Posted to MedZilla on 12/7/2019

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

US-MA, Director, Translational Discovery R0009673-MZ


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Job Description

Are you looking for a patient-focused, innovation-driven company that will inspire you and empower you to shine? Join us as a Director, Translational Discovery in our Cambridge office.

At Takeda, we are transforming the pharmaceutical industry through our R&D-driven market leadership and being a values-led company. To do this, we empower our people to realize their potential through life-changing work. Certified as a Global Top Employer, we offer stimulating careers, encourage innovation, and strive for excellence in everything we do. We foster an inclusive, collaborative workplace, in which our global teams are united by an unwavering commitment to deliver Better Health and a Brighter Futureto people around the world.

Here, you will be a vital contributor to our inspiring, bold mission.

As a Director, Translational Discovery you will be empowered to serve as a leader within Oncology Translational Sciences and help Integrate discovery strategy with development strategy. A typical day will include:


  • Serve as a leader within Oncology Translational Sciences and the Oncology Drug Discovery Unit
  • Develop and support translational strategy for oncology pipeline focused on process from project start through early proof of concept.
  • Help Integrate discovery strategy with development strategy and provide cross-functional leadership across translational sciences team and with external R&D partners
  • Work with Translational Sciences leadership and ODDU leadership to integrate translational support for program prioritization and decision-making in business development and incubator projects across early stages of portfolio development


This is a highly collaborative role within the Translational Sciences team in the Oncology Drug Discovery Unit, with extensive cross-functional collaborations across the discovery and development continuum in Takeda s Oncology R&D organization. This individual will play a role in developing and shaping the translational strategy for the oncology pipeline, with a focus on the pre-proof of concept stages of development. The overall goal for this role is to provide strategic input to develop and grow the discovery-focused translational team, with a close partnership with the development-focused translational team as well as other pivotal R&D line functions supporting oncology. In addition, this role will help provide additional mentoring and support for others within the team (will include some direct reports). The overall goal for the Translational Discovery team is to develop and support an asset and/or program-specific translational strategy, assimilate discovery findings during pre-clinical development to rationally inform the development of clinical biomarker and patient stratification strategies, and contribute to proof-of-concept and mechanistic evaluation of assets in the pre-clinical and clinical space, including with team-oriented representation on Global Project Teams for early-phase clinical trials.


  • Help develop, shape, and integrate strategy for Oncology Drug Discovery assets, including IO portfolio and other therapeutic modalities in the pre-proof of concept space (ePOC).
  • Provide management and mentoring support for selected translational discovery leads who embed in Oncology Discovery project teams at project launch and guide the team s translational strategy through preclinical development to FIH trials and efficacy proof-of-concept (ePOC) and work with Development Translational leads who support projects in collaboration with Discovery leads following Candidate Selection.
  • Support a matrixed, cross-functional environment with discovery and development teams and other key line-functions during preclinical and early clinical development to drive implementation of translational strategy for the project. Other line functions include but are not limited to Discovery Biology, Discovery Chemistry, Global Biologics Research, Drug Safety Research and Evaluation, DMPK, Modelling, Oncology Clinical Research, Clinical Pharmacology, Clinical Biomarkers, Biostatistics, Regulatory, Clinical Operations, Medical Affairs, Commercial.
  • Work closely with leadership of Translational Discovery and Development teams, Translational Genomics team, and Integrate Translational Technologies team.
  • Support development of key translational blueprints (MOA relevance in disease area, competitive differentiation, indication selection, patient stratification, combination strategy, PD biomarkers) and go/no-go criteria to move pre-ePOC projects through key project stage gates.
  • Support strategic development of team relationship between Discovery leads and Development leads to enable seamless forward and reverse translation at portfolio and pillar level.
  • Contribute to strategic selection and engagement of external collaborators/KOLs to guide the translational strategy across the discovery-development continuum, working closely with Translational Operations team and Translational Development team
  • Support integration of knowledge from diverse sources to inform translational hypothesis generation and work of Translational team in identifying models suitable to testing hypotheses, contribute to the design of experiments, and coordinate execution and data analysis.
  • Contribute to key documentation and presentations for projects moving through internal review stage gates and regulatory submissions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work across functions, regions and cultures
  • Functional level leadership with the ability to inspire, motivate and drive results
  • Excellent communicator, able to persuasively convey both ideas and data, verbally and in writing
  • Proven skills as an effective team player who can engender credibility and confidence within and outside the company
  • Ability to distil complex issues and ideas down to simple comprehensible terms
  • Demonstrates leadership presence and confidence
  • Embraces and demonstrates a diversity and inclusion mindset and role models these behaviors for the organization
  • Builds teams across functions and geographies with individuals who have the right skills and experience to deliver on key organizational initiatives.
  • Invests time in helping others to enhance their skills and perform at a higher level
  • Develops and oversees application of both scientific and clinical insights into the translational strategy of selected project teams and will manage the work of others directly and in a matrixed structure.
  • Able to support key strategic vision
  • Strong collaboration skills and ability to lead in cross-functional environment
  • Strong communication skills and ability to articulate strategic goals, both short- and long-term across Takeda organization
  • Dynamic mentoring abilities and ability to drive growth across teams and individuals


  • PhD in biological sciences with 12+ years experience
  • Direct experience in the pharmaceutical industry or related field required
  • Previous experience leading a medium to large organization and influencing senior-level management and key stakeholders is a plus
  • Proven track record of leading and driving business process transformation and organizational culture change as well as delivering on programs with complex business deliverables
  • Track record of successful leadership, management, and development of large, multi-disciplinary globally dispersed teams. Strong judge of talent with the ability to make tough talent decisions.
  • Health care business acumen with a comprehensive understanding of the pharmaceutical industry
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including writing, reviewing and editing scientific documents
  • Superior interpersonal skills, diplomacy and positive influencing abilities
  • Ability to work and drive decision-making within a multi-disciplinary, multi-regional, matrix teams
  • Good fit with Takeda core values and leadership principles
  • Right attitude (agile, curious, open-minded, can-do mindset)
  • Superior scientific and therapeutic area knowledge and solid understanding of emerging research in portfolio relevant areas


  • Ability to drive to or fly to various meetings or R&D sites including overnight trips
  • Ability to spend longer period of time at a different R&D site (weeks or several months)
  • Some international travel may be required.


  • 401(k) with company match and Annual Retirement Contribution Plan
  • Tuition reimbursement Company match of charitable contributions
  • Health & Wellness programs including onsite flu shots and health screenings
  • Generous time off for vacation and the option to purchase additional vacation days
  • Community Outreach Programs

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Boston, MA

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Full time

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