Associate Director, Target Biology and Translational Medicine

Target Biology and translational medicine · Waltham, Massachusetts
Department Target Biology and translational medicine
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor

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 Associate Director in Target Biology and Translational Medicine will make a large impact on Arrakis’ mission by providing leadership across the Target Biology and Translational Medicine team and in close collaboration with other line functions in the organization.  Responsibilities of this role include serving as the biology lead for hit-to-lead stage partner programs, overseeing development of cell-based assays in neurobiology and/or rare disease, leveraging a broad array of molecular and cell biology techniques, and partnering with current team members to lead an internal program.  The successful candidate will have substantial experience in people management, and upon joining will be expected to lead a team of 2-3 people to support internal programs spanning therapeutic areas including neurobiology and rare disease.  Experience overseeing broad therapeutic biology expertise is desirable.  In addition, scientific curiosity, experience in small molecule drug discovery, the ability to function in a cross-functional manner, communicate with colleagues having diverse expertise, and to lead and develop research associates and scientists are critical to success in this position.


The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a collaborative, fast-paced start-up environment, leveraging a high degree of problem-solving and troubleshooting skills to make a large impact on our mission. 


Job Responsibilities:


  • Serve as biology point person for partner programs in hit-to-lead
  • Recruit, hire and supervise a group of Research Associates and/or Scientists to design, build and validate cell-based assays and to interrogate the efficacy, specificity and mechanism of action of RNA-targeted small molecules in neurobiology and rare disease
  • Manage CROs to enable additional bandwidth and/or capabilities where appropriate
  • Lead biology in collaboration with current team members on internal hit-to-lead program
  • Identify, validate and enable preclinical models for evaluation of lead molecules
  • Work collaboratively within the Target Biology and Translational Medicine team and across the organization to progress projects in a timely and efficient manner
  • Contribute to a culture of open and effective collaboration between experimental and computational scientists


  • Ph.D. in Neurobiology, Biology, Genetics or related field with 5+ years of industry experience, including people management
  • Experience leading programs in neurobiology or rare disease; small molecule experience is a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively supervise, inspire, and develop research associates and/or scientists.
  • Experience performing and analyzing a broad array of molecular and cellular biological experiments and including neuro-specific cell-based models (primary neurons and/or iPSCs)
  • Previous experience managing CROs
  • Ability to effectively communicate methodologies, results and program status with colleagues, including scientists, research management, project team leaders and advisors.
  • Exhibits curiosity, passion and excitement for science. 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.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

  • Location
    Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Department
    Target Biology and translational medicine
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor