Director, Protein Sciences

Novato, California
Sep 12, 2018
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Why Join Us?

To be a hero for our rare disease patients

Ultragenyx is a biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing to patients novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, with a focus on serious, debilitating genetic diseases. Founded in 2010, the company has rapidly built a diverse portfolio of small molecule, monoclonal antibody, mRNA and gene therapy candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no approved therapies. 

Developing new treatments for rare genetic diseases is challenging work. It takes courage, talent, and dedication to look past the easy answers and uncover new solutions that can make a meaningful impact. At Ultragenyx we push each other to perform at our very best, because we never lose sight of our mission – to make a difference in our patients’ lives.

Come join our team during this exciting time of growth and opportunities!

Position Summary

ultradedicated – Your biggest challenges yield rare possibilities

The Director of Protein Science will be responsible for the execution, as 1st objective, of the purification and characterization of biotherapeutics. Hands on, this individual manages a group of scientists and/or research assistants. Frequently solves unprecedented complex scientific problems based on experience and fundamental scientific and engineering knowledge. Has significant discretion in day to day and week to week operation of groups or teams, in alignment with Ultragenyx long term objectives.

This position will lead planning and executing of early protein purification process development and protein characterization within the Translational Sciences organization.  This position will be responsible for leading other scientists and making improvements in protein purification process technology, characterization, assays, equipment, software, and workflow.

From well-defined experiments, this position will interpret data, provide data summary and independently develop solutions through other scientists and a cross functional team. This position will prepare technical reports and protocols and may contribute to the development of new methods and technology.

Responsible for ensuring adherence to and implementation of design and modifications to manufacturing processes that support successful manufacture and transfer of biopharmaceutical compounds/products to ready the organization for clinical supply production as a result this leader will partner closely with the Technical Operations and Analytical Development teams to effectively transition and scale processes and analytical methods . 

Responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Assist the VP of Research in the strategic management of the department projects and technology related activities
  • May lead a group that may include scientists, research associates, and contractors. Provide clear objectives, explain the “why’s”, establish priorities, motivate for high productivity, track progress, and evaluate performance, in order to meet organizational and corporate goals
  • Oversee analytical development for projects in the pre-clinical pipeline, including protein characterization and stability, method development and qualification, and support of technical development teams
  • Contributes to project strategy and planning. Drive the development of scalable processes such as drug substance purification processes and drug product methods
  • Leads project planning and execution including evaluation of equipment and implementation of appropriate modifications and staff training to ensure employee safety
  • Leads production of research grade material for TR projects
  • Leads or supports drug product studies leading to transfer of the process to clinical or commercial manufacturing 
  • Lead comprehensive data analysis of process statistics independently, identify process deviations, prepare technical reports and propose comprehensive process solutions and improvements
  • Collaborative leader able to operate effectively and with a strong sense of urgency in a fast-paced environment
  • Hands-on approach with a strategic and operational focus; capable decision maker in the execution of responsibilities with a high degree of flexibility to adapt to company and industry changes
  • Ensure that projects and initiatives are completed on time 
  • Provide input to department budget and resource allocations, manage resource forecasting, and monitor and control expenditures against the department budget 
  • Interact with technical staff, other managers, and Senior Leadership on important issues 
  • Review, approve, and sign documents for activities as authorized and described by Ultragenyx policies, procedures and job descriptions 
  • Lead scientific innovation efforts to identify, evaluate and implement novel technologies 
  • Interact and collaborate effectively with staff and directors of related functions and stakeholders (Pharm/Tox, QA/QC, Manufacturing/Technical Development, Regulatory, BD, PPM) 
  • Outstanding communicator: direct, effective, clear, concise, well organized and appropriate

Technical Requirements & Skills:

  • Doctoral degree with 12 plus (8+) years’ industry experience and statistical analysis skills
  • Eight (8) to ten (10) years’ experience leading employees, projects and leaders
  • Expertise in protein purification and characterization
  • HPLC and LC/MS experience required
  • Experience with protein modifications to include PEGylation, sequencing modification and tagging / other
  • Technical expertise in protein chemistry and analytical chemistry, and in the development and implementation of general analytical and protein analytical methods. A record of accomplishment in these areas includes presentations at national forums and publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Strong understanding is required of the biopharmaceutical drug development process

Desired Experience, Skills and Abilities:

  • Experience/Expertise in one or several of the following scientific disciplines: chemical/biochemical engineering, biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology
  • Knowledge in the following techniques a plus: NMR, GC-MS, LC-MS, MALDI-MS, amino acid analysis, Edman sequencing, amino acid analysis, Dionex ion chromatography, monosaccharide and sialic acid analysis, N-terminal sequencing, CE, cIEF, SDS-PAGE, CD analysis
  • Strong teamwork and collaborative skills
  • Substantial experience in hiring, training, managing, and developing junior- and senior-level staff, including both direct and indirect reports
  • Demonstrated leadership of highly productive, cross-functional teams

People Management Skills:

  • Clarify Direction & Priorities: Set clear direction for your direct reports aligned with functional and corporate goals. Reprioritize work, as needed. Enable others to do their job well by communicating information and making decisions in a clear, timely manner.
  • Partner & Collaborate Effectively: Listen to and value others’ thoughts and ideas. Demonstrate effective partnership both within and outside your team. Achieve results with and through others.
  • Support Learning & Growth: Demonstrate self-awareness, humility, and curiosity in service of self-development. Provide regular coaching and feedback that will inspire growth and improvement in others. 

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical is an equal opportunity employer & prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin/ancestry, age, disability, marital and veteran status.

Note to External Recruiters: All candidate activity and open positions are managed strictly through our Human Resources Department. Our Human Resources Department kindly requests that recruiters not contact employees/hiring managers directly in an attempt to solicit business and present candidates. Please note that failure to comply with this request will be a factor in determining a professional relationship with our organization. Submission of unsolicited resumes prior to an agreement set in place between the Human Resources Department and the recruiting agency will  not create any implied obligation.  Inquiries on developing a recruiting relationship with us, may be directed