Head of Biology (Sr. Director / Vice President) at Vertex Pharmaceuticals - San Diego, CA | Biospace
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Head of Biology (Sr. Director / Vice President) at Vertex Pharmaceuticals


San Diego, CA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Areas of Expertise Desired:
Biology, Director, PhD, Vice President, VP,

Job Description

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that aims to discover, develop and commercialize innovative medicines so people with serious diseases can lead better lives. In addition to our clinical development programs focused on cystic fibrosis, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs aimed at other serious and life-threatening diseases.

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development sites and commercial offices in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. For four years in a row, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences. For additional information and the latest updates from the Company, please visit www.vrtx.com.

We seek a leader for the Biology Department at our San Diego research facility. The candidate will be responsible for leading a team of about 40 scientists to develop and execute on biological strategies to support drug discovery programs.  The candidate should have a passion for science and medicine and a demonstrated ability to lead teams that develop disease-relevant assays and models and to support sophisticated pharmacology assessment of drug action, both in vitro and in vivo.

The candidate should have experience leading teams that include molecular and cell biology, pharmacology, biochemistry and biophysics.  The candidate should be fluent with recent developments in gene editing, genetics and human stem cell biology and their application to drug discovery. As much of our work targets ion channels, experience and knowledge of ion channel physiology is desirable.

The successful candidate will join a cross-disciplinary team that coordinates chemistry, biology, engineering, and other pre-clinical research to support our cystic fibrosis research program and advance other research programs to clinical development.

The candidate will also be expected to be experienced with the drug discovery process as evidenced by key contributions to the discovery of new therapies that have advanced to clinical proof of concept or beyond.   The candidate should also be able to mentor project leaders and support cross-functional, cross-site or other collaborative activities necessary to advance new therapeutics to the clinic.


Preferred Qualifications
- PhD (or equivalent degree) in Biology or related discipline
- The Head of Biology will most likely have experience leading a mid-size ( > 15 people) biology or drug discovery group in a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company
- Experience in strategic planning, project leadership, laboratory and budget management
- Demonstrated contributions to R&D efforts that have led to the development of clinical candidates
- Expertise in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology and broad understanding of the physiological principles of health and disease
- Solid grasp of chemistry, mechanisms of drug metabolism and molecular toxicology, drug delivery methods, pharmaco-kinetics and pharmaco-dynamic sciences that support in vivo evaluation of drug candidates
- Proven ability to champion and advance innovative concepts
- Experience developing people and mentoring project leaders
- Effective communication skills, both verbal and written
- Ability to manage complexity and ambiguity in a highly matrixed work environment
- A desire to be part of a highly innovative company aimed at transforming the lives of people with serious diseases, their families and society  

Vertex is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Vertex will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.