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Associate Director, Cancer Biology

Zai Lab LLC
San Diego, California, US
Closing date
Jun 17, 2023

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Academic / Research, Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Company Description

Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ: ZLAB; HKEX: 9688) is an innovative, research-based, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company based in China and the United States focused on bringing transformative medicines for oncology, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders to patients in China and around the world. Our goal is to leverage our competencies and resources to positively impact human health worldwide.

Founded in 2014, our experienced team has secured partnerships with leading global biopharmaceutical companies, generating a broad and late-stage pipeline of innovative drug candidates. Based on our proven track record of success, Zai Lab has earned the reputation as a trusted partner of choice for global biopharmaceutical companies seeking to not only access the Chinese market but also find a long-term strategic partner for global clinical development. Our unique business model builds on our in-licensed assets and innovative partnerships to expand our internal discovery and development capabilities and has created a portfolio of potential best-in-class and/or first-in-class therapies. Zai currently has four products on the market in China

Zai Lab was successfully listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in September 2017 and completed secondary listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2020. In 2022, Zai Lab became dual-primary listed on both the Nasdaq and the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges. Since its inception, Zai Lab has expanded significantly with several offices across China. In 2021, Zai Lab established its U.S. Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As of January 2022, the Company has a global team of approximately 2000 employees.

Job Description

This Associate Director of Cancer Biology is an integral part of a team who lead small molecule discovery project(s) from target identification/validation to delivery of development candidate. This role will provide scientific and technical guidance in efforts to understand mechanism of action (MOA) and biology rationale to guide the selection of promising targets in oncology space; will manage external FTEs or studies carried out externally to ensure the delivery of high-quality results; and will support the BD team to evaluating in-license and partnership opportunities.
  • Identify and integrate technologies that improve or expand the ability to assess the mechanism of action of novel anticancer agents
  • Lead an internal/external team of scientists in designing, executing cancer biology experiments to assess mode of action and therapeutic potential of novel or validated cancer targets
  • Ensure timely delivery of biology data to support key decision-making
  • Identify appropriate animal models and execute pharmacology studies to support discovery project
  • Actively contribute to oncology drug discovery research programs, including identification and validation of new targets
  • Support prioritization of high-impact research activities
  • Oversee external research collaborators and CROs
  • Support BD team to identify high value in-license and collaboration opportunities


  • PhD with a postdoctoral training and 3 years of relevant pharma or biotech industry experience managing programs in the field of oncology; or equivalent combination of higher education, training and experience.

  • Proven track record of success in oncology, or related fields demonstrated by strong publication record (first author papers in high-impact journals)
  • Current knowledge of oncology research, drug discovery and development, with emphasis of DNA damage repair (DDR) and cell apoptosis pathways, as well as markers and assays to evaluate anti-tumor efficacy
  • Creativity to design and engineer complex assays that address target-specific biology
  • Great attention to detail with the ability to multitask
  • Collaborative and team-oriented, prosses excellent oral and written communications and organizational skills, and carry a strong commitment to excellence; self-motivated, flexible, and able to manage multiple tasks and deliver high-quality results under tight timelines

Additional Information

The pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $187K and $210K/year; however, base pay offered may vary depending on multiple individualized factors, including market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. The total compensation package for this position may also include other elements, including a sign-on bonus, restricted stock units, and discretionary awards in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits (including 401(k) eligibility and various paid time off benefits, such as vacation, sick time, and parental leave), dependent on the position offered. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment.

If hired, employee will be in an "at-will position" and the Company reserves the right to modify base salary (as well as any other discretionary payment or compensation program) at any time, including for reasons related to individual performance, Company or individual department/team performance, and market factors.

At Zai, we are proud of the gender diversity of our company and our promotion of women in biotech. We have achieved gender base pay equity at all levels, 58% of our employees are women and 54% of our management positions are held by women. We are committed to the health of patients and our planet. That's why our environmental protection, social responsibility, and corporate governance strategy, called "Trust for Life" is integrated within our business.

Disclaimer: This description is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of duties, responsibilities, or requirement for the position. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or based on disability.

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