Associate Director, Colton Center for Autoimmunity
1) Background: The Judith & Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity is a multidisciplinary research center at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine at NYU Langone Health dedicated to identifying new treatments and diagnostics for autoimmune disease. Considerable strengths are present in both basic and clinical sciences, and many large and well-characterized patient cohorts are available for study. This provides the ideal substrate for a multidisciplinary translational research center focused on autoimmune disease. The Center was established by the generous gift of Judith and Stewart Colton in 2013. The Colton Center is unique as an academic research institute that collaborates closely with internal academic investigators and external collaborators, from the academic and biopharma sectors, to maximize the translational potential of the research studies it supports. Many exciting discoveries have been made in the first phase of the Center, and a major emphasis in the next phase of the Center is to move some of these pre-clinical discoveries toward clinical application in autoimmune disease. The Associate Director position is being created to assist with this next phase of the Center, as the portfolio continues to expand and projects move along the clinical development pipeline.
The Colton Center uses a Pilot Grant funding mechanism to enable early stage technologies and concepts to advance from research to the development stage.The projects in the portfolio currently represent all different stages of development, from early discovery work to some which have entered more serious clinical development in conjunction with the NYU Office of Therapeutic Alliances (OTA).The goals of the Center are to stimulate cross-disciplinary research and to generate novel technologies for treatment of autoimmune diseases. After initial Pilot Grant funding, the Colton Center then collaborates with OTA to develop robust preclinical packages and strong intellectual property positions for these technologies, thus helping ensure successful technology transfer in the future. The Associate Director is responsible for providing robust oversight, logistic support and program/alliance/project management for scientific activities relating to translational projects overseen by the Colton Center, as well as those being co-developed with NYU’s Therapeutics Alliances, NYU’s drug discovery accelerator.
2) Position description: The Associate Director will report to Timothy Niewold, MD, the Colton Center Director. Primary responsibilities of the Associate Director are in areas of program management, ensuring progress of funded projects toward their defined preclinical and/or clinical goals. Specifics duties will include:
- Providing oversight on timelines, resources, and alignment with research and development goals and objectives
- Helping to define go/no-go” decision points for funded projects
- Providing input to the prioritization process of each project and assisting the investigators with other key strategic decision-making processes to ensure that all projects are performing to meet agreed upon milestones and strategic objectives in conjunction with Colton Center and Therapeutics Alliances leadership
- Ensuring that feedback and recommendations from the External Advisory Committee (EAC) is incorporated into project plans. Regular communication with the EAC and the Coltons regarding the progress of projects, including a written quarterly update.
- Work closely with NYU Therapeutics Alliances staff, consultants and vendors program on (a) projects being co-supported or co-led by Therapeutics Alliances and Colton Center, including those being advanced internally at NYU Langone labs or externally within Therapeutics Alliances’ CRO network and (b) development of proposals for support by Colton Center and Therapeutics Alliances
This will involve frequent liaison between the academic investigators, Therapeutic Alliances staff, and Colton Center leadership.The position requires experience and proven success in leading and managing preclinical drug development projects. Other duties will include coordination of meetings and other Center activities, development of proposals, and communication with other internal and external stakeholders of the Center.
3) Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate will be a PhD with experience in drug development and project management in the pharmaceutical industry. The candidate must be a highly skilled communicator in both individual and group settings, and she/he must be able to function productively in the cross-disciplinary environment. These communication and interpersonal skills will be required to bridge the multiple stakeholders and achieve consensus with respect to project performance, timelines, and resource utilization. The preferred professional background will include a mix of corporate and academic experience, particularly experience in drug development in which therapeutics have been moved out of basic research into preclinical development.
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