About the role
Due to the expansion of our preclinical R&D capabilities, Acepodia are seeking a highly motivated and innovative Director with strong leadership and communication skills to lead our preclinical R&D team. In this role, you will play an important role in shaping the discovery R&D strategy and in expanding the cell therapy scope of Acepodia´s proprietary. In addition to providing leadership and guidance to the preclinical R&D team, you are also expected to collaborate effectively with leaders across all cell therapy areas to advance pipeline projects.
This position will work closely with the CMC/Clinical team to design and implement Acepodia’s research strategy. Importantly, he/she will be a member of cross functional teams with a mission to build and support preclinical cell therapy discovery and development programs all the way from concept through to IND submission in alignment with Acepodia’s strategy and goal.
Education / Background
Ph.D. or M.D. equivalent degree in a relevant life science discipline with extensive experience and deep knowledge of immune cell therapy and related diseases.
More than 7 years of cellular and/or immune-oncology research experience in a biotech/pharmaceutical or academic setting, drug discovery experience preferred. 5 years or above experience in research team management.
Convert a though understanding of immune cell biology to cell therapy product concepts for treating hematological and solid cancers.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to
- Lead a talented group of scientific and technical professionals dedicated to target validation, development candidate selection, and related activities in immune cell therapy discovery.
- Provide strong strategic and scientific leadership in the design, execution, analysis, and interpretation of a broad range of in vitro, in vivo experiments for cell therapy discovery and to elucidate mechanism of action.
- Leverage a deep understanding of cellular immunology to drive functional characterization of immune cell therapy products through critical program validation process toward a goal of 1 IND per year (at minimum).
- Contribute across all stages of research and development, from target identification through development stages and filings, to translational studies and correlative analysis on clinical samples to inform next-generation clinical opportunities.
- Create improved understanding of our products through correlative study planning, data analytics, and hypothesis testing to best inform clinical development, mechanisms of response/relapse/resistance, and novel product strategies.
- Contribute with a strong voice to help define and drive the strategic direction of research within the company’s oncology business unit.
- Establish and leverage robust cross-functional relationships with key stakeholders across and beyond research in support of program goals.
- Work closely with CMC and clinical development groups and other functional areas to drive cell therapy development efficiently and effectively.
- Effectively identify, develop, and manage external collaborators (e.g. academic, industrial partners, and CROs).
- Critically analyze and interpret data, and effectively document and communicate results to diverse audiences and stakeholders, internally and externally.
- Work closely with leaders across the company to plan and execute the R&D strategy, evaluate new target opportunities, and initiate additional pipeline programs.
- Manage a portfolio of targets, oversee strategic execution of cell therapy preclinical development activities to enable robust, timely and compliant with regulatory requirements, and with clear development paths.
- Support evaluation of in-/out-licensing opportunities.
- Provide support to Acepodia’s intellectual property strategy and patent portfolio.
- Lead, manage, develop, and retain a high-performance team focused on developing new class of cell therapies.
- Foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, discovery, and cutting-edge research culture focused on scientific excellence, open communication, and continual improvement.
- Provide career development opportunities and mentoring to the team.
Position Requirements, Relevant Skills & Experience:
- 7+ years' experience and expertise in research team leadership and employee development, with minimum of 5 years serving as the head of an R&D function.
- Able to lead from the bench. Well versed in a wide array of laboratory techniques and experienced in their use. Strong publication record from graduate and post-doctoral work is expected.
- Significant scientific accomplishment as evidenced by developed products or core contribution to publications
- Strong scientific track record demonstrating well-organized design and execution of immuno-oncology studies
- Broad theoretical and practical knowledge of immune cell biology and cancer biology
- An excellent track record of communicating scientific concepts and strategies effectively including publications by multiple peer reviewed publications and co-inventorship on patents.
- Experience in managing and motivating functional or cross-functional research groups.
- Excellent organizational skills, multi-tasking abilities, problem-solving skills.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills to work productively with multiple parties at all different levels.
- An ability to be productive and successful in an intense work environment.
- Experience leading new drug/cell therapy discovery project teams from target validation to late-stage clinical studies.
- Extensive knowledge in all disciplines relevant to cell therapy or drug discovery.
- Working knowledge of and participation in CMC-related activities.
- Understanding of the current competitive and regulatory landscape for cell therapies and cancer diseases.
- Experience in managing a portfolio of research and development projects across multiple areas.
- Strong leadership, interpersonal and oral and written communication skills with an enthusiasm for participating in a fast-paced environment characterized by rigorous science and innovative thinking.
- Familiarity with engaging and managing external efforts with contract research organizations and academic collaborators.
- Comfortable in a results-driven, highly accountable environment where you can make a clear impact.
- Experience and demonstrated success in recruiting, building, managing, and developing a team of high-performing, multi-disciplinary scientists across multiple levels.
- Fluent communication in English.[LS1]
- Familiar with Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Docs and Sheets
- Enable to use cloud storage and co-editing document online.
Acepodia is an equal opportunity employer offering a competitive salary and comprehensive package, including stock options, medical care, paid vacation, and holiday time. Title and salary commensurate with experience.