Director or Senior Director, Respiratory Science, R&D - Gaithersburg, MD | Biospace
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Director or Senior Director, Respiratory Science, R&D

MedImmune, LLC

Gaithersburg, MD
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Areas of Expertise Desired:

Job Description

Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States
Job reference: R-011803
Posted date: Aug. 10, 2017

If you’re inspired by the possibilities of science to change lives and you thrive when making brave decisions – join us.

MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives every day. As one of the world’s premier biotechnology companies, our mission is centered on delivering life-changing products that advance world health, and help fight and cure disease.  As a Director or Senior Director, Respiratory Science R&D, you’ll play a pivotal role in channeling our scientific capabilities to make a positive impact on changing patients’ lives.

We’re constantly pushing the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines to patients, with a passion for discovery and a pipeline to show for it. We’re pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas including oncology, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and infection and vaccines. And we’re industry-leading in immunology, protein engineering and translational science. We offer a unique and strong collaborative network as part of the AstraZeneca family, as together we explore synergies between small and large molecules.

MedImmune has a dynamic environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. We attract top minds, and we nurture and build top talent.

The role:

We are seeking a candidate with an M.D, Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., or equivalent with broad understanding of immunology and related areas of science, and a passion for innovative scientific research leading to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics in respiratory diseases with a particular emphasis on translational approaches to biologics development leading to clinical proof of concept and benefit to patients.  A strong scientific background, including high impact publications documenting original discoveries, is required.

The successful candidate must have a firm understanding of the mechanistic basis of human disease and will play a key role in designing and ensuring successful execution of studies to translate preclinical insights into early clinical development of novel biologics.

The candidate will lead a team of scientists with the primary goal to discover pathological pathways of COPD, Asthma, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and related diseases for the discovery of new treatments. The candidate will be responsible in defining and implementing the research strategy for achieving that goal, as well as providing scientific leadership and direction for junior scientists. The candidate will inspire, develop, and critically evaluate research that results in novel discoveries and new therapies, while at the same time assuring close alignment with Translational Sciences, Antibody Development and Protein Engineering, the RIA Innovative Medicine function (iMED), clinical teams, and other stake holders.  The ability to generate and lead numerous parallel discovery projects, while focusing on promising avenues for novel insights into human disease and the opportunities for novel biologic therapies, is essential.

Strong leadership skills are required.  A good understanding of the drug development process, from lead identification through clinical trials, are necessary. Previous industry experience with a record of effective project leadership is a plus.  The successful candidate should be able to work productively in a matrix team environment. Excellent written, oral, presentation and interpersonal skills are important.

Specific duties and major responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a senior leader of RIA Research to ensure high scientific quality and consistent delivery of clinical candidates from the department.  Lead and contribute to the success of the department’s goals for high impact publications.
  • Motivate and inspire a group of talented scientists, as well as the entire department of approximately 80 scientists.
  • Accountability for exciting and productive research from the discovery of novel human disease relevant insights, internally and in collaboration with leading external scientists, to the delivery of attractive novel medicines into clinical development to demonstrate proof of mechanism and benefit to patients.
  • Help develop appropriate in vitro and in vivo models to establish a relationship between dose, schedule, PK, and pharmacodynamics (e.g., mechanism of action, potential biomarkers).
  • Work closely with Translational Sciences to include biomarkers and patient subset/molecular phenotype approaches.
  • Work effectively with Antibody Development and Protein Engineering (ADPE) to discover and rapidly progress candidate molecules into IND-enabling studies.
  • Work closely with the RIA iMED and clinical development to progress and support clinical molecules.
  • Represent RIA Research externally and in cross-functional, MedImmune-, and AstraZeneca-wide initiatives.
  • The position will be based in Gaithersburg, MD, US.
  • The candidate must be a high output leader. Commits to goals and delivers results.

Special Skills/Abilities:

  • Strong and inspirational leadership skills and the ability to work and lead in a matrix team environment.
  • Firm understanding of the mechanistic basis of human diseases in the respiratory space to drive target evaluation, biomarker selection and personalized health care strategies, with a broad knowledge in immunity and related disciplines (e.g. cell biology, microbiome, host defense, regenerative disease, hematopoiesis) as well as the principles of clinical development of biologic therapeutics.
  • Hands-on experience in basic research with a track record of novel discoveries and high impact publications, as well as an understanding of translational and clinical research.  Proficient in problem solving and the design of research strategy.
  • The ideal candidate must have great organizational skill and be a great communicator with all functions and levels within MedImmune. He/she must be highly effective in interacting with key external organizations and partners.
  • Must possess outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to cogently deliver scientific information and proposals to a variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to attract, develop, and retain top-quality scientific talent.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • Some familiarity with medicine, clinical protocols, regulatory processes, industry, the competitive landscape, etc.



  • M.D., Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or equivalent
  • A minimum of 12 or more years of experience in research with a significant leadership position in academia, industry, or a combination of these.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.