Head/ Sr. Director, Rare Diseases

Cambridge, MA
August 24 2019
Life Sciences, Biology
Organization Type
Head/ Sr. Director, Rare Diseases

The Role:

This is an exceptional opportunity to lead a research group within the therapeutic area focused on Rare Diseases. Moderna's mRNA technology has allowed us to have a rich discovery pipeline with 4 candidates in development. Moderna mission is to deliver state of the art science to create transformative medicines for patients affected with rare diseases.

The Head of Research for Rare Diseases at Moderna will lead and manage the preclinical discovery, research. The primary responsibility will be to ensure excellence in the discovery and proof of concept for rare diseases mRNA and delivery technology. This encompasses all aspects of biology, including experimental design, assay development and validation, preparation for clinical development and early clinical development support.

The Rare Diseases team includes 24 scientists but the role will also require close partnership and matrix working with the research platform, the clinical development and medical team as well as the CMC, IP, legal and finance teams. Moderna also has extensive external partnerships with academic, industry, governmental, non-governmental and philanthropic organizations. The position will report to the Therapeutic Area CSO.

The successful candidate will combine a world class expertise in rare metabolic disorders, an excellent record of discovery projects from concept to proof-of-concept with the ability to creatively optimize the innovative potential of the mRNA platform. The candidate will also have a proven track record in R&D team leadership and management, cross functional internal partnerships and working externally with a broad range of partners.

Here's What You'll Do:
  • Develop and evolve programs in rare diseases discovery and research strategy in conjunction with internal and external partners and experts.
  • Lead the implementation of the Rare Diseases discovery and research strategy including new programs, assay development and validation.
  • Lead, manage and develop the Rare Diseases discovery and research team, including, budget, governance, structure, competencies and capacity.
  • Explore, test and implement innovative tools and practices that will optimize the potential of the mRNA platform for rare diseases
  • Work with the broad Moderna research, and CMC teams to ensure the development of product formulations and characteristics best suited to the target indications
  • Work with the Moderna Development team to ensure smooth transition and ongoing support of development candidates from research to development.
  • Contribute to the broader scientific and platform community at Moderna Therapeutics
  • Contribute to the communication of R&D data for Rare Diseases targets through internal and external presentations and publications.
  • Ensure that safe laboratory practices and animal management practices are implemented and respected.
  • You will live our Values. You will be curious in exploring new path for drug discovery, bold in proposing creative experimental designs and ideas. You will work collaboratively with multifunctional teams and will be relentless in pursuing successful outcomes

Here's What You'll Bring to the Table:
  • PhD in genetic, metabolic or molecular biology
  • A minimum of 10 yrs experience in Biotech, Pharma or Applied/Translational research.
  • Expertise and experience in genetic disorders selection, optimization and preclinical development to proof of concept and IND readiness.
  • Working knowledge of relevant laboratory and in-silico techniques, and assays.
  • At least 7 years leadership and management experience, including development and oversight of the financial, IP and legal aspects.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate in a dynamic, cross-functional matrix environment and experience in working with CMC and development functions.
  • Experience in working with and overseeing partnerships with academic, industrial, governmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Outstanding communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment.

Here's What We'll Bring to the Table:
  • Daily on-site catered lunches
  • Company-provided iPhone
  • Free parking, monthly subway pass or a subsidized commuter rail pass
  • Highly competitive healthcare coverage including: medical offered through BCBS (HMO/PPO), dental, and vision offered through VSP
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for medical expenses and dependent care expenses
  • 16 weeks of 100% paid parental leave for all new parents
  • 16 weeks 100% paid family caregiver leave
  • 20 weeks 100% paid medical leave
  • Adoption assistance and discounts to local childcare centers, as well as access to care.com
  • 401k (traditional and Roth offered) with 50% match on first 6% deferred. Match is vested immediately
  • A suite of Moderna paid insurance coverage, including: life insurance, short-term and long-term disability
  • Voluntary legal assistance plan
  • 15 days' vacation and 7 sick days per year, in addition to a discretionary winter shut down and 11 company paid holidays

Why join Moderna Therapeutics

At Moderna, we believe messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the "software of life." Every cell in the body uses mRNA to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins necessary to drive all aspects of biology, including in human health and disease. Given its essential role, we believe mRNA could be used to create a new category of medicines with significant potential to improve the lives of patients.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Moderna currently has strategic alliances for development programs with AstraZeneca, Plc. and Merck, Inc., as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense; and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Moderna has been ranked in the top ten of Science's list of top biopharma industry employers for the past four years. To learn more, visit www.modernatx.com .

Our Mission:
Deliver on the promise of mRNA science to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients.


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 person's 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.

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