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Scientific Director, Infectious Disease

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (US)
Competitive salary and bonus structure
Closing date
Feb 11, 2022

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Health Sciences, Drug Discovery
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Senior Scientist
Organization Type
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We are seeking a highly motivated Scientific Director to work on new treatments to address the threat of infectious diseases by joining our growing Infectious Diseases Research Unit (IDRU). The IDRU is one of the Research Units within GSK’s R&D organisation and is responsible for the discovery of novel approaches and targets to treat human infectious diseases and progressing them to early clinical development studies. The Research Unit has an impactful portfolio of projects in Hepatitis B, bacterial infections and viral respiratory infections (including COVID-19), as well as collaborations with Vir Biotechnology and 23andMe.

In this leadership role, you will assume immediate responsibility for managing an established biology team as well as for leading drug discovery projects targeting host mechanisms for the treatment of bacterial and viral infections. You will work in a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and scientifically driven environment, interacting with scientists across the Research Unit and the broader R&D organization. Your demonstrated expertise in leading drug discovery programmes, coupled with an understanding of infectious diseases and immunology, will enable you and your team to progress a portfolio of innovative host targets and research projects in this area.

As a leader you will be expected to interact productively and in an enterprise fashion with teams across the Research Unit as well as with other GSK functions like Human Genetics, Discovery Medicine and Medicine Design and our external alliance partners such as Vir. The role will also involve establishing external collaborations and representing the organisation externally. To this end, you will need to be a strong communicator and able to work and drive positive collaborative interactions with your peers and encourage similar behaviors in your team.

This role will provide YOU the opportunity to lead key activities to progress YOUR career. These responsibilities include the following…

  • Managing a team of scientists to identify, validate and progress novel host targets for the treatment and prevention of bacterial and viral infections.
  • Leading drug discovery projects from conception to candidate selection and beyond by defining the critical path and timelines, Go / No Go decision points, determining resource requirements, and representing the programmes to senior leaders.
  • Participating in the evaluation of novel targets and opportunities emerging from collaborations and business development activities.
  • Accountability for the development and mentoring of scientists within the reporting line.
  • Building and fostering relationships across groups in the Research Unit and contributing to the strategic direction of the Research Unit.
  • Engaging the external scientific community through building a network of key opinion leaders, participating in scientific conferences and publishing papers.
  • Developing the company’s intellectual property portfolio through the preparation and filing of patent applications.
  • Ensuring quality and compliance with GSK values and policies.
  • Fostering a culture of scientific rigour and continuous improvement in line with the Innovation Performance and Trust (IPT) strategy at GSK.

Why you?

Basic Qualifications:

We are looking for professionals with these required qualifications to achieve our goals:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline with at least 10+ years of postdoctoral research experience.
  • 7+ years of R&D experience in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry.
  • Track-record of scientific innovation as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations or patents.  
  • Experience of managing and developing a team of scientists, a team of biologists with a breadth in skills (such as bacteriology, virology, immunology, cell culture, and molecular biology).

Preferred Qualifications:

Having the following qualifications would be advantageous:

  • 10+ years of R&D experience in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry.
  • Expertise in identifying, selecting, and validating novel drug targets.
  • Experience of successfully leading multi-disciplinary project teams to deliver innovative lead molecules and candidate medicines.
  • Experience of implementing new scientific approaches, innovative technologies, and experimental techniques.
  • Subject matter expertise in infectious diseases.
  • Experience in making data-driven decisions on the progression of novel targets and molecules by integrating biology with clinical need and feasibility, competition, commercial opportunity, and return on investment.
  • Experience in the discovery and development of non-small-molecule modalities, such as monoclonal antibodies, oligonucleotides, or aptamers.
  • Ability to foster a culture of innovation, teamwork, performance, and trust.
  • Existing network of academic collaborators and CROs.
  • Experience of researching host targets for infectious diseases or the host response to infection.
  • Strong self-motivation, capable of multi-tasking but with attention to detail, working on multiple projects in different phases of research, and delivering on objectives on time and to budget.

Why GSK?

Our values and expectations are 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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