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Senior Director, Cancer Vaccine Platform Research

Moderna, Inc.
Cambridge, MA
Start date
Mar 18, 2023

Job Details

The Role:

Moderna is dedicated to maximizing the impact of our current cancer vaccine platform on human health as well as improving on our approach in future generations of Personalized Cancer Vaccines (PCVs) and Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines (TCVs). Are you the right person to lead the Research Team that will help make this happen?

This is a great opportunity to lead and grow a Research team focused on improving the cancer vaccine platform in meaningful ways: further optimization of vaccine format, discovery of additional mRNA-encoded proteins or in vial combinations to co-administer; identification of traditional combinations of mRNAs and other modalities to improve clinical impact in individual patients and enable utility in broader patient populations; help advance delivery technologies for optimal routes of administration, efficacy, stability and ease of use.

We are looking for a talented, innovative, motivated and proven leader with experience in significantly advancing a platform technology for immune mediated therapies for cancer, ideally vaccines. She/he/they will expand and lead the Cancer Vaccine Platform Research Team as well as work closely with our other Cancer Vaccine Research groups (PCV and Off-the shelf target specific Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine (TCV) teams), Immuno-Oncology Research team, Translational Research and cross-functionally with the Platform Delivery, mRNA Science and Immunology Teams with the common goal of helping as many cancer patients as possible. The successful candidate must be an outstanding scientist, exemplary leader and collaborator, effective communicator and thrive in a fast-paced/results-oriented environment managing several workflows in parallel.

Heres What Youll Do:

  • Further build and lead the Cancer Vaccine Platform Research Team

  • Generate and execute on research plans to advance the vaccine platform in ways that will improve both PCV and TCV approaches

  • Working with the Translational Research, PCV and TCV teams to recommend new indications and patient populations in which cancer vaccines will likely exert clinical benefit based on internally and externally generated pre-clinical and clinical data

  • Help define and provide justification for rational cancer vaccine combinations with mRNA-based approaches as well as with standards of care and other emerging therapies, including generating appropriate pre-clinical data

  • Generate data and provide justification for optimized dose, schedule, and treatment sequencing

  • Working with the PCV team, identify and develop new approaches to optimize the generation of our PCVs, from antigen and normal samples collection to profiling of unique muteomes to input into current and future algorithms

  • Identify and lead external collaborations to advance the Cancer Vaccine Platform Research agenda

  • Establish group goals, associated budgets and set timelines for deliverables

  • Present internally and externally to a wide array of audiences (small team meetings to Board meetings and external international conferences)

  • Supervise and mentor scientists, and help direct reports effectively manage their reports

Heres What Youll Bring to the Table:

  • Ph.D. in Cancer Biology, Immunology, Immuno-oncology (IO) or related field relevant to the role with 15+ years of overall experience and >8 years in industry

  • Deep expertise in vaccinology and direct experience with nucleic acid-based vaccine technologies

  • Experience working on cross functional pre-clinical stage program teams

  • Technical expertise for deep analyses of pre-clinical and clinical samples, such as with genomic profiling, bulk and single cell RNA sequencing, multi-parameter flow/CyTOF panels

  • Bioinformatics familiarity to analyze/understand large patient derived datasets either directly or via team members

  • Immuno-Oncology expertise to contribute to Mechanisms of Action and Resistance MOA/MOR evaluations as well as knowledge of emergent and current standards of care translate to new combinations both in vial with vaccines and traditional combinations

  • Leadership and management experience, including oversight of financial, IP and legal aspects

  • Ability to effectively lead and collaborate in a dynamic, cross-functional matrixed environment

  • Experience working with and overseeing partnerships with academic, industrial, governmental, and other non-governmental organization

  • Outstanding communication skills (verbal and written)

  • Ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment with aggressive timelines

  • Respectful and inclusive attitude for your colleagues/team members, in addition to your exemplary collaborative nature, boldness, curiosity and relentlessness

Moderna is pleased to provide you and your family with a comprehensive and innovative suite of benefits, including:

  • Highly competitive and inclusive medical, dental and vision coverage options
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for medical expenses and dependent care expenses
  • Lifestyle Spending Account funds to help you engage in personal enrichment and self-care activities
  • Family care benefits, including subsidized back-up care options and on-demand tutoring
  • Free premium access to fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes
  • Exclusive preferred pricing on Peloton fitness equipment
  • Adoption and family-planning benefits
  • Dedicated care coordination support for our LGBTQ+ community
  • Generous paid time off, including:
    Vacation, sick time and holidays
    Volunteer time to participate within your community
    Discretionary year-end shutdown
    Paid sabbatical after 5 years; every 3 years thereafter
  • Generous Paid Leave offerings, including 18 weeks of 100% paid parental leave for all new parents
  • 401k match and Financial Planning tools
  • Moderna-paid Life, LTD and STD insurance coverages, as well as voluntary benefit options
  • Complimentary concierge service including home services research, travel booking, and entertainment requests
  • Free parking or subsidized commuter passes
  • Location-specific perks and extras!

Candidates should be aware that Moderna currently maintains a policy requiring all US-based employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a booster shot once eligible. Newly hired employees must be vaccinated and boosted prior to their employment start date. Moderna is an equal opportunity employer and will provide a reasonable accommodation to those unable to be vaccinated or receive a booster where it is not an undue hardship to the company to do so as provided under federal, state, and local law.

About Moderna

In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna's capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna's mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past seven years. To learn more, visit

Moderna is a smoke-free, alcohol-free and drug-free work environment.

Moderna is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a persons race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Moderna will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.




Moderna is advancing messenger RNA (mRNA) science to create a new class of transformative medicines for patients. Moderna’s platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, providing the Company the capability to pursue in parallel a robust pipeline of new development candidates. Moderna is developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases and cardiovascular diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.

mRNA is now a turning point in the history of science, medicine, technology, even humankind itself. With this breakthrough discovery, many of the world’s biggest and most challenging medical problems are no longer a question of “how?” but merely a question of “when?”

Come with us as we pursue the uncharted reaches of possibility and make your mark on the future of medicine.


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