Associate Director, RNA Biology

RNA Biology · Waltham, Massachusetts
Department RNA Biology
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

Do you have the passion to join a group whose mission is to pioneer the discovery of a new class of medicines to treat diseases unaddressed by today’s medicines?  Does it excite you to be a part of a company with a focus on cancer and genetically validated targets in other disease areas with unmet medical need?  If yes, you may be a great fit to join Arrakis on our path to bring powerful new therapies to millions of patients. 

Your Impact at Arrakis

The mission of Arrakis Therapeutics is to extend small molecule medicines into new realms of biology by discovering and developing compounds that selectively target RNA (“rSM”). By targeting distinct RNA structure/function relationships, Arrakis is generating drug candidates with novel mechanisms of action for molecular targets that are challenging to drug in disease areas with high unmet medical need. 


The Arrakis platform is being built to drug RNA structures with small molecules targeting many aspects of RNA biology. The person in this leadership role will help lead target identification and validation efforts, assay development, and mechanism of action characterization for programs across all aspects of RNA biology. Leveraging your knowledge of RNA biology to drive innovative science to deliver novel therapeutics to patients will allow you to have a major impact on our mission. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a collaborative, fast-paced start-up environment, leveraging a high degree of integrity, creativity, and innovation. 


Job Responsibilities:


  • Leverage your knowledge of RNA biology and therapeutic platform development to lead efforts for the identification of broad-based and target-specific therapeutic intervention points in RNA biology, proof-of-concept validation of therapeutic MOAs, and mechanistic understanding of small molecule therapeutic candidates
  • Lead efforts to design, build, and validate in-vitro and cell-based assays to support a target identification and validation pipeline, hit-to-lead programs, and mechanism of action studies
  • Bring novel innovation to RNA biology interrogation methodologies and lead efforts to internalize state-of-the-art methodologies, including but not limited to NGS, reporter assays, ribosome profiling assays, splicing assays, mRNA decay assays
  • Provide both scientific and strategic leadership within the RNA biology team and directly manage and mentor scientists in the team
  • Work effectively in a cross-functional capacity with the RNA biology, target biology, bioinformatics, assay development and chemistry teams to deliver high-quality results and drive program decisions in an efficient manner
  • Effectively communicate scientific proposals, experimental outcomes, and project goals and progress across the organization




  • Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry or equivalent.
  • 8+ years of relevant experience required, with at least 5 years in industry.
  • Direct management experience and project leadership experience are required.
  • Strong foundational knowledge of RNA biology with a focus on mRNA biology, including mRNA splicing, transcription, translation, mRNA decay/degradation, mRNA regulation, and RNA-protein interactions
  • Expertise in molecular biology methods to interrogate RNA biology, including but not limited to NGS, qRT-PCR, RIP, eCLIP, ribosome profiling, reporter systems
  • Proven track record of scientific innovation, as demonstrated by peer reviewed publications and/or and patents.
  • Experience in mammalian systems is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to convince others to pursue a course of action and to communicate the big picture in an inspiring way.
  • Proactive and efficient to enable high-quality results while fostering a positive work environment.
  • Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has a can-do attitude without losing objectivity.
  • Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions and copes effectively with complexity and change.

Interested in learning more about Arrakis?  Click on the links below!


Arrakis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, military service, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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  • Location
    Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Department
    RNA Biology
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience