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Principal Institute Research Scientist - Reverse Translation

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Aug 13, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
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The Principal Institute Research Scientist will be a key team member in the organization leading cross-functional teams to advance projects from target validation through preclinical development to clinical proof-of-concept studies, working closely with the data science team.

The ideal candidate should have deep knowledge of cancer biology, strong translational science skills, and a proven track record of successfully leading multi-disciplinary teams from target discovery through early clinical development in a biotech or pharmaceutical environment.

Building on our unique model of drug discovery, the Principal Scientist will work closely with academic and clinical collaborators to integrate innovative biology with clinical research data to select and validate new target hypotheses, and position drug candidates for clinical success.
By joining the TRACTION and the Therapeutics Discovery Division, you have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. Join us, and lead our next program from concept to clinic.

1. Lead target and translational biology efforts on multiple discovery projects, leveraging resources from cross functional areas, to deliver compelling validation packages and translational data to advance programs into clinical proof-of-concept trials in defined patient populations.

2. Oversee others in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experiments to validate novel therapeutic targets, inform on target mechanism of action, and explore translational hypotheses.

3. Deploy cutting-edge tools and technologies to develop in vitro and in vivo advanced cancer modeling, e.g. generation of isogenic cell lines, creation of somatic GEMM models, engineering of drug resistance mechanisms and unprecedented oncogenic drivers.

4. Independently proposes and leads innovative solutions to advance research projects.

5. Deploy functional genomics (CRISPR/RNAi screens, CROP-Seq/Perturb-Seq, scRNA-Seq) to enable novel targets identification and deep functional characterization of relevant tumor contexts.

6. Proactively identify, evaluate and implement novel technologies to drive research discoveries and innovation.

7. Apply knowledge of pharmacology and biomarker development to enable in vivo assessment of chemical matter and establish pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and efficacy relationships.

8. Contribute to project team through lab-based activities.

9. Lead efforts to build collaborative relationships and alliances with internal and external partners to drive innovation and influence the TDD portfolio.

10. Represent the Therapeutics Discovery Division externally through presentations at key National/International meetings.

11. Resource projects in a flexible manner, including efficient use of outsourcing.

12. Provide mentorship, professional development, guidance and leadership to a team of dedicated research and associate scientists.

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

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

Preferred: Relevant research and management experience beyond post-doctoral research maintaining hands-on experience. Industry R&D experience is preferred.

1. Demonstrated ability to lead multidisciplinary project teams, with experience advancing novel program from discovery into clinical development.
2. Extensive knowledge in cancer biology including cell signaling, metabolism, epigenetics, and immune-oncology.
3. Experience using genetic (e.g. RNAi, CRISPR-Cas9, cDNAs) and pharmacological (e.g. small molecule inhibitors or antibodies) approaches to study target biology and biomarker validation is essential.
4. Experience with characterization of tumor biology of in vivo models including subcutaneous and orthotopic xenografts or genetically engineered models of cancer.
5. Deep understanding of preclinical PK/PD/efficacy relationships as they relate to small molecule drug discovery in oncology; translation of findings to the clinic.
6. Knowledge of preclinical and clinical biomarker discovery and development.
7. Demonstrated ability to develop research strategies and timelines.
8. Experience working in highly matrixed organization.
9. Evidence of independent thinking and leadership skills are vital. Ability to work well under pressure and drive projects that impact critical timelines is essential
10. Outstanding written and oral communication skills are essential
11. Strong leader with focus and drive to succeed

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.
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