Lead Scientist, Neurobiology (m/f/d)

Full Time
California, Massachusetts, New York, US
Posted 2 months ago

ATAI is a Berlin, New York, and London based biotech company builder leveraging a decentralized, data-driven platform model with the aim of ultimately healing mental health disorders. We are dedicated to bringing innovation to mental healthcare, a field that has seen little progress since the development of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively.

From a drug development perspective, ATAI sees significant potential in 5HT2A agonists, atypical opioids, as well as drugs that act on the glutamatergic and GABAergic systems. In contrast to traditional neuropsychiatric drug development, we cultivate early-stage polypharmacological drugs that impact key mental health biomarkers and have been de-risked, either by anecdotal evidence or off-label clinical use.

We now have eight companies in our portfolio developing innovative solutions in mental healthcare, including COMPASS Pathways (psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression), DemeRx (ibogaine for opioid use disorder), and EntheogeniX (leveraging AI and computational biophysics to develop the next generation of psychedelics).

The Lead Scientist, Neurobiology is responsible for overseeing both the strategic and operational aspects of the neuropharmacological activities for all R&D projects within ATAI and its subsidiary organizations. In addition, this position will be responsible for pharmacological and mechanistic due diligence in the context of business development activities. 


  • Be a major contributor to the success of a well-positioned, well-financed, early-stage biotech company
  • Become part of creating a radically new and impactful paradigm shift in drug development and patient care
  • Work on improving the lives of millions of people with a real unmet need
  • An open, results-driven and meritocratic start-up culture


  • Responsibility for design, qualification, and execution of in vitro and in vivo pharmacology programs required to support research in support of early-stage research, patent filings, and as part of publication strategies.
  • Support nonclinical, pharmacology / mechanistic studies including experimental design, selection of relevant species, and selection of appropriate vendors
  • Work collaboratively within a multi-disciplinary environment, both within ATAI and subsidiary organization and, as required, with external consultants and CRO teams
  • Work closely with the CSO to define research goals and execution of new research projects
  • Contribute to the production of project-related documents, budgets, presentations, grants, patents and regulatory submissions as required.


  • A PhD with 5+ years of experience of post-graduate work in CNS pharmacology in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Expert in GPCR neuropharmacology (serotonin, dopamine, opioid, norepinephrine receptors) is strongly preferred with direct experience in experimental design and execution of in vitro assays to assess GPCR canonical signaling, biased signaling and their importance in CNS network dynamics and regional connectivity.
  • Familiarity with state-of-the-art psychedelic drug pharmacology and impact on neural network signaling dynamics.
  • Experience with in vitro neuroplasticity and “omics”-based approaches to study consequences of neuronal signaling and drug-induced alterations.
  • Experience with managing preclinical and in vivo pharmacology studies with external contract research organizations is required. Expertise in behavioral animal models is desired.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to serve as a change agent to identify needs and solutions, implement and support the building of a scientific organization as required.
  • Is a creative, analytical problem solver, who acts decisively, yet communicates the risks and benefits associated with all potential solutions so that informed business decisions can be made.
  • Able to work across multiple functions and geographies (e.g., US and non-US).
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal) and presentation skills.
  • Effective delegation of responsibility and authority, as needed.
  • Attracted to a life sciences biotechnology environment with potential for future continued growth
  • Strong time management, interpersonal and organizational skills.

Location: California, Massachusetts, any other location remote
Employment: full-time

How to apply

Join us to improve the lives of millions suffering from a real unmet medical need – apply today via the apply button on the right and send us your updated CV and references.

Please note that we can only accept applications from people that have a valid US work permit.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or write us:

Juliane Schmidt
HR Manager

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