Director I, Tumor Dependency, Oncology Discovery

South San Francisco, California
Oct 08, 2021
Science/R&D, Oncology
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
About AbbVie
AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

The Director I or Senior Principal Research Scientist will lead a research team at the forefront of cancer biology.  The successful candidate will be responsible guiding the science and developing a deep understanding of tumor biology by multiple technology platforms and ‘-omic’ databases that can be translated into novel breakthrough therapies.

This leader will oversee one of four teams in the Tumor Dependency department in the Bay Area.  In depth knowledge of cancer signaling pathways (e.g., RAS/MAPK; PI3K/AKT/mTOR; Apoptosis; Cell Cycle) would be beneficial.  The incumbent will be required to lead, communicate, manage (directly and indirectly) in a matrixed global organization across a diverse set of colleagues

The ideal candidate should have a passion for treating Cancer with a track-record of progressing concepts from Discovery to pre-IND/IND stages.  As a skilled leader, this individual should be an efficient manager, an effective team builder and a productive collaborator who will provide strong organizational and scientific leadership consistent with AbbVie’s culture of innovation and teamwork. The exact position will be commensurate of experience.


  • Foster a development-oriented culture and champion the growth of a talented team of cancer biologists.  This includes supporting a science-driven, goal-oriented culture that values innovation, teamwork, transparency, accountability, empowerment, and agility
  • Lead an internal team of scientists (5-7) in identifying, validating, and prosecuting novel targets originating from a deep knowledge of cancer biology and/or a multitude of bioinformatics and functional genomics approaches
  • In partnership with the department head, refine and implement the research strategy with a focus towards targets that exhibit novel tumor dependencies in prioritized indications
  • Keep up to date with the latest scientific advancements (e.g. emerging biology, new technologies, and competitive landscape) and stay well informed about current trends in Cancer Research
  • Provide day-to-day scientific and organizational leadership for the research team by serving as a mentor and role model with the goal of developing a high-performing team
  • Identify, engage, and ensure the success of research collaborations across AbbVie’s global network and the external scientific community.



  • MD or PhD in Life Sciences or equivalent with a minimum of 10 years of relevant industrial/academic experience in oncology positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Proven track record of scientific innovation and accomplishment in the field as evidenced by publication record, patents, and conference presentations.
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing novel research programs in drug discovery from target identification through preclinical development

Key Leadership Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners to enable higher performance.
  • Learns fast, grasps organizational priorities, and can change course quickly where indicated.
  • Experience in leading, mentoring and developing a diverse and talented research team.  Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo.
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation for improvement.
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages innovation to reality.
  • Self-starter with strong scientific curiosity and rigor, excellent interpersonal and analytic skills, high ethical standards and outstanding written and verbal communication skills.  Demonstrated ability to work within a team environment.

Significant Work Activities
Yes, 10 % of the Time
Job Type
Job Level Code
Equal Employment Opportunity
At AbbVie, we value bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop new and innovative solutions for patients. As an equal opportunity employer we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.