Shape Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing next-generation RNA-targeted therapies to treat the world’s most challenging diseases. The ShapeTX technology platform includes RNAskip™, a proprietary suppressor tRNA technology that enables premature stop codon readthrough; RNAfixTM, a precision RNA editing technology using endogenous Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA (ADAR); and AAVidTM, a next-generation engineered adeno-associated virus (AAV) platform producing highly specific, tissue-tropic AAVs. The power of the ShapeTX platforms resides in redirecting the cellular machinery already present in our cells, thereby bypassing the risks of immunogenicity and DNA damage seen with other contemporary editing technologies. 

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 to many debilitating diseases.

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

ShapeTX is looking for a dynamic, experienced industry leader to serve as Director, Head of Disease Biology. In this role, you will drive the advancement of ShapeTX’s robust preclinical pipeline by applying novel RNA-targeting technologies to a diverse set of therapeutic areas (Neuro, Ocular, Liver, etc). You will be responsible for advancing assets from project conception to molecular proof-of-concept and lead development candidate selection. You will lead a rapidly growing team of high-performing scientists and help project leads design and execute focused project strategies. You will also manage and support the development of people managers. This role will be Research-focused, but you will collaborate cross-functionally on portfolio prioritization and transition of lead development candidates from Research into IND-enabling studies. You will serve on the Research Leadership Team and play a key role in aligning Disease Biology with the Technology Development and Delivery Sciences teams.

At ShapeTX, we believe that how we work is critical to the success of the company. As a leader in the Research department, you will be expected to exemplify and cultivate ShapeTX’s values and culture.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a high-growth department and lead the disease biology team to create the next generation of gene therapies. The ideal candidate will have expertise in gene therapy, neuroscience, and/or rare disease research with a demonstrated track record of successful research-to-development transitions. Creativity, scientific rigor and a thirst for excellence are essential.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Oversee the maturation of ShapeTX’s preclinical pipeline by advancing assets from project conception to molecular proof-of-concept and lead development candidate selection
  • Establish and maintain general technical knowledge of the ShapeTX RNA-targeting platforms and contribute to diligence on disease-specific applications
  • Mentor project leads and help design, refine and drive execution of project strategies
  • Apply a data-driven strategic framework to prioritize resource allocation and make effective “go/no-go” decisions
  • Provide managerial leadership to team members (e.g. day-to-day technical guidance, data review, project and people management, etc.)
  • Engage with Process Development/CMC, Regulatory and Nonclinical Development to support the Research-to-Development transition of therapeutic candidates
  • 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
  • Oversee competitive intelligence in relevant scientific areas by interacting with external experts, attending scientific meetings, and staying up-to-date on literature
  • Represent ShapeTX to the external scientific community via presentations, publications, etc.
  • Contribute to the patent landscape to ensure unique IP creation and subsequent filing of patents


Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in neuroscience or related life science discipline
  • 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 therapy, neurobiology, and/or rare disease research with a demonstrated ability to advance preclinical assets to lead development candidate selection and into IND-enabling studies

Skills and Experience:

  • Ability to operate and thrive in a fast-paced, matrixed environment
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and ability to function in a complex and ambiguous environment
  • Ability to lead, mentor and develop scientific talent and project leadership at different levels
  • Excellent communication and decision-making skills
  • Ability to dive into technical details and discussions on active research programs
  • Skilled in business relationship management with internal and external partners

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