Pfizer Head of Neurodegeneration Group #1, Internal Medicine Research Unit in Cambridge, Massachusetts
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A career at Pfizer offers opportunity, ownership and impact.
All over the world, Pfizer colleagues work together to positively impact health for everyone, everywhere. Our colleagues have the opportunity to grow and develop a career that offers both individual and company success; be part of an ownership culture that values diversity and where all colleagues are energized and engaged; and the ability to impact the health and lives of millions of people. Pfizer, a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, is continuously seeking top talent who are inspired by our purpose to innovate to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives.
The Head of Neurodegeneration, Group 1, Internal Medicine Research Unit (IMRU) will report to the Internal Medicine Research Unit CSO and will be responsible for directing the development of therapies for Neurodegenerative diseases from early exploratory biology through positive clinical Proof-of-Concept (POC) serving as the primary point of contact both internally and externally for the overall Neuroscience strategy. The successful candidate will be a driver of innovation and scientific excellence, identifying and advancing the best novel therapeutic hypotheses, targets and molecules for both disease modification and symptomatic treatment. Scientific areas of focus for the 5-6 laboratories of this research line include the known genetic targets associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases (e.g., amyloid, tau, GBA), vascular function, lipid and lysosomal biology as well as potential symptomatic therapies for the neurobiohavioral symptoms of these diseases. This experienced scientific leader will be expected to develop a Neurodegenerative disease program within Neuroscience that is recognized as a leader in its field by leading discoveries, development of novel therapeutics and responding to rapidly breaking science and evolving global healthcare demands.
The Head of Neurodegeneration, Group 1, will:
• Lead a multidisciplinary effort within the Internal Medicine Research Unit, being responsible for identifying novel targets or pathways to develop symptomatic or disease modifying therapies to treat key unmet needs. The group's efforts will encompass genetics, basic biology to the final pathobiology of the disease, as well as the identification and validation of cellular and clinical biomarkers.
• Serve as the primary point of contact to internal and external stakeholders to deliver a sustainable, highly competitive pipeline from target-to-POC for Neurodegenerative diseases.
• Partner with other disciplines of integrated drug discovery and development, especially chemistry, pharmacokinetics and drug disposition, and clinical biology and human studies, to build a pipeline of clinical candidates with strong and clear rationale for differentiation from standard of care; deliver highly competitive, positive "Proof of Concepts" that fulfill product models aligned to a carefully formulated therapeutic strategy.
• Identify major opportunities at all biological and clinical levels of sciences in the field of Neurodegenerative disease with unmet medical needs. Drive and prosecute a balanced and innovative therapeutic area portfolio of small molecule and biologic based targets, critically prioritized based on rigorous and innovative science.
• Serve as a member of the Worldwide Research and Developent-Internal Medicine Research Unit Leadership Team, providing operational and strategic input and support in the development and management of an industry leading neuroscience research and development organization and portfolio.
• Serve as a role model to Pfizer colleagues by maintaining the highest standards of scientific rigor and ethical principles. Nurture a culture that promotes challenging and respectful interactions among Pfizer colleagues and their external consultants and collaborators.
• Serve as the primary point of contact for the Therapeutic Area Triad for Neuroscience and the external Therapeutic Area Strategic Advisory Panel (TASAP).
• Lead the Neurodegeneration, Group 1, Line of the Internal Medicine Research Unit, responsible for identifying novel targets or pathways to advance novel symptomatic and disease modifying therapies, applying the latest research and scientific approaches and technologies.
• Identify and unite emerging science with unmet medical needs. Drive and prosecute a balanced and innovative research portfolio of small molecule and biologic based targets, critically prioritized based on rigorous and innovative science.
• Build a pipeline of clinical candidates with strong and clear rationale for differentiation from standard of care and achieve a return on investment in the Research Unit commensurate with Pfizer's financial objectives.
• Advance programs by the most effective means to test convincingly in humans.
• Provide seamless function of IMRU operations, may serve as the CSO's representative both within and outside of the Research Unit, and provide executive briefings to the CSO.
• Nurture a culture that engages Pfizer colleagues internal and external to the RU to enthusiastically and optimistically strive for the discovery of new Neuroscience medicines.
• Actively seek, embrace, and apply the best biomedical research to discover new drugs to deliver first in class and best in class medicines to patients.
