Principle Research Scientist - Translational Biology

Location
Houston, Texas
Salary
Competitive
Posted
May 03 2021
Ref
138071
Organization Type
Healthcare/Hospital
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center aims to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world, through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research, and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees, and the public.

MD Anderson Therapeutics Discovery Division
Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies the Therapeutics Discovery Division (TDD), a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery by employing a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers, and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics, and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The TRACTION platform
The Translational Research to AdvanCe Therapeutics and Innovation in ONcology (TRACTION) platform is an industrialized translational research group that aligns world-class drug discovery and development with highly innovative the science and clinical care research, for which MD Anderson Cancer Center is known. Through an investment in patient-centric research, we have developed the infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities to enable transformative research. TRACTION's approach combines innovative cancer genetics, disruptive technologies, deep mechanistic biology, disease modeling, and pharmacology to accelerate the translation of novel discoveries into definitive clinical hypotheses. By partnering with the drug discovery engines within Therapeutics Discovery, we aim to advance a portfolio of small molecules, biologics, and cell therapies for our patients. We work in a fast-paced, milestone-driven environment with a focus on team science and interdisciplinary research. Our unique approach has created a biotech-like engine within the walls of the nation's leading cancer center to bring life-saving medicines to our patients more quickly and effectively.

Position Description
We are seeking an accomplished, energetic, and detail-oriented scientist to join our team as a Principle Research Scientist of Translational Biology. With extensive biology and drug development expertise, the Institute Principal Research Scientist (PRS) will lead cross-functional research teams to identify and validate novel hypotheses that accelerate the development of oncology therapeutics. The ideal candidate will leverage state-of-the-art disease models as well as the wealth of molecular, cellular, translational, and computational biology resources within TRACTION and, more broadly, MD Anderson to develop innovative data-driven translational strategies that advance projects to critical inflection points. Success will be measured by the ability to lead a team within a highly matrixed environment to inform biological and mechanistic data to enable hypothesis-driven testing of oncology therapeutics and/or biomarker strategies in the clinical setting. Overall, the deep biological insights elucidated by the PRS and his/her team will have a rapid and direct impact on patient care.

Key Functions

1. Apply expert knowledge of tumor biology in areas such as immune oncology, oncogenic signaling, metabolism, epigenetics and/or DNA damage to enable progression of innovative drug candidates into the clinic through leadership and collaborative experimental activities.
2. Oversee, lead, and manage multiple cross-functional research drug development and/or translational biology programs to enable corporate partnership(s).
3. Lead collaborations with computational biologists using patient-centric -omic databases to enable translational biology hypothesis generation and design studies for validation in clinically relevant contexts.
4. Oversee others in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experiments supporting the development of compounds entering the clinic or in early clinical studies, including: (i) develop patient stratification strategies, (ii) identify mechanisms of tumorigenesis and drug resistance, and (iii) design and validate drug combination strategies and biomarkers to establish proof of biology.
5. Develop and lead strong collaborative relationships with internal and external groups.
6. Manage activity of direct reports and project teams.
7. Interpret, present, and report research findings at internal meetings and external scientific conferences.
8. Use independent thinking and leadership skills to manage resources and personnel.
9. Work well under pressure and drive projects that impact critical timelines.

Education

Required: PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.

Experience

Required: Five years experience of relevant research experience in lab.

Preferred Candidate will possess the following:

1. MD or PhD with over 7 years of relevant post-degree experience in a pharmaceutical/biotech environment.
2. Evidence of successfully leading multiple translational biology for programs that advanced into the clinic, including biomarker discovery and validation to measure target engagement, biology of response and patient selection.
3. Evidence of utilization of cancer genomics to inform on clinical positioning of development drug candidates.
4. Experience with genetic (ie RNAi and cDNAs) and pharmacological (i.e. small molecule inhibitors or antibodies) approaches to study target biology utilizing biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology methods and assays to drive program biology.
5. Experience utilizing mouse models of cancer to enable target discovery, validation, drug development and/or translational biology.
6. Experience working with chemists, in vitro and in vivo pharmacologists to develop and use assays in support of the development of therapeutics.
7. Extensive knowledge and experience in areas of tumor biology including, but not limited to immune oncology, oncogenic signaling, cancer metabolism, epigenetic deregulation, apoptosis and/or DNA damage and repair as evidenced by publication in peer-reviewed journals.
8. Strong data analysis skills, ability to interpret results, design of follow-up experiments, troubleshoot issues with assay performance, and effectively present results and conclusions to co-workers, collaborators and senior leadership.
9. Evidence of leading multi-functional teams of scientists to deliver on program objectives.
10. Evidence of independent thinking and leadership skills.
11. Evidence of mentoring and managing PhD scientists is a plus.

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law. http://www.mdanderson.org/about-us/legal-and-policy/legal-statements/eeo-affirmative-action.html