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Associate Director, Oncology Discovery

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-088645 Date posted 09/17/2020

Location: Cambridge

Full Time Permanent Opportunity

At AstraZeneca, we turn ideas into life changing medicines. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality.

We’re passionate about the potential of science to address the unmet needs of patients around the world. We commit to those areas where we believe we can really change the course of medicine and bring big new ideas to life!

AstraZeneca’s vision in Oncology is to push the boundaries of science to change the practice of medicine, transform the lives of patients living with cancer, and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a cause of death. A broad pipeline of next-generation medicines is focused principally on four disease areas - breast, ovarian, lung and haematological cancers.

As Associate Director in the Oncology Discovery group you will play a pivotal role in leading the discovery and development of novel immuno-oncology (IO) therapeutics. This is a strategic position with responsibilities that are of major significance to the success of the Oncology portfolio.

If you are inspired by the possibilities of science to make a difference and are ready to discover what you can do, then click on apply and join us!

Main Duties and Responsibilities

You will provide scientific, operational and strategic leadership for activities within the IO Discovery group at AstraZeneca, Cambridge. You will apply your passion and deep expertise in IO to lead the development of novel cancer therapeutics as well as providing scientific and managerial leadership for cross-functional teams.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Bioscience leadership of high profile IO drug discovery / clinical development teams, including antibody based therapies and multi-specific biologics. Foster a working environment promoting scientific discovery and encouraging innovation within bioscience teams to enable the discovery and development of the next generation of IO therapies.
  • Lead preparation of technical reports and pharmacology summary documents in support of regulatory submissions e.g. IND.
  • Line management of a team of in vitro and in vivo pharmacologists, accountable for performance of team members, providing mentorship and supporting professional development, ensuring appropriate project resourcing in a matrixed environment. Contribute to operational running of global oncology Discovery department.
  • Establish and maintain innovation and capability in complex models of disease, with a particular focus on tumour immunology
  • As IO scientific leader in AZ, maintain an understanding and awareness of internal and external developments in immuno-oncology field, build networks with other internal and external specialists, facilitate the sharing of ideas and relevant findings
  • Help build AstraZeneca’s external presence in key areas of research by publishing high quality / high impact papers, present at international conferences, establish and lead collaborations with key academic research groups.
  • Contribute as member of Oncology Discovery governance committees, make decisions on project progression and investment and provide scientific and strategic guidance and direction to project teams,
  • Review and provide strategic and scientific bioscience feedback on potential IO business development opportunities.
  • As part of the Global Oncology Discovery leadership team, influence design and contribute to implementation of overarching strategies to deliver the next generation of IO therapies to the clinic, ensuring a balanced preclinical pipeline.

Essential Requirements

This senior and highly visible position within the AstraZeneca organization, requires an experienced oncology research professional whose qualities and experience include the following:

  • A PhD, or equivalent experience, in immunology and/or IO
  • An inspiring research group leader in immunology or IO, recognized as specialist in field as evidenced by successful grant applications, scientific publications in impactful journals, international conference presentations and / or track record of successful drug discovery and development
  • At least 5 years’ experience leading immune-targeted drug discovery, or researching novel therapeutic concepts in immune-targeting (academia or industry)
  • Track record in line management including leading multi-disciplinary teams/group; performance management, mentorship & development of scientists to deliver on complex research projects
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Strong understanding of the complex cellular processes underlying cancer, including the tumor microenvironment
  • Strong background in researching approaches to the therapeutic manipulation of the immune system in various solid and / or hematologic oncology settings
  • Proven ability to lead innovative research and the validation of novel targets
  • A strong background of in vitro and in vivo experimentation and functional assay development is essential
  • Experience of developing data packages suitable for supporting IND filings would be beneficial

Competitive Remuneration and flexible benefits apply.



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 authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.