• Set priorities aligned with the strategic direction from the RU.
• In partnership with the IMRU Leadership Team and CSO, ensure delivery of scientific strategy for the Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit.
• Partner with Clinical Head and Clinical Team to deliver differentiated and innovative medicines through to positive clinical proof of concept (POC).
• In conjunction with the IMRU CSO and other members of the Leadership Team, define strategies to identify breakthrough medicines for Neurodegenerative diseases. Contribute to the development of Pfizer Neuroscience's end-to-end (idea to commercialization) strategy by liaising with all relevant scientific and clinical teams and appropriate Business Unit (BU) colleagues.
• Collaborate with key internal and external biomedical scientists to drive improved understanding of disease pathophysiology to deliver a highly competitive and innovative drug discovery portfolio.
• Set objectives for the therapeutic area to generate an appropriate return on investment.
• Influence the global external environment through thought leadership, external visibility and active engagement with key opinion leaders
• Partner with other members of the IMRU leadership team to ensure operational excellence of the IMRU business. Ensure resources are focused appropriately on the portfolio and scientific priorities to enable delivery of both short and long term objectives.
• Foster a collaborative and productive environment between Pfizer IMRU and academic biomedical researchers.
• Drive cross-Pfizer interfaces to drive programs and advance IMRU project and strategic initiatives.
• Deliver deep biological expertise in neurodenerative disease to build confidence in rationale and mechanistic certainty.
• Partner with the Head of the Neurodegeneration, Group 2, to deliver a sustainable, highly competitive pipeline from target-to-POC for Neurodegenerative diseases.
• Ensure scientific strategy for each drug discovery project is rigorous, aligned and effective.
• Interface with senior Business Unit and WRD leaders to ensure target-to-POC portfolio balances risk with opportunity, and exploits the full repertoire of therapeutic modalities.
• Makes a top priority of discovering novel companion biomarkers identifying the human populations with the highest likelihood of benefitting from the IMRU's pipelines of medicines for neurodegenerative diseases with unmet clinical needs.
Management and Leadership:
• Leads a therapeutic area department comprised of approximately 30-40 Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. level scientists.
• Supervise scientific leaders from a range of biology disciplines such as molecular and cellular neurobiology, neuropharmacology, biochemistry, neurochemistry, behavioral and translational sciences with a focus on relevant cellular and systemic biomarker discovery and development.
• Instill a culture of continuous improvement and focus on improved operational excellence.
• Develop and maintain partnerships with key colleagues in other functional areas ensuring ongoing alignment of goals, scientific rigor and focus, strategies and increased efficiency.
• Manage all operations of the Neurodegeneration, Group 1 line of laboratories, including talent management and mentoring, budgeting, and resource allocation.
• Development and implement of strategic efforts to create a world class scientific research culture and environment.
• Ensure all activities executed comply with legal and regulatory requirements and with Pfizer corporate policies.
• Build an intelligence capability and external network of biomedical research collaborations and advisors to find the most attractive therapeutic mechanisms and talent.
• Ensure projects are adequately resourced and prioritized to deliver on objectives.
• Eliminate barriers and silos that inhibit collaboration across departments and line functions and foster a culture of open collaboration, communication and transparency
• Inspire, model, and reinforce colleague expectations of urgently creating value at an appropriate return on investment, of applying innovative, rigorous science to discovering new medicines, of individual &; collective accountability for value creation, of continuously improving organizational effectiveness.
• Build a team of colleagues with the quality of scientific leadership and external recognition to generate competitive advantage in attracting the best talent and collaborators.
• Engender a high level of engagement and professional trust across both direct and indirect lines.
• Attract and grow highly effective scientists and drug discoverers and nurture a culture which translates breaking biological science into new medicines most effectively and competetively in the biomedical research industry.
• Effectively, rigorously and accurately review and develop talent. Proactively address development needs and make difficult decisions when appropriate.
• Clearly communicate and articulate the vision and strategy to stakeholders and regularly report on portfolio progress.
• Evidence of strong communication skills, able to present complex technical or scientific concepts to enable understanding by colleagues from all disciplines / all levels both internally and externally.
• MD, PhD or MD/PhD in Neuroscience, Neurology, or related discipline.
• Competency in leadership skills
• 15 years + leading a world class research group in academia or industry
• Exceptional track record of accomplishment in the field of neuroscience
• Established national and international scientific reputation in the area of Neurodegenerative disease biology, translational science or clinical research.
