Associate Director, Program & Alliance Management - Drug Discovery

Cajal Neuroscience

Cajal Neuroscience

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2023

Associate Director, Program & Alliance Management - Drug Discovery

Seattle, WA

Job Description.

Cajal is seeking an Associate Director, Program & Alliance Management, for our Drug Discovery team, motivated by Cajal’s mission to develop new medicines for patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Our team members thrive on getting things done, and eagerly navigate the uncertainty of an ever-changing and fast-paced environment in a pre-clinical biotech company.

As Associate Director, Program & Alliance Management at Cajal, you will facilitate the planning and successful execution of drug discovery program goals with our teams of scientists. You will manage relationships with external partners including contract research organizations (CROs) and potential pharmaceutical or biotechnology partners, and coordinate activities across a growing portfolio of drug discovery and development alliances. You will ensure effective communication across these teams, partnering with scientists to identify emerging issues and developing strategies for risk mitigation. As programs progress towards first-in-human studies, you will be responsible for compiling and coordinating regulatory filings in concert with our internal drug discovery team.

This role will work closely with the scientific team leads (as well as the growing scientific team).

Key responsibilities

  • Organize scientific project plans for internal research leadership and external industry partners, ensure alignment across stakeholders, and closely track progress using best practices
  • Help anticipate resource needs (research materials and headcount) as projects evolve; align resourcing needs with finance to evaluate and optimize proposed budgets for new projects
  • Invest early in processes to define questions to be answered, clarify roles and responsibilities, identify interdependencies and required cross-functional expertise, establish action plans and determine metrics of success
  • Work with scientists and the legal department to prepare contracts with collaborators, including fee-for-service companies, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies; monitor the progress of executed contracts in accordance with the rules of engagement as specified in each contract.
  • Upon the execution of a contract, present the “rules of engagement” including Cajal’s internal policies as they pertain to expenditure, travel, licenses, or subcontracted services, etc. to the internal Cajal steering committee.
  • Liaise with collaborative counterparts to ensure: a) that studies are conducted in accordance with corresponding contracts; and b) that deliverables are delivered on time and per allocated funds to each such study.
  • Serve a single point of contact between external partners and internal Cajal teams, coordinating appropriate interactions between individuals and teams to facilitate productive collaboration
  • Participate and host steering committee meetings, prepare meeting minutes, follow up on action items and perform in an ‘advisory’ role on matters related to operations, finances and legal issues.
  • Review monthly invoices, cross-reference with financial terms of corresponding contracts, flag discrepancies and resolve issues with collaborators and/or Cajal finance in an expedited fashion to meet the monthly timeline.
  • Organize, schedule, and drive agendas for scientific meetings between internal scientists and with external collaborators (e.g. run quarterly joint steering committee meetings with outside partners)
  • Develop tools for organizing shared materials and tracking milestones between Cajal and external collaborators, such as detailed Gantt charts in support of project timelines and goals. Manage access to shared documents and tools in a compliant way that protects intellectual property.
  • Assist in preparation of key regulatory documents by coordinating the contributions of multiple authors and scientists from both Cajal and CRO partners, and assuring adherence to defined timelines
  • Establish best practices for LIMS use and record keeping to ensure complete, compliant documentation and clear information sharing between partners
  • Lead without direct reporting responsibility by setting clear vision, respecting value of subject matter expertise, and empowering cross-functional team members to perform well
  • Review academic financial audit reports and reconcile. Work with principal investigators and grant analysts at academic institutions to understand and resolve budgetary discrepancies.

This job might be great for you if you:

  • have an advanced degree (or equivalent combination of education & experience) and are passionate about brain health; preferred: M.S. or Ph.D. in neuroscience or a biology-related field
  • have 10+ years of previous experience in drug discovery-related organizations, with 5+ years specifically as a Project Manager, using project management best practices (PMP certification preferred but not required)
  • have previous experience coordinating alliances with external partners and/or managing contract research organizations
  • Have experience in authoring, reviewing, and/or coordinating the preparation of formal scientific reports and regulatory documents (i.e. INDs, CTAs, etc.)
  • respectfully seek to understand and challenge ideas to ensure thoughtful decision-making
  • enjoy working with and across multidisciplinary teams with distinct skill sets
  • believe that transparent communication is key to success and are able to build consensus across groups
  • have outstanding time-management skills and are comfortable tracking progress on diverse efforts in parallel
  • are extremely detail-oriented and thrive in a highly collaborative, team-oriented startup environment

Important Considerations

  • Cajal operates as a hybrid workplace, but we prefer that team members spend a significant portion of their time working on-site in our Seattle offices.
  • This opportunity does not offer visa sponsorship.
  • The salary range for this role is $145,000-175,000.

*Final salary depends on qualifications, experience, and level of skills relevant to the role, along with location, where applicable.

Company & Benefits

Cajal is a team of people first, motivated by our shared mission to advance the field of neurodegeneration. We are committed to ensuring that all our team members feel supported, connected, and energized at work. Our team members eagerly navigate the uncertainty and fast-paced environment of an early-stage biotech company and thrive on getting things done. We value creativity and curiosity in our work, and we take pride in the generosity, sincerity, and kindness of our team members.

Benefits include:

  • Competitive compensation based on experience level
  • Health insurance: 100% coverage of premiums for employee, partner, & all dependents
  • Dental insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Vision insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Life insurance: 100% of premiums for 2x salary coverage
  • Access to Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(K) Plan with matching contributions
  • 5 weeks paid time off plus 13 company holidays (2 floating)
  • 8 weeks parental leave for primary caregiver or 4 weeks for secondary caregiver in addition to WA Paid Family & Medical Leave (up to 12 additional weeks)
  • Generous commuter benefits including free metro cards, on site locker rooms/showers/towel service, modern bike cage and free bike tunes

Located in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle, Cajal sits at the heart of a vibrant biotech community, directly between research giants such as the Allen Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. We are surrounded by fellow innovative biotech companies and startups and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Lake Union and the University of Washington. Our newly renovated office and labs offer ample natural light and stunning views of the Space Needle downtown. Our kitchen is fully stocked with coffee, tea, and snacks. All desks are sit-stand for maximal comfort and our meeting rooms seamlessly support hybrid teams.

Cajal is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. If you require any accommodations during the recruiting process, please coordinate with your recruiting contact.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, employment is conditioned upon full vaccination (per CDC guidelines) from the COVID-19 virus, including submission of documented proof thereof, as of the start date. Cajal will comply with applicable law regarding the reasonable accommodation of individuals who are not vaccinated because of a disability and/or sincerely held religious belief.

To Apply

Please apply with your CV/resume and cover letter via Greenhouse.