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Director, Vector Engineering and Immunogenicity Genomic Medicine

Location: Boston, United States Job reference: R-199319 Date posted: 05/09/2024

This is what you will do:

As the Director of Vector Engineering and Immunogenicity Reasearch at Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, Genomic Medicine Department, you will lead AAV vector research and development with a focus on therapeutic transgene plasmid design, and oversee immunogenicity assessments. The successful candidate will contribute to developing and steering the company's genomic medicine platform and advancing preclinical programs in a number of therapeutic areas.

This role offers an exciting opportunity to lead platform development efforts and shape the future of genomic medicine at Alexion Genomic Medicines. The Director will be instrumental in driving innovation, fostering scientific excellence, and advancing the company's mission to develop transformative therapies for patients with high unmet medical needs.

You will be responsible for:

  • Provide strategic vision and leadership in the research and development of optimal transgene expression cassettes to support the development of recombinant AAV vectors for gene therapy.
  • Lead the design and implementation of advanced plasmid engineering platforms, leveraging state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of AAV-based genomic medicines.
  • Oversee and execute the immunogenicity assessment strategy for genomic medicines, collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to evaluate and mitigate potential immunogenic risks associated with genomic medicine-based therapeutics.
  • Work closely with cross-functional teams, including research, development, and regulatory functions, to integrate plasmid design and immunogenicity considerations into the broader genomic medicine pipeline.
  • Ensure that platform development activities and immunogenicity assessments adhere to regulatory standards and best practices, contributing to the preparation of regulatory submissions.
  • Foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and scientific excellence within the platform development and immunogenicity groups.
  • Mentor junior scientists and contribute to their professional development providing guidance, support, and mentorship to ensure successful project execution and professional development.

You will need to have:

  • PhD in a relevant scientific field (e.g., Molecular Biology, Immunology, Genomics, Biochemistry). 10+ years experience in platform development, with a focus on plasmid design and its application in genomic medicines.
  • Proven expertise in evaluating immunogenicity in the context of genetic therapies. Comprehensive understanding of immune response to viral and non-viral vectors
  • Expertise: In-depth knowledge of molecular biology, DNA engineering, and plasmid-based technologies.
  • Demonstrated success in leading and managing scientific teams in a matrixed organization, with a track record of driving platform development initiatives and effectively integrating immunogenicity assessments into therapeutic programs.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders, and to represent the company in scientific forums and regulatory interactions.

We would prefer for you to have:

  • Extensive experience in the development of genomic medicines, particularly in the context of AAV-based genetic medicines. Preference may be given to candidates with an established track record of contributing to successful genomic medicine programs.
  • Proven expertise in assessing and addressing immunogenicity challenges associated with AAV-based therapeutics, including the development of strategies to mitigate potential immune responses.
  • Familiarity with regulatory considerations and requirements related to genomic medicines, including a strong understanding of regulatory expectations for designs of transcriptional expression cassettes and immunogenicity assessments.
  • Previous experience in a leadership role within the biopharmaceutical industry, with a demonstrated ability to drive platform development initiatives and guide immunogenicity assessments in a fast-paced, innovative environment.
  • Established relationships within the scientific and academic community, as well as experience in fostering collaborations with key opinion leaders and external partners to advance platform development and immunogenicity research.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.


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