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Associate Director or Director of Biology

Avilar Therapeutics
Waltham, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
May 25, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Modeling, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Avilar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of extracellular protein degraders, a new frontier in targeted protein degradation. Avilar develops ATACs (ASGPR Targeting Chimeras), a new class of protein degrader therapeutics that shuttle disease-causing proteins from circulation to the endolysosome where the unwanted proteins are degraded. Avilar has built a proprietary ATAC platform that includes novel, high-affinity, small molecule ASGPR ligands and advanced modeling of the biophysics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of ATAC-mediated endocytosis and degradation. The ATAC platform enables the modular design and synthesis of ATACs extendable across the extracellular proteome to a wide range of proteins involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases. Avilar is leveraging the ATAC platform to create a broad and diverse pipeline of first-in-class extracellular protein degraders. Avilar was founded and financed by RA Capital Management and based in Waltham, MA. For more information, please visit

Avilar Therapeutics is seeking a biologist to develop new targets using our proprietary extracellular protein degradation platform and explore new avenues to mediate protein degradation. The Director will contribute at numerous points along the drug discovery path, from target selection to development candidate nomination. The Director will design and analyze assays to characterize molecules that induce protein degradation using cell-based and in vivo techniques in terms of both activity and mechanism of action. The Director will report to the Vice President of Biology.

Activities will include leading existing programs on a critical path, proposing and overseeing new programs, managing vendors and data flow, designing and validating assays, new target analysis, and new platform biology development. The ability to seamlessly lead multiple, different workstreams with a sense of urgency and ownership will be essential for success.

The Director will be excited to work in a flexible environment, with the opportunity to impact multiple aspects of the drug discovery path and be transparent in communicating with other team members. Scientific depth, curiosity, independence, collaboration and drive are keys aspects of the role.

This role is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

  • Contribute to the scientific direction of the company from target selection to novel approaches to protein degradation.
  • Effectively enable and lead multiple drug discovery programs via the design, implementation, and interpretation of relevant and robust cell-based and in vivo assays.
  • Oversee the operational management and contracts of external CROs, academic, and business partners and maintain efficient workflows to meet timelines.
  • Promote an environment of collaboration, teamwork, and innovative and robust science.
  • Ensure compliance with company established practices and procedures, including laboratory notebooks and databases.

  • Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, or related subject. Postdoctoral research experience preferred.
  • A minimum of 6 years (Associate Director) or 8 years (Director) industry preclinical drug discovery experience such as target validation, hit finding, lead optimization, and mechanism of action studies.
  • Expert in the quantitative use of cell-based assays using cell lines and primary cells. Experience in designing, executing, and analyzing animal pharmacology studies in various diseases would be a plus.
  • Experience in designing research plans to address specific scientific objectives including prioritization of critical path activities, relevance, risk mitigation, resourcing, and timelines.
  • Knowledge of immunology is a plus
  • Ability to work seamlessly in a cross-functional matrixed environment with high attention to detail.
  • People management skills including leading drug discovery teams and coaching in both scientific and soft skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including strong presentation skills and the ability to communicate complex scientific information in a clear manner to different audiences.
  • Desire to work in a start-up biotech environment.
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