The microbiome has become one of the most exciting areas for research and translational science in the biopharmaceutical industry.
This company has a class-leading platform which enables precise and large-scale identification of gut bacteria associated with health or disease, enabling the design of novel medicines and biomarkers based on live bacteria. In a short space of time, the company has established itself as an industry leader to discover novel biomarkers, targets and medicines in inflammatory bowel disease. They have a pipeline of live bacterial products for C. difficile, ulcerative colitis and cancer which will be progressed to the clinic.
We are now seeking a driven, an experienced and highly motivated individual to join as Group Leader Translational Biology to lead a group focusing on in vivo pharmacology and disease models within Translational Biology. The role will involve cutting edge research in microbiome therapeutics, and will be central to the company’s progressing of new medicines. This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic scientist to play a key role in building a young biotech company and to contribute to the development of a new class of medicines.
Role and Responsibilities
The successful candidate will play a key role in the discovery of novel therapeutic candidates comprising live bacteria delivered orally to the intestinal tract, initially in the company’s ulcerative colitis and immuno-oncology programs.
The successful candidate will be responsible for the development and running of animal models of human disease and biology for the evaluation of live bacterial medicines in the company’s portfolio. Given the novelty of this area, this will require a combination of insight into underlying biological host and microbiome mechanisms, and rigor in delivering data packages for progression to development.
The major areas of responsibility are:
- Establish novel models of host and microbiome biology relevant to human disease, with a focus on autoimmunity, IBD and immuno-oncology.
- Validate biological models through comparison to clinical data using translational biomarkers and germ-free mice with human microbiota transplants.
- Deliver data packages to support candidate selection and submission to regulators.
- Lead in vivo biology capability in the company.
- Set up and develop mammalian cell biology and organoid capability for testing of modulation by anaerobic gut bacteria.
- Develop immunological assays and gut cellular models for functional characterisation of candidate bacteria.
- Liaise with external CROs to develop assays to support projects where necessary.
- Maintain a strong knowledge of, and developments in, immunology and microbiome biology.
- Ensure integrity of data from the group within the program teams.
- Be an effective and accountable contributor within program teams.
- Manage, mentor and develop group members.
Requirements for this post include:
- PhD in a biological discipline with an additional 5 years or more industry experience in in vivo pharmacology, ideally within the fields of immunology/autoimmunity or immuno-oncology.
- Experience and interest in establishing novel animal models of disease based on understanding of underlying biological mechanisms.
- Ability to design, execute and document rigorous testing of therapeutic agents to the highest standards of quality and reproducibility, suitable for selection as development candidates and submission to regulators.
- Ability to innovate in the development of novel models of human biology or disease applied to a new therapeutic modality, i.e. live bacterial therapeutics.
- Holder of a Personal Home Office License, proven experience in an animal facility and knowledge of the relevant Health and Safety legislation.
Desirable requirements for this post include:
- Understanding of microbial biology, genetics and/or gastrointestinal microbiota.
- Experience in host-microbiota interactions in human biology and disease.
The following attributes and skills are essential:
- Effective team player and manager.
- A high level of motivation and willingness to contribute flexibly as required in order to help the company succeed.
- Proactivity in solving challenges to answer the needs of the company programs.
- A high level of organisation.
- Ability to work independently and deliver projects to timescale and budget.
- Good presentational skills, both oral and written.
- Candidates should be legally entitled to work in the UK.