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Careers

Employee Spotlight

Meet a few of our employees and learn more about their Ionis career journey. From evaluating different potential indications to manufacturing oligonucleotides, our Ions all exemplify the Ionis culture of YES.

Isaiah Cedillo

Director, Manufacturing/Operations

I was hired as a summer intern in the Process Organic Chemistry department. While there, I met the head of Manufacturing (Max Moore). The following summer, Max hired me as a summer intern and then, immediately following my master’s degree in chemical engineering, he hired me as a full-time employee. He has been my boss ever since. Starting out cleaning tanks and running large-scale equipment, I gradually transitioned from the manufacturing floor to the laboratory. In the laboratory, I focus on process research to improve large-scale manufacturing operations. Over time, I have also taken on project management roles as we transfer processes to contract manufacturing organizations and our corporate partners. Most of my adult life and all of my professional life I have been manufacturing oligonucleotides. I still get excited to see the chromatogram or mass spectrum from one my experiments even after all this time.

  1. What motivates the work you do at Ionis?
    Science. Solving problems and learning new things is a privilege that not every job affords. I’m glad I get to do something that, more often than not, is interesting to me.
  2. How would you describe the Ionis company culture?
    Interrogative. Ideas are challenged to produce the best data and most thorough understanding of a subject.
  3. How have you grown in your professional development at Ionis?
    While I have certainly grown in my understanding of oligonucleotides, I think the more important and significant professional development has come as a leader. I have had some excellent examples at Ionis of how to lead effectively and compassionately.
  4. What is your favorite thing about your day-to-day at Ionis?
    The people I work with make the day-to-day enjoyable. While the work itself is motivating, the people are what make the mundane bits of my job enjoyable.
  5. Favorite Ionis moment or career highlight?
    The approval and success of Spinraza. People in the pharmaceutical world can work a lifetime with out ever being part of a drug that is approved, let alone, successful. I helped make the first batch of Spinraza with my own two (gloved) hands.

Poster Child

Director, Manufacturing/Operations

I was hired as a summer intern in the Process Organic Chemistry department. While there, I met the head of Manufacturing (Max Moore). The following summer, Max hired me as a summer intern and then, immediately following my master’s degree in chemical engineering, he hired me as a full-time employee. He has been my boss ever since. Starting out cleaning tanks and running large-scale equipment, I gradually transitioned from the manufacturing floor to the laboratory. In the laboratory, I focus on process research to improve large-scale manufacturing operations. Over time, I have also taken on project management roles as we transfer processes to contract manufacturing organizations and our corporate partners. Most of my adult life and all of my professional life I have been manufacturing oligonucleotides. I still get excited to see the chromatogram or mass spectrum from one my experiments even after all this time.

  1. What motivates the work you do at Ionis?
    Science. Solving problems and learning new things is a privilege that not every job affords. I’m glad I get to do something that, more often than not, is interesting to me.
  2. How would you describe the Ionis company culture?
    Interrogative. Ideas are challenged to produce the best data and most thorough understanding of a subject.
  3. How have you grown in your professional development at Ionis?
    While I have certainly grown in my understanding of oligonucleotides, I think the more important and significant professional development has come as a leader. I have had some excellent examples at Ionis of how to lead effectively and compassionately.
  4. What is your favorite thing about your day-to-day at Ionis?
    The people I work with make the day-to-day enjoyable. While the work itself is motivating, the people are what make the mundane bits of my job enjoyable.
  5. Favorite Ionis moment or career highlight?
    The approval and success of Spinraza. People in the pharmaceutical world can work a lifetime with out ever being part of a drug that is approved, let alone, successful. I helped make the first batch of Spinraza with my own two (gloved) hands.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Corporate Shoot

Isaiah Cedillo

Director, Manufacturing/Operations

I was hired as a summer intern in the Process Organic Chemistry department. While there, I met the head of Manufacturing (Max Moore). The following summer, Max hired me as a summer intern and then, immediately following my master’s degree in chemical engineering, he hired me as a full-time employee. He has been my boss ever since. Starting out cleaning tanks and running large-scale equipment, I gradually transitioned from the manufacturing floor to the laboratory. In the laboratory, I focus on process research to improve large-scale manufacturing operations. Over time, I have also taken on project management roles as we transfer processes to contract manufacturing organizations and our corporate partners. Most of my adult life and all of my professional life I have been manufacturing oligonucleotides. I still get excited to see the chromatogram or mass spectrum from one my experiments even after all this time.

