Head of Translational Research and Disease Characterization Strategy Senior Director

Collegeville, Pennsylvania; Waltham, Massachusetts
November 18 2020
Organization Type
Would you like to be part of setting the strategy for GSK's selected academic institutions, with the goal of helping cancer patients do more, feel better, and live longer? As a Head of Translational Research and Disease Characterization Strategy you will form strong scientific collaborations with these key institutions and global leaders in oncology to further develop cutting edge technology that delivers transformative therapies for these cancer patients.


GSK Oncology R&D is focused on building industry-leading portfolios in four cutting-edge areas of science:

•Immuno-Oncology : using the human immune system to treat cancer

• Cell/Gene Therapy : engineering human T-cells to target cancer

•Cancer Epigenetics : modulating the gene-regulatory system of the epigenome to exert anti-cancer effects

• Synthetic Lethality : targeting two mechanisms at the same time which together, but not alone, have substantial effects against cancer

The mission and vision of the Academic Innovation and Strategy group is to deliver transformational therapies to cancer patient through scientific collaboration and cutting-edge technology. This will be a partnership with global leaders in oncology to engage in basic, clinical and translational research in close collaboration with the medical affairs department of GSK.

  • Oversee and provide guidance to the team who are leading efforts to generate data as part of the Pan-Oncology protocol and other opportunities (i.e. via collaboration across the EMU, Clinical and Medical Affairs or with external consortia)
  • Proactively contribute to the development of Disease Area Strategies for Oncology in collaboration with clinical, commercial and medical by ensuring EMU perspective is incorporated
  • Will be accountable for multiple projects (internal and external) in the EMU function, and consistently demonstrate the ability to integrate functional expertise with business knowledge to propose solutions in complex cross- functional teams. Leverages knowledge of development process to create innovative strategies for future success of patient enrollment and clinical trial design(s).
  • Responsible for developing, implementing and aligning the overall strategic plan in academic institutions with Oncology R&D Strategic plan. The role will oversee and develop appropriate translational medical strategies in the affiliated academic medical institutions. Accomplishing these objectives will require a comprehensive strategic plan that takes into account institutional capabilities and GSK Oncology business objectives.
  • The primary point of contact with senior stakeholders within designated institutions. Develops deep understanding of customer needs and identifies mutually beneficial solutions for both GSK Oncology and academic medical institutions through creation and execution of strategic business plans aligned with GSK Oncology R&D Strategy.
  • Focused on establishing GSK as a preferred collaborator with affiliated Institutions for mutually suitable initiatives by mining the academic community to identify and develop opportunities for what may be of interest to GSK in sync with the R&D and medical plan (as per Medical Affairs).
  • Instrumental in building the Translational Academic Innovation and Strategy group for OCT as well to collaborate with GSK Medical through the MSLs in support of the establishment and maintenance of a patient-centric framework.

Major Activities

  • Develop overall portfolio strategy following proof of concept, and implement and expand the approach to academic innovation and strategy within additional academic centers and geographical regions
  • Works cross-functionally within the EMU and with Clinical and Medical to progress the overall institutional strategy, including supporting efficient execution of GSK-sponsored or supported trials and ensuring that the translational and biomarker strategy is aligned to the EMU and Oncology
  • Responsible for setting the overall goals & strategy for the collaboration with the institution(s) and communicating to direct reports, GSK Oncology R&D management and key stakeholders (e.g. Medical, VEO etc)
  • Liaise with the institution's cell therapy leads on a regular basis to build and sustain long-term collaborations, based on deep understanding of the Institution's organization, structure, business strategy and priorities. Oversee the provision of approved GSK-sponsored information to the designated institutions including the translational strategy
  • Strategy alignment with GSK internal functions, including Oncology Global Development, Research units as well as GSK Medical and Commercial colleagues. Interact with senior leadership to execute non-commercial strategies and projects consistent with shared or similar goals of the institution and GSK aligned with the Oncology R&D strategy.
  • Conducts needs assessment across Academic medical institution. Create innovative translational research plans for patients through scientific collaboration to establish GSK as the premier institutional partner

Why You?

Basic Qualifications:
  • MD, PhD/MD with qualifications in Oncology/related medical specialty or PhD in life science
  • Minimum of 5 years of oncology experience with least 3 years drug development experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Experience interfacing with executive management at key academic/research institutions
  • Strong medical background with ability to discuss molecularly targeted treatments and immuno-oncology therapeutic approaches with highly recognized academic experts leading institutions as administrators and/or division heads.
  • Must have the versatility and knowledge to effectively communicate critical oncology medical, scientific and business information and to positively influence internal & external stakeholders
  • Qualified candidate must have a demonstrated record of success in Academic Institutional setting
  • Previous experience success in building, managing and leading teams
  • Candidate must be self-motivated, possess a high degree of technical expertise
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking, ability to balance short and long-term goals.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills required - with demonstrated ability to communicate with senior leadership.
  • Personal integrity, teamwork abilities, collaboration skills and a customer focus are necessary.
  • Must be able to organize and prioritize.

For more information on careers in Oncology at GSK, please visit:


Why GSK?

Our values and expectationsare at the heart of everything we do and form an important part of our culture.

These include Patient focus, Transparency, Respect, Integrity along with Courage, Accountability, Development, and Teamwork. As GSK focuses on our values and expectations and a culture of innovation, performance, and trust, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:
  • Agile and distributed decision-making - using evidence and applying judgement to balance pace, rigor and risk, governance and control, managing ambiguity and paradox.
  • Managing individual performance.
  • Creating a performance culture and driving results, prioritization, execution, delivering performance.
  • Setting strategic direction and leading on-going organizational transformation.
  • Building a resilient organization. Building strong relationships and collaboration in service of common goals, engaging the organization and building trusted external networks for mutual benefit.
  • Managing P&L and capital allocation.

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