Head of Translational Research - San Diego, CA | Biospace
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Head of Translational Research

Tocagen Inc.

San Diego, CA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Salaried, negotiable
Required Education:
Areas of Expertise Desired:

Job Description

Tocagen is a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company focused on developing first-in-class, broadly applicable product candidates designed to activate a patient’s immune system against their own cancer from within.

Every member of our team plays a significant role in our success. Tocagen hires individuals who share our passion for ending cancer mortality and have exceptional talent that will contribute to this goal.


The Head of Translational Research will lead the preclinical research in immunology and animal modeling to meet R&D and company goals. This position will have an active scientific curiosity and an understanding of a wide range of scientific subjects with an emphasis on immunology and cancer biology, and preferably including clinical issues. This position will have: cancer research experience using animal experimentation and modern biological research technology, especially in cellular immunology; excellent writing and presentation skills; success in field of technical expertise; and be a recognized scientific leader. This position will manage Ph.D. level scientists, research associates, and external collaborations/contracts, and provide hands-on laboratory leadership as required. This position will provide strategic scientific and operational advice to senior organization executives, and represent the company in financial and business development settings. This position will have expertise in discovery and building a preclinical data set to support biologics IND filings. Expertise is desired in establishing and running preclinical studies to support and resolve ongoing issues in oncology clinical trials.

Duties and Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

• Provides a center of scientific excellence and knowledge for preclinical research, cancer immuno-biology and vector/drug delivery.
• Provides high level product development capability.
• Provides strategic direction, manages direct reports and collaborates with all company employees to meet personal, departmental and company goals.
• Presents budget estimates and manage budgets to meet department, R&D, and company goals.
• Directs and manages research and development in department in support of regulatory submissions, either in house or with outside contractors.
• Establishes and checks compliance with research and operating procedures and related documentation in areas of responsibility to support regulatory affairs, quality assurance and clinical trials.
• May conduct audits for contractors in cooperation with company quality assurance function.
• Writes reports and documents for regulatory or other submissions, scientific white papers, patents, abstract and manuscripts for publication.
• Makes presentations to internal and external entities, and represents the company in areas of responsibility and expertise including for financial and business development audiences.
• Performs other duties as required.

General Responsibilities:

• Runs Translational Research function and import technological advances to meet goals.
• Provides support for the Executive Vice President, Research and Pharmaceutical Development.
• Provides solutions to Company’s current product development issues.
• Be an advocate for new product development and technology opportunities.
• Interact productively with other Company functional groups, external partners and collaborators.

Reports To: Executive Vice President, Research and Pharmaceutical Development

Position Type: Salaried, negotiable according to experience and fit; package includes company stock options, as well as tax advantaged employee benefit plans.


Desired Knowledge and Abilities:

• Intact active scientific curiosity and extensive expertise in immunology and current scientific technology.
• Understanding of cancer biology, animal experimentation methods and norms and modern biological research technology including statistical analyses.
• Understanding of biological drug development and familiarity with animal models and veterinary practices.
• Previous experience with gene transfer technology is a plus.
• Excellent organizational, interpersonal and managerial skills.
• Excellent scientific/regulatory writing and communication capability and skills.

Education and Experience:

• Ph.D., MD or equivalent experience in immunology; background expertise in virology, cell and cancer biology and/or biochemistry or related scientific discipline.
• Minimum 12 years post-Ph.D. work or equivalent.
• Minimum 8-12 years industrial experience or equivalent.