Sr. Director/VP, Translational Research at Pionyr Immunotherapeutics
South San Francisco, CA, US

Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, a well-funded South San Francisco based, clinical stage bio-therapeutic company is seeking a highly motivated and experienced leader for a position in translational research with an emphasis on modulating the myeloid compartment for cancer therapy.

Pionyr has two clinical-stage assets designed to modulate the tumor-associated myeloid populations in patients with advanced cancers, as well as earlier stage pipeline assets.  We are seeking a translational leader to develop and execute on translational research plans and biomarker strategies, and to expand our capabilities in identifying, validating and integrating additional biomarker analyses into our drug development strategy.

The successful applicant possesses experience in translational science and human immunology, preferably with expertise in myeloid biology.  The successful applicant will take a leadership role in a translationally focused research group comprising teams focused on immuno-oncology and the tumor microenvironment (TME), bioanalytical analysis and translational core capabilities.

 

The Role and Responsibilities

Effectively collaborate with groups in discovery, pharmacology, bioanalytical and clinical development to develop and build translation research packages in order to advance preclinical-stage programs to early clinical trials and ensure that early-stage clinical trials are supported with robust patient selection and pharmacodynamic markers.

Responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Integration of translational efforts in preclinical models to define biomarkers and pharmacodynamic assays that identify MoA-driven analytes for both patient selection, and target engagement, and the downstream pathways that impact cancer cell fate.
  • Integration of RNAseq, scRNAseq, and miRNA expression profiling work from preclinical models and implementation into patient selection or pharmacodynamic analysis.
  • Identify and implement new technologies and assays to support biomarker assay.
  • Fostering a collaborative workplace environment within the direct areas of responsibility and across different groups of stakeholders including clinical development group.
  • Maintain and mentor colleagues with a high degree of scientific excellence, collegiality and personal motivation for staff and colleagues.
  • Integrating efforts of translational research group with relevant partners, including those both internal and external to Pionyr.
  • Responsible for managing and overseeing several groups comprising senior scientists and research associates. 

 

Experience and Requirements

  • A PhD (or MD/PhD) in relevant area of biology with a strong background in immunology, preferably experience in oncology/immuno-oncology, and a minimum of 15 years of experience with a focus on translational research in an industry/biotech setting with clinical-stage assets.
  • Experience should include the use of tumor analysis in mouse models and human samples pertaining to cell-based (IHC or mRNA) and blood-based soluble analytes (cytokine/chemokine and/or miRNA) to develop patient identification, prognostic and/or pharmacodynamic biomarkers. 
  • Experience using diagnostic tools to explore the tumor micro-environment (TME) or changes of the TME in response to immuno-oncology-based therapeutics, using cell-based as well as
  • soluble or blood-based analytes (cytokines, mRNA and miRNA)
  • Experience with multiple technologies including flow cytometry, IHC, RNAseq and scRNAseq, , and functional immune cell phenotyping, particularly as it applies to myeloid lineage cells
  • A proven track record in managing a team of researchers, including the ability to lead others through change by navigating ambiguity, resolving stalled issues and engaging individuals.
  • A track record of developing and implementing translational plans to support programs from inception, early development through to the clinic, including experience in working with human tissues and in developing clinically relevant biomarker assays in oncology.
  • Experience providing oversight into preparation of technical reports and nonclinical sections of documents to support IND and IDE filings and/or other regulatory documents (e.g., lab manuals) associated with moving candidates from nonclinical to clinical environment. 
  • Experience with moving research-based diagnostic assets through lab-developed tests and conversion to a companion diagnostic would be a plus.
  • Strong people management skills with a passion and history of leading others to success and a great reputation for leading high-performance teams.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced highly matrixed environment and able to operate effectively within an entrepreneurial and science-driven company environment.
  • Ability to work as a subject matter expert in a team unified around serving the therapeutic assets.
  • Working knowledge of all functional areas of drug development, including, biology, toxicology, clinical development, diagnostic development and demonstrated scientific acumen and mechanistic understanding of tumor biology.
  • Provide strategic and tactical input and solutions regarding translational needs ranging from individual projects to large collaborations with external vendors and academics in support of discovery projects.