About us:

Ascidian is redefining the treatment of disease by rewriting RNA.

Ascidian Therapeutics was founded to rewrite RNA by editing and replacing human exons. We were inspired by ocean creatures, called Ascidians, who are primordial ancestors of vertebrates. To grow from larvae to adults, ascidians re-engineer their transcriptome through RNA editing via trans-splicing and alternative splicing.

In our Brighton/Boston labs, RNA biology meets today’s cutting-edge genomics, computational biology, and deep-sequencing technologies to create a new class of medicines that address the underlying causes of disease. We welcome you to come join our vibrant team and help us lead the way into a new gene therapy era.

Who are we looking for?

We are seeking a dynamic and experienced Scientific Director to lead an RNA editing program targeting highly unmet medical needs in rare disease. The successful candidate will have a strong background in drug discovery from target validation into early clinical development. You will have deep technical knowledge, a strategic mindset, and clear, forwarding-thinking leadership in preclinical models of human disease, establishing PK/PD relationships for gene therapy technologies, and a proven track record of successfully leading research programs from discovery into early clinical testing. As part of the Research Leadership team, you will lead a team of high-performing scientists to advance the current research pipeline, including taking the lead in preclinical IND enabling studies to IND submission. This role will be pivotal in shaping the company's scientific strategy and ensuring its successful execution.

This role requires working onsite 5 days per week in our Brighton, MA office.

Your contribution to Ascidian

  • Scientific leadership in advancing RNA exon editor programs.
  • Generate and utilize state-of-the-art cellular and animal models of disease to support RNA exon editor efficacy testing
  • Oversee key decision making in vitro and in vivo non-clinical experiments to understand the therapeutic potential of novel RNA exon editing technologies.
  • Develop novel biomarkers to support efficacy testing in both non-clinical and early clinical studies  
  • Provide scientific expertise and guidance in RNA biology, molecular biology, and gene editing technologies.
  • Collaborate with the leadership team to define and refine the scientific strategy, ensuring its alignment with business goals. 
  • Mentor and guide research scientists, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and excellence. 
  • Establish and lead partnerships with academic institutions and other third parties to leverage emerging technologies and models.  

What you need to succeed

  • PhD in neuroscience, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, genetics, or a related field.
  • 8+ years in biotech, pharma, or related industry with a focus on being technically excellent, strategic and innovative.
  • Extensive experience in managing research teams and leading projects from discovery through preclinical stages, with a solid understanding of early clinical development
  • Previous experience working within a multiparty biotech collaboration is preferred
  • Deep knowledge of neurological, muscular, and/or other genetic diseases
  • Familiarity with regulatory requirements for early-phase clinical trials and IND submissions
  • Proven track record of publications in high-impact journals or significant industry contributions. 
  • Strong familiarity with AAV and/or non-viral gene therapy and editing technologies 
  • Experience in guiding teams to delivering high-quality datasets evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic modalities.
  • Strong entrepreneurial mentality with a can-do attitude and hands-on approach, working in close collaboration with internal and external teams.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to collaborate effectively across multidisciplinary teams and present scientific findings internally and externally
  • Established network within the academic, biotech and computational biology communities, is preferred. 

Life as an Ascidian

We provide a vibrant startup environment where every employee contributes to our culture and science. We offer a generous total rewards plan that includes competitive compensation, stock options, and benefits. Our benefits include a top-tier health and wellness plan, generous parental leave, commuter reimbursement or paid monthly parking, tuition or loan reimbursement, career development opportunities and so much more.

If you feel energized by what you read here, but are not sure you meet every requirement, please consider applying! We believe diverse backgrounds lead to innovative thinking that enables effective treatment for millions of patients. Above all, we are looking for the right person with skills and talent to grow the company all while enriching your professional and scientific experience.


We provide a vibrant startup environment where every employee contributes to our culture and science. We offer a generous total rewards plan that includes competitive compensation, stock options, and benefits. Our benefits include a top-tier health and wellness plan, commuter reimbursement or paid monthly parking, tuition or loan reimbursement, career development opportunities and so much more.

A final note - we highly encourage you to apply for our position, even if you are not sure you meet all the requirements. Everyone has unique talents, and at Ascidian, we look not only at your experience but your potential. We know that the best teams consist of diverse backgrounds, so please apply!

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