Senior Scientific Director, Infectious Disease Research Unit

Collegeville, PA
January 19 2021
Organization Type
We are seeking a highly motivated Senior Scientific Director who is a recognized leader in infectious diseases with extensive expertise in host pathogen interactions and experience in targeting humantargetsto treat infectious diseases. The successful candidate will join our growing Infectious Diseases Research Unit based at GSK's US R&D Hub at Upper Providence. The ID Research Unit is one of the 4 Research Units in the Research organization at GSK.

As an accomplished researcher in infectious diseases you will have the opportunity to integrate cutting edge genomic, genetic and functional genomic technologies to identify transformational approaches to address the growing threat of infectious diseases through targeting host/human targets. You will assume responsibility for progressing a growing portfolio of projects and have the opportunity to further build the R&D strategy of the unit. You will be responsible for structuring and managing the group along with the recruitment of additional key members. The candidate will be closely linked with our 23andMe and Vir collaborations providing unparalleled platforms to identify and validate novel targets. The Senior Director will sit on the leadership team of the ID Research Unit, which is central to GSK's discovery strategy in infectious diseases, and input into the overall GSK R&D strategy for infectious diseases.

Hear more about the role from David Payne, VP of the Infectious Diseases Research Unit at .

In addition to the basic and preferred qualifications, the qualified candidate is expected to embody the culture of GSK :
  • Patients first: Be driven by a desire to help patients and guided by science
  • Teamwork: One team/ one culture and helping each other, respect each other
  • Accountability: Own the responsibility
  • Robust Decision Making: Conduct programs with pre-planned go/ no-go decision points
  • Development: Support and facilitate your lines; recognize your own development
  • Innovation and Creativity: Center piece of what we are about to embark on
  • Courage: Take risks and not be afraid of failure
  • Open and Transparent communication: Share ideas and share credit

This role will provide YOU the opportunity to lead key activities to progress YOUR career, these responsibilities include the following…
  • Manage a multidisciplinary scientific biology team supporting diverse activities within the ID Research Unit ranging target identification based on genetics, functional genomics, and progression infectious disease projects through preclinical evaluation to Phase 1b.
  • Oversee a portfolio of projects from conception to candidate selection and beyond by defining the critical path, timelines, Go/No Go decision points, and determining resource-requirements.
  • Be part of the leadership team to define and execute the strategy of the Research Unit applying novel approaches and modalities to infectious diseases.
  • Prioritize activities and manage biology resources to ensure robust progress toward, and achievement of ID Research Unit objectives.
  • Contribute to GSK's overall infectious disease R&D strategy
  • Accelerate progress in drug discovery programs through effective utilization of interpersonal skills while working with key stakeholders within (genetics, biology, chemistry, DMPK, safety, clinical) and outside GSK (e.g. CROs, biotech partners, academic investigators).
  • Ensure inflection-point driven research, data quality and data integrity.
  • Identify and highlight transformational opportunities in drug discovery programs to overcome challenges with current approaches.
  • Manage and mentor a group of senior and junior scientists.
  • Support technical and leadership development of staff via mentoring and coaching.
  • Be a creative, independent thinker and idea generator to identify emerging areas of science/drug discovery opportunities and help triage and prioritize opportunities in collaboration with various partners.
  • Identify and highlight transformational opportunities in drug discovery programs to overcome challenges with current approaches.
  • Be an effective communicator at daily work in writing documents and in presentations.
  • Follow SOPs, policies, and provide oversight in internal and external studies to assure compliance and integrity.
  • Work as an inspiring, influential and highly respected leader to promote scientific excellence and advancement.
  • Be a strong ambassador for GSK to influence potential external partners.

Why you?

Basic Qualifications:

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:
  • PhD in an area of infectious disease and recognized as a leading expert in human/host targets to treat infectious disease
  • Experience in drug discovery process, including outlining a progression path with clear decision-making criteria that includes mechanism of action, target engagement, biomarker, and in vitro and in vivo model systems
  • Experience in leading and developing a team of scientists supporting multiple projects and leading in a matrix environment across multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Experience identifying and advancing preclinical targets, performing robust peer review and due diligences, engaging internal and external partners, and presenting to senior management at decision-making meetings

Preferred Qualifications:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:
  • Experience in therapeutic research including target identification, validation, lead optimization, preclinical candidate selection, and translation into first time in human (FTIH) trials for small and/or large molecules
  • Experience in examining models of respiratory pathogens, both viral and bacterial, in human relevant models whether in vitro or in vivo
  • Capable of leading and developing a team of biologists with a breadth of skills
  • Ability to establish and build a high performing team executing innovative science to deliver on the Research Unit's portfolio
  • Experience in decision making around the progression of novel targets and molecules by integrating biology with clinical need and feasibility, competition, commercial opportunity, and return on investment
  • Existing network of academic collaborators and CROs
  • Strong influencing skills and resourcefulness to facilitate collaboration across GSK
  • Strong self-motivation; capable of multi-tasking but with an attention to detail, working on multiple projects in different phases of research, and delivering the objectives on-time and on-budget.
  • Demonstrated team working skills, working across boundaries and sharing resources
  • Ability to mentor in-experienced members of staff to build and foster a culture of innovation, teamwork, performance and trust.
  • Experience in planning and managing budgets and resources
  • Experience in working with academics, biotechs, and CROs
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities

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, rigour and risk.
  • Managing individual and team performance.
  • Committed to delivering high quality results, overcoming challenges, focusing on what matters, execution.
  • Implementing change initiatives and leading change.
  • Sustaining energy and well-being, building resilience in teams.
  • Continuously looking for opportunities to learn, build skills and share learning both internally and externally.
  • Developing people and building a talent pipeline.
  • Translating strategy into action - a compelling narrative, motivating others, setting objectives and delegation.
  • Building strong relationships and collaboration, managing trusted stakeholder relationships internally and externally.
  • Budgeting and forecasting, commercial and financial acumen.


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