Shape Therapeutics (ShapeTx) is a development-stage biotechnology company establishing itself as the leader in next-generation gene therapy. Our novel technology platform enables direct in vivo targeting/modification of RNA by leveraging ADARs (Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA), suppressor tRNAs, and immune-stealth adeno-associated viruses (AAVs).

ShapeTx is providing solutions to many of the challenges that contemporary genome engineering technologies face (like CRISPR, TALENs, etc.), such as permanent off-target damage, high risk of immunogenicity and therefore low in vivo applicability as effective gene therapy approaches. ShapeTx’s technology instead engages natural human cellular machinery to target RNA with high in vivo efficiency.

At ShapeTx, we are a dynamic team of professionals who are dedicated and passionate about making cures a reality. Through diversity of thought, scientific knowledge, professional rigor and focus we are merging cutting-edge science with extensive drug development expertise to unlock cures tomany debilitating diseases.

Shape Therapeutics is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with a satellite site in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


ShapeTx is looking for a strategic scientific leader and respected people manager to serve as Head of Research, reporting directly to the CSO. In this role, you will create and execute the company’s research strategy, manage a rapidly growing team of high performing scientists and engage with internal and external stakeholders to establish and advance the preclinical pipeline. You will be responsible for aligning the key research areas of Technology Development, Disease Biology and Therapeutic Vector Delivery. You will also serve on the leadership team and exemplify and cultivate ShapeTx’s values and culture.

This is an exciting opportunity to lead the technical and disease-focused development of a pioneering RNA targeting technology to create the next generation of gene therapies. The ideal candidate will have an intellectual motivation to invent new technologies with direct application to human diseases. Creativity, scientific rigor and a thirst for excellence are essential.

Title and compensation commensurate with level of experience.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Corporate Leadership: Oversee the development of ShapeTx’s RNA targeting platform by creating and executing a research strategy that is aligned with company leadership and collaborative partners

  • Lead a fully-scaled, cross-functional Research Department encompassing Technology Development, Disease Biology and Therapeutic Vector Delivery
  • Establish scientific and strategic priorities. Manage scientific decision making and product development by working with CEO, CSO and key internal and external stakeholders
  • Partner with functional leads in CMC, Nonclinical and Regulatory to ensure smooth and efficient transition of candidates from Discovery to IND
  • Evaluate new research and technology opportunities in collaboration with the CEO, CSO and Business Development

Research Leadership: Provide technical and managerial leadership to R&D team members on all aspects of research science (e.g. day-to-day technical guidance, project and team management, etc.)

  • Optimize and evolve technical capabilities around RNA editing, vector delivery, and disease modulation to maintain and strengthen industry leadership
  • Apply a data-driven strategic framework to develop the research portfolio, prioritize resource allocation and make effective “go/no-go” decisions
  • Manage career development and performance of research staff, hire top talent and integrate new team members to maintain a strong team dynamic of respect, creativity and collaboration
  • Lead preparation and presentation of scientific progress and project updates to key internal and external stakeholders
  • Oversee competitive intelligence for scientific and technology advances in relevant gene therapy areas by interacting with external experts, attending scientific meetings, and staying up-to-date on literature
  • Contribute to the patent landscape to ensure unique IP creation and subsequent filing of patents

Qualifications:

  • PhD in molecular biology, genetics, biomedical engineering or related life science discipline
  • At least 15 years of experience in discovery research and/or biotechnology platform development
  • At least 10 years of experience in the biotechnology and/or pharmaceutical industry
  • At least 5 years of technical leadership and proven ability to manage high performing teams effectively
  • Expertise in gene editing and engineering, molecular biology, therapeutic delivery and/or drug candidate discovery and development

Skills and Experience:

  • Ability to operate and thrive in a fast-paced, start-up environment
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and ability to function in a complex and ambiguous environment
  • Ability to lead, mentor and develop scientific talent at different levels
  • Excellent communication and decision-making skills
  • Ability to develop and execute research strategy from concept to achieving goals
  • Ability to dive into technical details and discussions on active research programs
  • Ability to create development plans, report on progress and manage budgets and timelines
  • Skilled in business relationship management with internal and external partners  

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