Senior Director, Tumor Biology

Alameda County, California, US
Closing date
Oct 23, 2021

View more

Company Description

Every Exelixis employee is united in an ambitious cause: to launch innovative medicines that give patients and their families hope for the future. In this pursuit, we know our employees are our most valuable asset. After operating in the challenging biotech sector for 25 years, we have a proven track record of resiliency in the face of adversity. The success of our lead product has provided a solid commercial foundation allowing us to reinvigorate our research efforts, and grow our team in areas such as Drug Discovery, Clinical Development and Commercial.

As we expand our global partnerships and further reinvest in R&D to help us discover the next breakthrough for difficult-to-treat cancers, we're seeking to add talented, dedicated employees to power our mission.

Cancer is our cause. Make it yours, too.

Job Description

The Senior Director, Tumor Biology will grow and lead a fast-paced, dedicated team of biologists to provide strategic and operational disease biology direction, specifically tumor biology, for a discovery portfolio of oncology programs. The ideal candidate must be independently driven, passionate, innovative, and an excellent leader and team player. The role will involve the development and implementation of strategic approaches on targets/pathways selection and supervise the timely generation of high-quality data to drive programs forward with scientific excellence and urgency.


  • Lead, develop, and provide scientific leadership and disease biology direction with a focus on tumor biology but highly integrated with immunology/immune-oncology, through the creation and execution of high-quality integrated discovery and translational plans to support small molecular programs at preclinical and clinical stages.
  • Develop, refine, and implement the research strategy in tumor biology with a focus on linking target biology to human disease with contributions to therapeutic target selection, evaluation, and prioritization.
  • Lead an internal biology team in setting scientific goals to deliver, executing comprehensive approaches to ensure effective achievement of scientific objectives.
  • Provide day-to-day scientific and organizational leadership, serve as a mentor and role model with the goal of developing a high-performing biology team and scientific talents
  • Work with the Discovery leadership to allocate appropriate resources to ensure timely achievement of pipeline goals.
  • Foster a science-driven, goal-oriented culture that values innovation, teamwork, agility, transparency, accountability, and empowerment.
  • Engage, and ensure the success of collaborations across internal and the external scientific research.
  • Stay current on the latest scientific advancements and is well informed about current trends in oncology research and development to support discovery pipelines.
  • Manage innovation to reality, review scientific progress and direction of reports on a consistent basis.
  • Participate with other function leaders to provide input on effectiveness and development of company operational policies and procedures.
  • Conduct scientific presentations to senior management, project teams, and internal collaborators.
  • Maintain laboratory records in a complete, consistent, and concise manner in accordance with company intellectual property policies and practices.
  • Comply with company health and safety policies and general laboratory practices.
Key Leadership Competencies
  • Highly self-motivated, dedicated, proactive, and organized with strong management and presentation skills.
  • A dedicated leader, efficient manager, effective team builder and a productive collaborator who will provide strong organizational and scientific leadership consistent with Exelixis culture of excel, resilience and excellence together.
  • Foster effective communications between cross-functional teams and to support the senior leadership.
  • Directly supervises employee(s).
  • Indirectly supervises employee(s) through a dotted line structure or via other subordinate supervisors.
  • Directs and controls the activities of one or more functional areas, or groups through managers with overall responsibility for the direction of those assigned areas. Has overall responsibility for planning and implementing budget.

  • An experienced cancer biologist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, tumor biology, cell biology, immunology, pharmacology or a related scientific field and eleven years of relevant industry experience in oncology drug discovery
  • Experience managing projects and/or work groups in biotechnology or pharmaceutical organizations including experience with budget procedures and management/coaching of employees.
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing novel research programs in drug discovery from target identification through preclinical development
  • Proven track record of scientific innovation and accomplishment in the field as evidenced by publication record, patents, and conference presentations.
  • Excellent team player to build strong relationships with cross-function leader and peers to enable higher performance.
  • Proven track-record of identifying and progressing novel targets to clinical candidates.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, translate strategy to research initiatives, and drive for results.
  • Strong collaborator with the ability to manage interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams.
  • Learns fast, grasps organizational priorities, and can change course quickly where indicated.
  • Strong translational research expertise in the field of oncology and Immuno-Oncology is a plus
  • Excellent interpersonal and analytic skills, high ethical standards, and outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • Sets goals with understanding of priority and impact to program, department, and organization.
  • Applies highly advanced expertise in multiple scientific fields and to developing future projects and products.
  • Makes effective and persuasive presentations on sensitive or complex topics to senior management, external customers, collaborators, and public groups.
Job Complexity
  • Works on extremely complex problems where analysis of situations or data requires an evaluation of intangible variables.
  • Exercises independent judgment in developing methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
  • Uses professional concepts to contribute to the development of company concepts and principles to achieve objectives in creative and effective ways.
Additional Information


The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to the job.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert