This job has expired

Head of Rare Disease, Exploratory Biology

Society for Conservation Biology
New Haven County, Connecticut, US
Closing date
Oct 11, 2022

View more

Academic / Research, Nonprofit
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Head of Rare Disease, Exploratory Biology
Some opportunities happen only once in a lifetime - like a job where you have the chanceto change lives. At Alexion, people living with rare and devastating diseases are our Guiding Star. We are driven to continuously innovate and create meaningful value in all we do to help patients and families fully live their best lives. We value the uniqueness and diversity of our employees and recognize that nurturing the diverse perspectives and strengths of our people translates into innovative breakthroughs for patients.

Head of Rare Disease Exploratory Biology

At Alexion, people living with rare and devastating diseases are our Guiding Star. Our Research Department strives to continuously innovate and discover breakthrough therapeutics to help patients and families fully live their best lives.

Our Research Department is highly focused on building on its 30 years of experience. Since our acquisition by AstraZeneca in 2021, we now add the power, speed, and capabilities of AstraZeneca to innovate for even greater chances to achieve success. We maintain a close-knit and highly collaborative small biotech culture while enjoying the partnership and groundbreaking resources afforded to us by our partners within the larger AstraZeneca family.

We value the uniqueness and diversity of our employees and recognize that nurturing the diverse perspectives and strengths of our people translates into innovative breakthroughs for patients.

This is what you will do:

  • As Head of Rare Disease Exploratory Biology, you will hold a highly visible senior role in the Research and Development Department and will be a member of the Research Leadership Team, the Research Steering Committee, and the Rare Early-Stage Product Committee (rESPC), enabling you to play a key role in shaping Alexion AstraZeneca's future pipeline programs
  • You will be required to establish internal scientific knowledge in key novel biology areas relevant to our rare disease discovery strategy, identify innovative experimental cellular systems to understand, model and design patient-relevant therapeutic approaches.
  • Together with other research teams, you will establish and develop experimental foundations for discovery and validation of new targets in key rare disease indications, apply innovative phenotypic systems and screens to identify new targets and explore their biology, regulation in disease, and evaluate novel therapeutic modalities to achieve desired therapeutic outcomes.
  • You will collaborate with the New Targets evaluation team to review, select, and prioritize promising new targets and target biology for further drug discovery efforts and inclusion in the Alexion discovery pipeline
  • You will be responsible for selecting and building your team as well as for establishing your network of internal collaborators across all the disciplines at Alexion AstraZeneca.
  • You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with external academics to identify cutting-edge science to accelerate internal research and portfolio progression.
  • The successful candidate will have a strong scientific background in building deep understanding in new biology areas, proven project and people leadership, strategic acumen, and excellent communication skills. In addition, the candidate will have an ability to engage and collaborate across organizational boundaries with an entrepreneurial attitude by acting with urgency and agility.

You will be responsible for:

Leadership and Governance:
  • Serve as a member of key governance committees which offer a voice in the decisions that drive success of the enterprise, specifically the Research Steering Committee (responsible for governance of the research portfolio), rare Early-Stage Product Committee (rESPC) and the business development committee for the rare disease business unit
  • Serve as an active member of the Alexion Research Leadership Team that is accountable for ensuring we execute strategies to achieve vision and goals
  • Ensure these departments achieve the highest levels of Scientific Excellence

Scientific strategy and execution:
  • In close collaboration with colleagues in Bioinformatics, Business Development and the greater Research and Development teams, review emerging targets and assets in the IO space with a view to identifying opportunities to build the pipeline.
  • Execute rigorous validation of novel opportunities emanating from academia and biotech including early research projects.
  • Identify and expand new technologies, processes and platforms that will enable Alexion to conduct its internal research with ever improving quality, speed, and productivity
  • Provide clear recommendations to Research Leadership for the promotion of projects to the drug discovery stage

People management:
  • Recruit, mentor, and manage a team of skilled scientists including cell biologists, enzymologists, and immunologists to ensure the success of Alexion programs
  • Set the prioritization of projects within your team in line with Research strategy and with awareness of the competitive landscape
  • Provide advice, mentoring and support to the cross functional/matrix Research teams as needed
  • Drive the behaviors and values identified as critical to Alexion's success and the Research group in particular

You will need to have:
  • PhD in a relevant life science
  • Demonstrated track record of success in the discovery and development of new therapeutics ideally in the area of rare disease. Management experience, preferably in industry.
  • 8+ years' experience in drug discovery and development
  • The duties of this role are generally conducted in an office environment. As is typical of an office-based role, employees must be able, with or without an accommodation to: use a computer; engage in communications via phone, video, and electronic messaging; engage in problem solving and non-linear thought, analysis, and dialogue; collaborate with others; maintain general availability during standard business hours.


Alexionis a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions through the discovery, development and commercialization of life-changing medicines. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexion has offices around the globe and serves patients in more than 50 countries. Furtherinformation about Alexion can be found

Alexion is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We are committed to fostering a culture of belonging where every single person can belong because of their uniqueness. The Company will not make decisions about employment, training, compensation, promotion, and other terms and conditions of employment based on race, color, religion, creed or lackthereof, sex, sexualorientation, age, ancestry, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, marital status,pregnancy, (including childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), parental status (including adoption or surrogacy), military status, protected veteran status, disability, medical condition, gender identity or expression, genetic information, mental illness or other characteristics protected by law. Alexion has taken critical steps to protect colleagues, loved ones, and patients from COVID-19 and its variants. All US-based employees must comply with Alexion's COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Alexion provides exceptions based on applicable state law as well as reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of candidates and employees. To begin aninteractive dialogue with Alexion regarding a legally required exemption or accommodation, please contact participates in E-Verify.

As a leading employer in our industry, Alexion offers a highly competitive package of base and incentive compensation as well as a comprehensive benefits program designed to support the health, wellness and financial security of our employees and their families. Benefits include group medical, vision and dental coverage, group and supplemental life insurance, 401(k) with company match, tuition reimbursement, and much more.

AstraZeneca completed its acquisition of Alexion, marking the creation of Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease. If you're interested in career opportunities with AstraZeneca, clickhere.
Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Get job alerts

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

Create alert