Director - Cell Therapy


Do you have expertise in, and passion for, cell therapy research? Have you published your work extensively in leading peer-reviewed journals? And would you like to apply your expertise to impact cell therapy in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the place for you!

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives - and are made to feel valued, energized and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

At AstraZeneca, we put patients first and strive to meet their unmet needs worldwide. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person.

Site Description

Our Gaithersburg, Maryland facility creates life-changing medicines for people around the world. This campus employs more than 3,500 experts in our field and is only a short drive from Washington, DC. This modern and vibrant scientific campus is the home of R&D and Oncology in the US. Here, we play host to some of the most cutting-edge technology and lab spaces, all designed to inspire collaboration and cross-functional science. We believe employees benefit from being challenged and inspired at work. We are dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and collaboration.

The Gaithersburg site offers a variety of amenities to help boost productivity and help keep our employees happy and healthy. This includes a fitness center, employee healthcare clinic, daycare, electric vehicle charging stations, dry cleaning, full-service cafeteria and copy center. This is where you’ll find newly-designed, activity-based work spaces to suit a variety of working styles while increasing collaboration between teams. 

Summary of the Group

The Cell Therapeutics Technology team in Biologics Engineering (BE) supports development of gene and cell therapy technologies for pipeline supports across all therapy areas. BioPharma Cell Therapy team develops the next generation of cell engineering, gene and cell delivery and stem cell-based technologies. This team has an opening for a Director position to lead a group of scientists delivering deep technical and scientific expertise in the field of Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine in BioPharma (non-Oncology space). This includes the conception, improvement and deployment of several cutting-edge technologies (e.g. viral, non-viral based gene delivery and genome-editing platforms), immune cell-based therapies and the development of innovative stem cell technologies for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. As such, this role will have a direct impact on the company’s pipeline across BioPharma and relevant expert functions.

Main Duties & Responsibilities

We are seeking a talented and highly-influential leader to effectively direct and manage a multidisciplinary team of highly experienced scientists leading the discovery and characterization of pipeline therapeutics.

In this role, you will collaborate with project leaders across all therapeutic areas to understand the target biology, directly steering and influencing discussions and decisions related to developing new drugs. As a recognized leader with a proven publication track record in the field of stem cell engineering, regenerative medicine and/or immune cell therapies, you will expand cell therapeutics technologies and drive scientific innovation contributing to AstraZeneca pipeline progression.

While working productively and proficiently in a highly dynamic, scientifically rigorous and fast-paced environment, you will effectively represent the department in cross-functional meetings, governance committees and due diligences.

  • Direct and progress programs from early discovery to development stage within the Cell Therapeutics and Viral Technologies team and driving innovation towards next gen cell therapies
  • Devise global cell therapy strategies with cross-functional teams and advance drug discovery delivery and technology development initiatives
  • Maintain a well-developed understanding of approaches to non-oncology cell therapies and apply a broader functional knowledge to support department initiatives
  • Contribute to the development of next gen in vitro cell models / assays for target validation
  • Lead and provide input to peer reviewed scientific publications, inventorship on patents and presentations at major conferences, and participate / present at international conferences
  • Identify networks and opportunities  to collaborate with other functions or external companies to drive innovation within AstraZeneca and effectively communicate complex scientific data to diverse internal or external audiences
  • Responsible for line management, goal setting aligned to department strategy, performance review, coaching and personal development of team and ensure that work of colleagues/ team is compliant, following Good Laboratory Practice, Safety, Health and Environment standards and all other relevant internal AstraZeneca standards and external regulations

Education & Experience Requirements:

Ph.D. with 10+ years’ relevant experience in a cell therapy discovery environment

Required Skills:

  • Track record of leading medium sized groups in highly matrixed science and technology based organisations
  • A proven scientific track record of innovation and delivery within the field of cell engineering
  • In-depth knowledge in regenerative and immune cell therapy in non-oncology space.
  • Extensive hands-on experience in stem cell or immune cell therapy technology development
  • Proven ability to create new research strategies to drive organisational success
  • Considerable experience in the leadership of cell therapy projects and project management
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain customer relationships with scientific and leadership teams at local and remote research sites
  • Stellar communication skills

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in cell delivery technologies and in vivo studies

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognising their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next?

Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you!

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn

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AstraZeneca has taken critical steps to protecting colleagues, loved ones, and patients from COVID-19 and its variants.COVID-19 vaccination is required for all US employees, and weekly PCR COVID-19 testing is required for those who are unvaccinated or have an approved accommodation.

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.


Job Type : Full-Time
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