Associate Director, Program Management, Research & Development

San Diego, CA, US
Sep 27, 2019
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time

Ready to join a team committed to developing and commercializing gene therapies for patients and families devastated by rare neurological genetic diseases? AveXis is advancing cutting-edge science, starting with our proprietary gene therapy for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We are in the midst of an incredible journey and are looking for passionate individuals to join us on this important mission.

AveXis, a Novartis company, is dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Our initial product is a proprietary gene therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of pediatric patients with SMA. In addition to developing a treatment for SMA, AveXis also plans to develop other novel treatments for rare neurological diseases, including Rett syndrome and a genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene.

AveXis is seeking an R&D Program Manager (R&D PM) to provide project management expertise and operational support for highly complex global drug development programs. The R&D PM maintains accurate plans, documentation, resource forecasts, and supports the R&D Program Management Organization to ensure smooth day-to-day operations of the program core team, resolve program issues, and facilitate alignment across sub-teams and line functions.


  • Contribute to the cross-functional strategy and program scenario generation to enable efficient program core team discussions.
  • Lead cross-functional and cross-regional teams and deliver results in a matrix environment.
  • Critically analyze complex and/or ambiguous information and determine impact on process and timelines.
  • Identify and manage program development risks and issues.
  • Enable an enterprise view when planning resources and budget.
  • Generate and maintain a high-quality and accurate project plan and forecast in the enterprise planning system.
  • Monitor and track development activities to forecast high quality timelines.
  • Develop and establish program management best practices among program core teams and the R&D Program Management Organization.
  • May lead or participate on ad-hoc cross-functional task forces and sub-teams.


  • Master's degree in Life Sciences (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, etc.); Ph.D. in Life Sciences preferred.
  • 7+ years industry experience in pharmaceutical development with experience in biologics development.
  • 7+ years multi-/cross functional team experience.
  • Previous track record of success in working with large scale and complex international and multidisciplinary drug development teams.
  • Proven track record of managing programs from initial concept to first in human clinical trials and broader drug development process in pharmaceutical industry.
  • Strong project / program management skills (PMP certification or equivalent).
  • Advanced knowledge/experience with project scheduling software (e.g. MS Project).
  • Ability to effectively communicate complex issues both verbally and in writing to a variety of audiences; ability to understand scientific concepts is highly desired.
  • Ability to work independently and focus on multiple issues/deadlines.

The level of this position will be based on the final candidate's qualifications.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

AveXis is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, sexual orientation or veteran status.