Cancer Drug Discovery: Project Leader

Boston, MA
Jan 05, 2022
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Scorpion Therapeutics is a precision oncology company founded in February 2020 by a preeminent group of scientists from Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital – Keith Flaherty, MD, Gaddy Getz, Ph.D. and Liron Bar-Peled, Ph.D. The company has raised $270M in Series A and Series B financings led by blue-chip investors, including Atlas Venture, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, EcoR1 Capital, LLC, Omega Funds, and Vida Venture.

Scorpion Therapeutics’ mission is to serve oncology patients by discovering and developing best-in-class and first-in-class, small molecule cancer medicines that address large patient segments with significant unmet medical needs. To accomplish this mission, we are building a highly collaborative team focused on the pursuit of novel approaches to small molecule drug discovery. This approach relies upon dynamic collaboration between cancer biology, proteomics, data science, structural biology and medicinal chemistry – with the ultimate goal of realizing the full potential of targeted/precision oncology.

All projects at Scorpion Therapeutics are run by project teams and project team leaders are directly accountable for the success of our drug-discovery programs and the value creation they enable. Project team leaders are given significant autonomy and resources to prosecute projects rapidly, efficiently, and at the highest scientific and industry standards. Given their importance to our company and this operating model, project team leaders are directly accountable to and report to senior management.

We are seeking a highly motivated, experienced research project leader with a demonstrated track record of success in leading oncology small molecule projects from discovery into early clinical testing. This person will be accountable for setting project strategy and leading project execution with the goal of advancing clinical candidates with compelling data packages in line with our overall corporate goals.

The successful candidate, along with a chemistry colleague, will lead a multi-disciplinary project team to drive oncology small molecule drug discovery from inception into the clinic. This person will define the path to drug discovery from target validation to candidate selection by leveraging internal and external resources. The candidate must have demonstrated experience in all aspects of identifying, characterizing and advancing high-quality drug candidates into first-in-man clinical trials, including defining biomarker strategy, patient stratification, and proof-of-mechanism endpoints. The candidate will be expected to develop strong, collaborative partnerships within the company, with academic investigators associated with the company, and with CROs.


  • Lead small-molecule drug discovery teams in a matrixed organization.
  • Design and implement project strategies leading to the identification of high-quality development drug candidates.
  • Identify key decision points and manage risk and expectations to meet short and long-term objectives successfully.
  • Coordinate research activities and effectively allocate resources between internal staff and external CROs.
  • Proactively communicate project strategy, critical issues and recommendations to enable appropriate resource decisions.
  • Maintain excellent communication across internal and external team members.


  • Ph.D. degree in biology, pharmacology, biochemistry or related discipline with an emphasis in oncology.
  • 10 years of hands-on small molecule drug discovery experience in the oncology therapeutic area in an industrial setting.
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience in all aspects of advancing small molecule drugs from hit-to-lead through lead optimization to candidate selection and first in human studies.
  • Broad knowledge across multiple disciplines including cancer biology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, medicinal chemistry, ADME and toxicology.
  • Demonstrated leadership of multidisciplinary project teams through all stages of small molecule discovery, with the ability to define strategy and provide leadership.
  • Deep understanding of small molecule drug discovery – instinctive identification of critical success factors, anticipation of issues before they occur and mitigation of risk while driving a program forward.
  • A deep and broad understanding of cancer biology, including preclinical and translational aspects.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, organize and manage productive, cross-functional and cross-site teams.
  • Exceptional scientific rigor coupled with experience in high-level decision making.
  • The desire and ability help lead teams working on challenging scientific problems and first-in-class therapeutics.
  • Commitment to the highest-quality research with outstanding organizational abilities and scientific execution.
  • A highly engaged, self-starter who is creative, innovative, communicative and possesses both a collaborative and goal/results-orientated style.
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment, while employing tact, patience, diplomacy and a collaborative spirit.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.

Scorpion Therapeutics Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer who strives to create and maintain a diverse working environment. We do not discriminate for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status. Beginning October 13, 2021, Scorpion Therapeutics requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are unable to receive the vaccine due to a disability or serious medical condition, or because of your sincerely held religious beliefs, you will have an opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation.