Vice President, Discovery Biology

South San Francisco, California
May 01, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Star Therapeutics is an early-stage private biotechnology company focused on transforming the lives of patients with serious and life-threatening rare diseases. We seek an experienced R&D leader to build a research team and create a pipeline of innovative therapies spanning multiple therapeutic areas.


The Vice President, Discovery Biology will be integral to setting the strategic direction for drug discovery and development at the company. The candidate will work in close collaboration with the CEO to build out the R&D organization. The candidate must have extensive senior leadership experience in discovery, development, and translational research in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry, ideally across different therapeutics modalities. The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of human biology required to: prioritize diseases of high unmet need, select targets for new drug discovery programs, and advance internal programs while engaging with external partners in parallel. A demonstrated track record of leading research groups that have moved molecules from inception to proof-of-concept clinical trials is required.


  • Select new targets and assays for drug discovery programs
  • Select among diverse therapeutic modalities (small molecules, biologics, gene therapy/editing, etc.)
  • Advance programs forward from inception into IND-enabling studies
  • Attract, retain, and develop a top talent discovery and development team, building a culture of innovation and rigor
  • Ensure performance standards are maintained and that experiments are performed to a consistently high standard
  • Responsible for data review, analysis, and interpretation from a variety of sources to enable program go/no-go decisions
  • Demonstrate strong people management skills, leading by example and working with research teams to manage multiple projects
  • Actively seek and lead research collaborations with external partners
  • Represent the company both internally and externally, with both the scientific and business communities


  • At least 10 years of relevant experience at biotechnology/pharmaceutical company, with experience leading a biology or drug discovery group
  • Prior experience working at one or more smaller, fast-paced biotech companies
  • Ph.D. in cell biology, immunology, biochemistry or related discipline
  • Deep scientific knowledge and technical skills, with demonstrated contributions that have led to the development of clinical candidates
  • Previous experience managing direct reports with a proven track record of developing R&D leaders
  • Ability to manage complexity and ambiguity in a fast-paced work environment
  • Experience working with external vendors and collaborators, with strong interpersonal capabilities
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and lead cross-functional teams
  • Excellent verbal and written communication (both technical writing and PowerPoint)
  • Experience in strategic planning, project leadership, laboratory management, and budgeting