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Head of Gene Editing

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Closing date
Dec 9, 2021

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Other, Other
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Full Time
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Pfizer is leveraging on its incredible success in delivering the first mRNA vaccine and three gene therapy phase 3 clinical assets to develop revolutionary gene editing therapies in rare diseases. Pfizer's Rare Disease Research Unit (RDRU) is focused on delivering therapies that fundamentally transform what it means to live with a rare disease, including rare neurology/neuromuscular, cardiology, hematology, metabolic, and renal diseases. As a senior member of the RDRU, the Head of gene editing will lead a team of laboratory-based scientists, and closely partner within the RDRU, partner lines and external opinion leaders to ideate and develop gene editing clinical candidates. This includes the identification and validation of novel targets for drug discovery and delivery of development candidates using data-driven decisions.

The successful candidate will be a part of a new and rapidly growing collaborative research effort in gene editing, mRNA, and LNP technologies. As such, this role is well suited for a candidate interested in building a team to drive and collaborate on all aspects of gene editing in support of the R&D development process. In addition to managing and leading the team, the successful candidate will collaborate effectively with both external and internal scientific partners representing diverse disciplines such as biologists in the RDRU, Biomolecular Design, Center for Therapeutic Innovation, Pharmaceutical Sciences, bioinformaticians, R&D Drug Safety, and our clinical teams to develop effective gene editing vectors. She/he will have extensive experience with diverse methods for designing and delivering curative gene edits for patients suffering with rare genetic diseases in the above-mentioned areas. Self-motivation, commitment to scientific excellence, strong written and oral communication skills, the openness to partner effectively with internal/external leaders, and the ability to lead, mentor and work as part of a team are essential qualities of the role.

  • Provide strong leadership, management and mentorship to a group of scientists to ideate and deliver novel clinical candidates using the latest gene editing technologies such as CRISPR and base editing and LNP mRNA delivery.
  • This experienced scientific leader will be expected to develop a portfolio of gene editing programs that is recognized as a leader in its field by driving and responding to rapidly breaking science and evolving global healthcare demands.
  • Create an environment that values employee development, innovative thinking, scientific excellence, accountability and urgency.
  • Partner closely within the RDRU and other disciplines of integrated drug discovery and development, especially Medicinal Design, Center for Therapeutic Innovation, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Disposition, Drug Safety, Regulatory, and Early Clinical Development to develop therapeutic strategies and generate translational pre-clinical packages for clinical candidates.
  • Foster a culture of scientific excellence, innovation and building synergies with various partner lines.
  • Responsible for championing and promoting the pipeline of gene editing programs under development with internal and external stakeholders through presentations, research publications and patent filings.
  • Work with Therapeutic Area Heads to advise RDRU leadership on program prioritization and valuation of current programs.
  • Maintain a current awareness of evolving technologies and scientific developments that could be applied to advance programs and contribute to diligence efforts of novel technologies and therapeutic assets.
  • Actively contribute to the external collaborative scientific strategy, e.g., identify and build collaborations and liaise with external scientists.
  • Actively explore opportunities for novel investments through partnerships with the outside biotech community and new scientific initiatives internally.
  • Ensure that all research is conducted with in accordance with relevant regulatory, quality and compliance guidelines.
  • Ensure projects are adequately resourced and prioritized to deliver on objectives.
  • Eliminate barriers and silos that inhibit collaboration across departments and line functions and foster a culture of open collaboration, communication and transparency
  • Inspire, model, and reinforce colleague expectations of urgently creating value at an appropriate return on investment, of applying innovative, rigorous science to discovering new medicines, of individual & collective accountability for value creation, of continuously improving organizational effectiveness.
  • Build a team of colleagues with the quality of scientific leadership and external recognition to generate competitive advantage in attracting the best talent and collaborators.
  • Engender a high level of engagement and professional trust across both direct and indirect lines.
  • Attract and grow highly effective scientists and drug discoverers and nurture a culture which translates breaking biological science into new medicines most effectively and competitively in the biomedical research industry.
  • Effectively, rigorously and accurately review and develop talent. Proactively address development needs and make difficult decisions when appropriate.


Candidate demonstrates a breadth of diverse leadership experiences and capabilities including: the ability to influence and collaborate with peers, develop and coach others, oversee and guide the work of other colleagues to achieve meaningful outcomes and create business impact.

  • Ph.D. in the life sciences with at least 10 years of post-doctoral experience in gene editing, preferably in rare diseases, and with 7+ years experience leading a research laboratory in academic or industry setting.
  • Broad expertise in gene editing and mRNA delivery methodology to different organs.
  • Experience with progressing therapeutics from conception to IND.
  • Proven experience recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent and building strong teams which are highly productive and efficient.
  • Experience developing and leveraging research collaborations with academic institutions, industry partners and research institutions.
  • Significant external scientific influence within the gene editing community and a strong record of publishing primary research in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals of national/international scientific reputation.
  • A compelling and inspiring leader with a sharp scientific mind, who combines broad knowledge and understanding of biological systems with being a world-class leader in his/her field of biomedical research.
  • Demonstrable and strong commitment to innovation. Constantly seeks new technologies, processes, and techniques. Able to integrate diverse disciplines to achieve research objectives
  • Decision making and problem-solving profile which enables marrying emerging science with unmet medical need to identify potential breakthrough medicines and uses this experience to build a sustainable pipeline of drug candidates. Adept at separating important from unimportant information.
  • Demonstrates ability to think strategically and creatively while contributing to multiple projects.
  • Thrives in a highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary team setting, and possesses highly effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrates a breadth of diverse leadership experiences and capabilities including: the ability to influence and collaborate with peers, develop and mentor others and oversee/guide colleagues work to achieve meaningful outcomes that create a positive business impact.
  • Engenders trust, respect and confidence as a leader.

  • Exceptional gene editing subject matter expertise with in-depth knowledge of genome editing biology, including non-CRISPR Cas9 editing approaches
  • In-depth knowledge of assays and experimental design to improve gene editing through optimizing guide RNA, nuclease, delivery, repair pathway, etc
  • In-depth knowledge of on-target efficacy and editing specificity analysis
  • Understanding of early drug development considerations and in particular safety considerations for gene editing


Eligible for Relocation Package

Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus

Pfizer requires all U.S. new hires to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Pfizer will consider requests for Reasonable Accommodations.

Sunshine Act

Pfizer reports payments and other transfers of value to health care providers as required by federal and state transparency laws and implementing regulations. These laws and regulations require Pfizer to provide government agencies with information such as a health care provider's name, address and the type of payments or other value received, generally for public disclosure. Subject to further legal review and statutory or regulatory clarification, which Pfizer intends to pursue, reimbursement of recruiting expenses for licensed physicians may constitute a reportable transfer of value under the federal transparency law commonly known as the Sunshine Act. Therefore, if you are a licensed physician who incurs recruiting expenses as a result of interviewing with Pfizer that we pay or reimburse, your name, address and the amount of payments made currently will be reported to the government. If you have questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact your Talent Acquisition representative.

EEO & Employment Eligibility

Pfizer is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status. Pfizer also complies with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act and IRCA. Pfizer is an E-Verify employer.

Research and Development

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