Associate Director/Director, Immune Tolerance

Watertown, Massachusetts
Commensurate with experience
July 19 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type


At SQZ Biotechnologies we believe that our cell therapies will revolutionize the way we treat diseases. Our unique capabilities enable us to engineer almost any function into any cell type, breaking down the barriers in the field, and creating the possibility for cell therapies that could not have been previously envisioned. 

Our Values:

  • Patients are the Purpose: We strive to transform patient quality of life so they can focus on living.
  • Squeeze Together: We are one team with one goal. Only through the sum of our strengths can we achieve our shared purpose.
  • Own the Outcome: We are what we do. Integrity and accountability are fundamental.
  • Challenge the Now: We fearlessly drive innovation by questioning what is possible, fostering creativity, and executing on our ideas. 

The Role:

SQZ Biotechnologies is seeking an Associate Director/Director with a strong background in immunology to lead our Tolerance team. The successful candidate will have a passion for driving high-impact projects developing novel immune-therapies for autoimmune disease and other indications with unwanted immune responses.  The scientist will be responsible for leading a team within Research and Development to evaluate and develop SQZ-engineered immune cell products in immune-based applications. Specifically, this candidate will drive the tolerance-based non-clinical and early translational strategy and guide her/his team to design and execute complex in vivo and ex vivo tolerance based studies with SQZ-engineered immune cells and test rational combinations of immune-based therapeutics with the goal of advancing the project into clinical development. The qualified individual will have a strong background in immunology, relevant disease models, and deep understanding of immune-based drug development. The individual in this role will work as part of an Immunology, Research and Development cross-functional team that is responsible for generating cell-based products for the company’s pipeline.  


This will be a visible role within the company and externally.  Reporting into the Vice President of Immunology, the individual will be an integral member of the company’s dynamic Research and Development team.  



  • Work in cross-functional teams and serve as the project champion for non-clinical and early development interface to colleagues in the Exploratory, Process Development, Analytical Development and Quality Control, Business Development, Clinical Development, Clinical Operations, and Regulatory.
  • Develop team and guide scientists and associate scientists to design, plan, and execute complex in vivo and ex vivo assays to evaluate tolerance and mechanism in relevant disease mouse models. 
  • Develop novel murine autoimmune models and human based systems to investigate SQZ immunotherapies with the goal of advancing projects into clinical development.
  • Establish human cell-based assays to test complex immune modulation mechanisms that support product clinical development.
  • Manage/lead therapeutically focused external collaborations
  • Design flow cytometry (FACS) panels and perform analysis on murine cells, tumors, and tissues
  • Mentor scientists and research associates 
  • Ensure the team is properly documenting work in notebooks and technical reports
  • Manage and support external collaborations as a subject matter expert in immunology
  • Represent the company externally and successfully develop and nurture key partnerships and collaborations with the broad external scientific community
  • Prepare presentations for internal and external meetings 
  • Participate in an interactive, team-oriented culture, interfacing primarily with a variety of project teams. 
  • Be flexible with a can-do attitude to get the job done


Skills Required:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to contribute effectively in a cross-functional role
  • Ability to analyze complex issues to develop relevant and realistic plans, programs, timelines and recommendations
  • Strong problem-solving abilities with attention to timelines, detail and quality
  • Evidence of post-doctoral research or equivalent essential (academic or industry)
  • Capable of highly independent work as well as demonstrated ability to effectively lead a team consisting of a diverse group of science and engineering professionals
  • Demonstrate fundamental management skills to create a highly functioning team environment
  • In depth understanding of in vitro and in vivo methods/models applied to validate and de-risk drug development candidates
  • Work well and thrive within a fast-paced, dynamic, and team-oriented start-up environment
  • Possess excellent organizational, interpersonal and problem solving skills and able to command respect for and from peers and subordinates alike
  • Highly motivated and results-oriented individual with flexibility and creativity to excel in and contribute to multiple projects simultaneously


Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in immunology, cancer biology or related discipline is required
  • Minimum of 6 years post-doctoral experience with at least 3 years of industry experience required
  • Ability to independently design and perform in vivo efficacy studies in models relevant to testing immune function 
  • Strong background in ex vivo primary cell culture and engineering is recommended
  • Background and interest in relevant science and technology, as well as relevant bio/pharmaceutical industry experience, are preferred
  • Skilled in ex vivo and in vitro assays involving complex immune cell culture systems, flow cytometry, ELISA, ELISPOT, PCR, and intracellular cytokine staining and the like.

SQZ Biotechnologies is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and to provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex or gender identity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, SQZ complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. 


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