  1. What motivates the work you do at Ionis?
    Science. Solving problems and learning new things is a privilege that not every job affords. I’m glad I get to do something that, more often than not, is interesting to me.
  2. How would you describe the Ionis company culture?
    Interrogative. Ideas are challenged to produce the best data and most thorough understanding of a subject.
  3. How have you grown in your professional development at Ionis?
    While I have certainly grown in my understanding of oligonucleotides, I think the more important and significant professional development has come as a leader. I have had some excellent examples at Ionis of how to lead effectively and compassionately.
  4. What is your favorite thing about your day-to-day at Ionis?
    The people I work with make the day-to-day enjoyable. While the work itself is motivating, the people are what make the mundane bits of my job enjoyable.
  5. Favorite Ionis moment or career highlight?
    The approval and success of Spinraza. People in the pharmaceutical world can work a lifetime with out ever being part of a drug that is approved, let alone, successful. I helped make the first batch of Spinraza with my own two (gloved) hands.
Shruti Sasaki

Shruti Sasaki

Senior Scientist, Translational Medicine

I came to Ionis as a postdoctoral fellow shortly after completing my Ph.D. in RNA biology. I learned about Ionis at a conference during my final year of graduate school, and there happened to be an open postdoctoral position right after I defended my thesis. I transitioned over to my current role as a Senior Scientist in the recently formed Translational Medicine group after completing my postdoc. While I really enjoyed conducting early stage drug discovery research during my postdoc, I was excited to gain exposure to other aspects of the drug development process through a position in the Translational Medicine group. In my current role, I work closely with peers in both Research and Clinical Development to prepare our research programs for the transition into the clinical realm. This involves activities such as evaluating different potential indications, conducting natural history studies, and gaining access to human data and samples for target validation, biomarker assay development and patient selection. My work encompasses efforts that include collaborations with Drug Discovery, Functional Genomics, Clinical Development, Clinical Operations, Regulatory, Patient Centric Drug Development, and many other groups within Ionis. I’m not sure what’s next in my career, but I feel that the collaborative and cross-functional nature of my current role prepares me well for several different career paths in this industry.

  1. What motivates the work you do at Ionis?
    My motivation is ultimately to help our patients. One thing that has struck me since coming to Ionis is how our patients are central to our efforts – we have patients come onsite to share their experience living with diseases we are working to develop drugs for, and there truly is no greater motivation than that.
  2. How would you describe the Ionis company culture?
    The culture is fast-paced, very collaborative, and fun! Everyone works hard but is happy to help if they can. This makes for a great work environment.
  3. How have you grown in your professional development at Ionis?
    I know so much more about the drug development process, and I’ve also grown as a communicator, leader and team player. Working in a company setting, especially one like Ionis, requires constant teamwork and collaboration, which has been a great opportunity to learn from others!
  4. What is your favorite thing about your day-to-day at Ionis?
    I work on so many different types of projects with many different people within Ionis (and externally as well), so my day-to-day varies quite a bit. I love the variety and change of pace – I never get bored!
  5. Favorite Ionis moment or career highlight?
    Ionis achieving approval for Spinraza (with Biogen). Seeing the videos that parents of some of our SMA patients made, sharing their children’s stories and progress with treatment, exemplified for me the impact Ionis has and in turn how much the patient journey drives Ionis efforts.
Rob Pulido

Rob Pulido

Senior Scientist, Clinical Development

I did a brief exploratory internship in neurology clinical development at Ionis during my PhD and clicked very well with my team, the role and the company. After graduate school, I rejoined the Ionis neurology clinical development group where we are responsible for the planning, design and implementation of clinical trials using ASOs for neurological indications. I enjoy clinical development because it is deeply rooted in science, but also requires me to be involved in many other facets that are essential to shepherd a drug through development. In the future, I look forward to seeing the drug programs that I am currently working on soon enter the clinic as well as stepping into more of a leadership role for some drug programs that are in their earlier stages of Ionis’ diverse and large pipeline.

  1. What motivates the work you do at Ionis?
    My primary motivation is the patients. Knowing that there are sick people that have no options and that we have potentially transformative and life-saving therapies for them makes me do my best work so that we are designing the most safe, efficient and scientifically sound clinical trials.
  2. How would you describe the Ionis company culture?
    Passionate, innovative and science driven. Passionate because you really get a sense that people believe in what we’re doing as a company and thus care deeply about doing good work. Innovative because I think scientific progress is made by asking novel and creative questions which drove the genesis of Ionis and has been systematically engraved in its legacy and culture. Science driven because Ionis recognizes that having good drugs stem from doing good science and thus emphasize it greatly.
  3. How have you grown in your professional development at Ionis?
    Having come from an academic neuroscience research background, I entered my position at Ionis from a very naïve perspective on how drug development works. Since then I’ve learned how all the various internal and external functions/disciplines interact throughout the drug development process. This has allowed me to truly understand the big picture and all the codependent variables we need to consider in clinical development.
  4. What is your favorite thing about your day-to-day at Ionis?
    I love that every day is different. Clinical development gets involved in a diverse set of responsibilities, tasks and meetings so there is never a dull day and I always learn something new.
  5. Favorite Ionis moment or career highlight?
    My favorite Ionis career moment was when Huntington’s Disease and Acromegaly patients were invited to come speak to the entire company to tell their personal stories and what Ionis’ efforts mean to them. It was very helpful for me to put all the work we’re doing in context and remind myself why we do what we do.