Research Site Head, Cell Engineering (Vice President)

Kite Pharma
Emeryville, CA, United States
Sep 11, 2019
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Kite, a Gilead Company, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient's own immune system to selectively target and kill cancer cells. Our core technology involves the genetic engineering of T cells, or white blood cells, to express either chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or T cell receptors (TCRs) for the treatment of advanced solid and hematological malignancies. We are on a rapid growth trajectory and have a highly energized and accomplished team.


This leader will be responsible for defining, growing and managing the Kite Emeryville site. This will include defining and executing the strategy of cell therapy research including representing the Emeryville site as a member of the overarching Cell Therapy Research Leadership Team.

The person will be responsible for prioritizing the allocation of resources and overseeing the continued excellence of the scientific infrastructure required to support this research organization. Additionally, this role will play a critical role in key corporate initiatives including strategic partnering and business development activities as they relate to this therapeutic area.

The person considering this opportunity should have the following areas of expertise:
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Adoptive cellular therapies
  • Cellular immunology
  • Cell engineering (viral and non-viral vectors)
  • Translational medicine development

This individual must be a builder, who has the capability of leading at high levels, participating at the executive level, yet still retaining the scientific expertise to be a subject matter expertise in cell engineering to provide support at the scientific strategy and execution levels on the occasions this is needed.

The following are important components of this role - to either provide directly or ensure provided by the management and leadership organization to be built:
  • Provide strategic and technical, molecular immunology/ T cell biology and molecular biology leadership and definition
  • Lead / contribute to the establishment of methods to characterize and understand the impact of cell engineering steps on the genome, biology and function of CART cell products
  • Build an environment and culture focused on product safety and efficacy
  • Lead / contribute to the establishment of methods to characterize and understand the impact of donor-to-donor variability on engineered CART product genotype and phenotype with regard to safety
  • Lead / contribute to the establishment of programs to identify relevant biomarkers for desired CART potency and safety characteristics and to demonstrate product consistency
  • Lead / contribute to relevant and impactful innovation programs internally and external collaborations to enhance CART characterization technologies and work-processes, aligned with emerging business drivers and Regulatory expectations
  • Demonstrate strong leadership, personal accountability and interpersonal skills, and capability for mentoring (direct reports and others)
  • Present data / strategy to scientists and management in internal and external venues (technical meetings, Project Team meetings, conferences) and publish in peer-reviewed journals, as appropriate
  • Maintain familiarity with the relevant current literature and its application to CART characterization and understanding

  • PhD degree in Immunology / Molecular Biology with 10+ years of post-graduate experience in relevant roles in academia/ industry, in the development of methods/ tools for investigation and characterization of T cell genotype, phenotype and function
  • 8+ years managing, leading, building teams and organizations successfully to the fruition of the goals and objectives set forth for the company, the people in the company, and the patient


Kite is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies with a goal of providing rapid, long-term durable response and eliminating the burden of chronic care. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) engineered cell therapies designed to empower the immune system's ability to recognize and kill tumors. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite, please visit Sign up to follow @KitePharma on Twitter at

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