Volastra Therapeutics, Inc. is a platform-based biotechnology company in New York City, formed from the laboratory of Dr. Lewis Cantley, along with Drs. Olivier Elemento and Samuel Bakhoum.  Volastra Therapeutics is dedicated to the discovery and development of treatments for patients at risk of, or with metastatic cancers.  The Company’s therapies will target novel pathways and apply insights gained from its scientific founders into chromosomal instability (CIN) and its clear association with the formation, progression, and maintenance of metastasis.  Utilizing an integrated multi-omics approach with high content analytics, the team at Volastra plans to identify and quickly validate novel therapies to shift the treatment paradigm in metastatic cancers.  

Volastra has raised funding from top US and European venture firms, including Vida, Polaris, Droia, and Arch.  Current funding will look to advance a lead program into the clinic, advance another program to IND-enabling studies and strengthen the platform to identify a broader pipeline of candidates. The company has a world class scientific advisory board including two Nobel Laureates as well as a highly experienced senior leadership team.  This includes the CEO, CSO and senior leaders with expertise in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, immunology, and operations.

The company operates out of 15,000 square feet of office and state-of-the-art laboratory space in West Harlem, New York City, within easy traveling distance of Columbia, Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and all most other areas of the city and New Jersey.

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The role of Associate Director/Director at Volastra will work closely with the VP of Biology and scientific team to achieve the company’s scientific and strategic plan.  Volastra is seeking a highly motivated Associate Director/Director for a project leadership role. The Director will have responsibility for leading complex projects and teams as part of the scientific team to ensure the advancement of key programs in the Volastra pipeline. The ideal candidate should have a track-record of project leadership, rigorous scientific standards, deep biological understanding of mechanisms and pathways, and tangible contributions to biopharmaceutical drug programs and/or peer-reviewed publications. The candidate should have experience leading the drug discovery programs including coordination of target validation, mechanistic biology, in vivo efficacy, toxicology, and PK/PD workflows. Project responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Leads project teams to progress drug discovery projects from target validation and discovery implementation to clinical development candidate nomination
  • Designing studies to support biomarker and patient selection strategies
  • Provides scientific perspective and leadership for discovery projects of the company’s early target portfolio focused on chromosomal instability and its role in cancer progression and metastasis
  • Interrogating the biology of CIN and metastasis to yield new mechanistic insights and/or identify new targets
  • Keeps abreast of the latest scientific and competitive developments and applies the knowledge to project strategy
  • Works with internal teams on experimental design and deliver to senior management clearly articulated hypotheses, progress reports and future planning
  • Contributes to building a culture that embraces scientific excellence and integrity with a sense of collaboration internally and externally.

Required Skills

  • Experience leading drug discovery projects and managing concurrent activities to progress programs
  • High scientific standards, deep biological understanding of key cancer mechanisms and pathways, ability to identify critical issues or gaps and develop strategies to address them.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to articulate science and strategy across all levels to varied audiences
  • Ability to effectively manage teams and timelines to meet deadlines
  • Data analysis and presentation through software such as Graphpad Prism, Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint


  • PhD in a relevant field such as cell biology or cancer biology
  • 7+ years post-graduate experience in a biotech/pharmaceutical setting
  • Experience leading drug discovery programs


Volastra is a lean team of dedicated individuals working to advance therapies for patients with metastatic cancer.  As such, the Scientist will from time to time have the opportunity to work on projects and take on responsibilities that may fall outside his/her scope of work. 

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