Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0100
Post Date 4/6/2018
Company Ionis
Title Executive Director, Translational Medicine
Employment Type Full Time

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, was founded in 1989 to create advanced, novel medicines to treat diseases with an unmet medical need. We are the pioneer and leader in the discovery and development of antisense drugs. By exploiting various cutting-edge RNA targeting technologies, we are capable of specifically and efficiently targeting any gene of interest, including ones which are not targetable by small molecules or antibodies. We currently have three approved drugs, and a robust pipeline of over 30 drugs in various stages of clinical trials.

Ionis is a challenging, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while you develop and expand your career.

Executive Director, Translational Medicine

We are seeking a dynamic Executive Director, Translational Medicine who will have overall responsibility for directing and developing the analysis of successful translation of non-human research to human clinical trials; in particular this individual will oversee a small team, with additional support from Patient Advocacy and the Research, Preclinical and Clinical Development groups, who will conduct studies to will facilitate more efficient clinical trial designs. 

Responsibilities will include identification and oversight of patient natural history studies to better understand patient journeys, identification and implementation of biomarker strategies to address target and disease engagement, design of human genetic analysis in support of clinical trials, device development to support clinical trial endpoints and development of clinical development strategies through proof-of-concept and beyond.  The Translational Medicine group will also work closely with the Drug Discovery group to identify new drug target and disease opportunities for Ionis Drug Discovery, conduct research studies to strengthen drug discovery programs, and will work with corporate partners to help establish effective development strategies.

The Executive Director , Translational Medicine manages the group’s day-to-day research activities and works closely with various levels of management and scientific personnel.  S/he is expected to have a hands-on approach in all aspects of the job.  The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker who excels at working in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment; s/he must be capable of handling multiple tasks, and must possess excellent analytical, organizational and communication skills.  Additionally, he/she must be a proactive self-starter who takes ownership of projects and can collaborate cross-functionally on complex issues.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Plays a strategic and operational role in the company’s drug discovery through early clinical research effort
  • Ensures optimal operational performance and synergies across various research and development areas
  • Plays a broad role as a senior leader across multiple programs by providing functional and strategic input
  • Fosters an innovative environment with the purpose of advancing the company’s research interests and furthering the field of antisense research.
  • Initiates and manages relationships with third parties such as KOLs, academic and corporate partners in specific disease areas to develop a high-level target product profile, and help align discovery and preclinical development activities to the ultimate clinical endpoints
  • Serves as a senior Ionis representative to medically related experts and organizations (includes CROs, Advisory Boards etc.)
  • Contributes broad drug development and scientific knowledge to PIs, Project Teams, and Management
  • Builds and maintains strong internal and external relationships; leverages those relationships to remain informed, create collaborations, and achieve goals that might not be attainable relying only on internal resources.  Identifies and proactively cultivates partnerships with academic institutions, life science companies, and health authorities to attain company goals
  • Identifies project risks and provides contingency planning
  • Ensures highest caliber of internal staff through hiring, mentorship and appropriate oversight

Qualifications and Experience:

  • MD or PhD with 10+ years of biotechnology or pharmaceutical drug development experience
  • Capable of working independently within a highly matrixed environment to support corporate goals
  • Basic Science and/or Clinical research experience in a medical specialty with a proven record of quality publications
  • Patient-centric mindset
  • Desire to take a hands-on approach to advancing the portfolio
  • Experience building and leading an excellent preclinical development function, including outsourcing
  • Proven ability to recruit, develop, and retain a first-rate team
  • Skilledf at building and managing collaborations with scientists, CROs, consultants, pharmaceutical partners, and other outside organizations
  • Strategic thinker who is creative and can work in a highly dynamic and innovative environment
  • Recognized leader in clinical research with an ability to network with, and influence external experts
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment with frequent course corrections
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

Please visit our website,, for more information and to apply.

Reference Requisition # 17-0100


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