Institute Senior Research Scientist - Drug Discovery Biology

Employer
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Location
Houston, Texas
Salary
Competitive
Closing date
Jun 5, 2022

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Discipline
Health Sciences
Organization Type
Healthcare/Hospital
MD ANDERSON THERAPEUTICS DISCOVERY DIVISION

Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with 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 Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.

The TRACTION platform is an industrialized translational research unit that aligns world-class drug discovery and development with highly innovative science and clinical care research. Through an investment in patient-centric research, we have developed the infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities to enable transformative research, partnering with leading clinical research scientists and physicians for which MD Anderson is known. TRACTION's approach combines large scale data science, innovative cancer genetics, disruptive technologies, deep mechanistic biology, disease modeling, and pharmacology to accelerate the translation of novel discoveries.

As part of our mission, TRACTION is focused on partnering with our internal drug discovery engine (IACS, ORBIT, Biologics Development and Cell Therapies) and a growing list of external Partners (Boehringer Ingelheim, Taiho, Blueprint Medicines, Schrödinger and Obsidian) to discover and develop the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, antibody therapeutics and cell therapies, all driven by the needs we see in 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. This model already has achieved results, with multiple programs currently in clinical and late-stage preclinical development.

We are currently seeking a highly motivated and talented Senior Research Scientist of Drug Discovery Biology. The ideal candidate should have deep knowledge of cancer biology, strong translational science skills, and experience working as part of multi-disciplinary drug development teams. Building on our unique model of drug discovery, the Senior Research Scientist will work closely with academic and clinical collaborators to integrate innovative biology with clinical research data to nominate new target hypotheses and guide clinical positioning of our portfolio of internal and partnered small molecules, biologics and cell-based therapeutic assets.

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.

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. Lead, and manage multiple cross-functional research drug discovery and development and/or translational biology programs to enable internal drug discovery efforts.
3. Lead collaborations with research and computational biologists to leverage 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. Design and develop cell and molecular assays to define mechanism of action for novel therapeutics, identify pharmacodynamic assays to be used in pre-clinical and clinical setting and test patient selection strategies.
6. Develop and lead strong collaborative relationships with internal and external groups.
7. Manage activity of direct reports and project teams.
8. Interpret, present, and report research findings at internal meetings and external scientific conferences.
9. Use independent thinking and leadership skills to manage resources and personnel.
10. Work well under pressure and drive projects that impact critical timelines.

EDUCATION:
Required: Master's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, enzymology, pharmacology, chemistry or related field.

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

EXPERIENCE:
Required: Eight years experience of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, three years of required experience.

Preferred Candidate will possess the following:

1. MD or PhD with >2 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.

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

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