programs targeting autoimmune diseases.
  • Lead the planning and execution of clinical studies, including protocol development, investigator meetings, and study oversight.
  • Conduct literature reviews and stay abreast of advancements in the field to inform study design and development strategies.
  • Analyze clinical data and contribute to the interpretation of results, drawing actionable insights to guide decision-making.
  • Prepare and review regulatory documents, including IND submissions, clinical study reports, and regulatory responses.
  • Serve as a key point of contact for clinical investigators, providing scientific expertise and support throughout the duration of clinical trials.
  • Contribute to the development of scientific publications and presentations to communicate study findings and advance scientific understanding.


  • Proven track record of successfully leading clinical studies from concept to completion, including protocol development, study execution, and data analysis.
  • Experience working in both large pharmaceutical and small biotech environments, with a demonstrated ability to adapt to diverse organizational cultures and work effectively in cross-functional teams.
  • Strong understanding of regulatory requirements governing clinical development, with experience preparing regulatory submissions and interacting with regulatory agencies.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to effectively communicate complex scientific concepts to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Highly organized with strong attention to detail, capable of managing multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.



  • Advanced degree (PharmD, PhD, or equivalent) in a relevant scientific discipline.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in clinical development within the biopharmaceutical industry

Working at Nkarta Inc.

The common requirements of an office environment (computers, computer screens, workstations, etc.) apply, and there is no anticipated work in a laboratory environment. This role is remote, and a West Coast location/Pacific Time Zone is preferred. Car and/or airplane travel will be required of this role for work-related activities, site visits, conferences, and meetings. In addition, there is required travel to the office in South San Francisco, for up to 3 days, approximately every one to two months. Total travel is expected to be up to 25%. Advanced notice and travel support is provided.


A reasonable estimate of the current salary range for this position is $225,000 - $275,000.  There are several factors taken into consideration in determining base salary, including but not limited to: job-related qualifications, skills, education and experience, as well as the value of other elements of an employee’s total compensation package.  Nkarta also offers an annual discretionary bonus, equity grant(s), medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans.  Other benefits include 401K plan, flexible spending account, ESPP, employee assistance program, paid vacation, holiday and personal days, paid parental, pregnancy, and bereavement leave.


The 150+ team members describe working at Nkarta through some of the following comments. While getting better work-life balance and improving communications between groups in an early stage start up environment are two areas on which we are working, here are real, anonymous comments about or regarding why people think Nkarta is a great place to work.

  • “People are always open to ideas. This company provides a safe place for its employees (covid testing, etc.)”
  • “Exceptionally talented, committed, *kind* & supportive team.”
  • “The CEO is transparent and honest with expectations for the whole company. There is genuine care amongst the leadership team for their peers and employees. I believe this is unique.”
  • “Not to sound corny, but the emphasis on people as a valuable resource is something I recognize doesn't often exist elsewhere, and it's here in ample supply, which is great.”
  • “It's the first place that I've worked where the executive team truly values the employees. It's a pretty amazing thing not to hear that employees can be replaced with someone new. Institutional knowledge is understood.”
  • “We have a very diverse team with executives that are friendly and accessible.”
  • “Smart and dedicated colleagues. Mission to make a difference in patients’ lives. Empower us with tools needed to succeed. Open and transparent culture. Transparent leadership. Handling of covid and running the company was done very well.”

To learn more about our work at Nkarta and the career opportunities that will drive us forward to serve patients, please visit the company’s website at


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