• Demonstrated track record of high impact publications
• Record of team leadership including change management experience
• Demonstrated success in negotiating the environment of a highly matrix-based organization.
• A proven ability to establish and maintain relationships to achieve results and meet the needs of research teams and the Research Unit.
• Demonstrated ability to solve problems and influence in complex organizational structures, applying foresight and judgment to make complex decisions in ambiguous situations.
• Proven track record in providing leadership to advancing scientific research from idea through execution
• Demonstrated ability to build key relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, working across many disciplines such as clinical research, development operations, regulatory affairs, and commercial
• Demonstrated skills in coaching and mentoring others across a wide range of educational and experiential backgrounds; motivates others to maintain a consistent level of excellence in scientific research and drug discovery
• Scientific leader in neurodegenerative diseases as demonstrated by external reputation (e.g. publications, editorials appointments and podium presentations at top level scientific meetings)
• A compelling and inspiring leader with a sharp scientific mind, who combines broad knowledge and understanding of biological systems with being a world-class leader in his/her field of biomedical research.
• Decision making and problem solving profile which enables scientific insights to lead to resolving unmet medical need by identifying potential breakthrough medicines, uses this experience to build a sustainable pipeline of drug candidates. Adept at separating important from unimportant information.
• Combines knowledge from multiple sources to generate novel and high impact ideas. Gets to the core of the problem, asks insightful and probing questions and gets to the next step effectively.
• Strategically and rigorously assess projects in light of overall strategy and quickly and decisively advances or terminates projects.
• Disaggregates complex problems to facilitate problem solving.
• Business mindset, sorts out and understands risks inherent in drug discovery (small molecule and biotherapeutic), and makes decisions appropriate to opportunity and investment required.
• Thinks innovatively, connecting seemingly unrelated data, information, perspectives etc, at people, scientific and business levels.
• Viewed internally and externally as a top scientific leader with respect to drug discovery and in the field of Alzheimer's disease biology and clinical research.
Leadership - Management of self:
• Is able to create an aspirational vision and express it in a compelling fashion to all levels of the organization.
• A natural collaborator who forges strong relationships and alliances at all levels, internally &; externally, attracting ideas, catalyzing new thinking and galvanizing action.
• Very decisive, with an entrepreneurial mindset driven by a passion for applying science to deliver medicines to patients.
• Effective at the strategic and detail level, and moves between the two levels effortlessly.
• Situational leader; resilient, assured and decisive under pressure or faced with ambiguity, willing to step into a leadership role in any situation which demands it.
• Manages her/himself through change rapidly and in a way which assures those around them.
• Sophisticated interpersonal skills, exhibits empathy with others frame of reference, perceives impact of actions &; words on those around her/him, draws ideas out from others regardless of origin and builds upon them, provides open &; frank feedback (both positive &; negative) in a constructive fashion, tailors coaching style to recipient.
• Team player, adaptable to many different roles within a team.
• Networks and builds effective working relationships both inside and outside her/his area of responsibility.
• Navigates effectively through complex organizational relationships (internal &; external) to make things happen.
Leadership - Management of others:
• Demonstrated ability to energize and motivate talent at all levels of a biomedical research organization or institution
• Accurately assesses talent and puts colleagues in roles commensurate with their skills, motivation and abilities. Builds high potential employees and makes tough decisions regarding unproductive employees. Champions talent and proactively supports the development of colleagues.
• Provides a clear and compelling vision of the strategy which is relevant and inspiring to all
• Leads change effectively through knowledge and previous experience.
• Engenders trust, respect and confidence as a leader.
• Delegates to and holds individuals accountable for delivering on objectives and for modeling &; reinforcing the aims and culture of the unit. Manages performance of reports effectively.
• Judges competence and motivation of others accurately.A career at Pfizer offers opportunity, ownership and impact.
All over the world, Pfizer colleagues work together to positively impact health for everyone, everywhere. Our colleagues have the opportunity to grow and develop a career that offers both individual and company success; be part of an ownership culture that values diversity and where all colleagues are energized and engaged; and the ability to impact the health and lives of millions of people. Pfizer, a global leader in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, is continuously seeking top talent who are inspired by our purpose to innovate to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives.
Pfizer is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable equal employment opportunity legislation in each jurisdiction in which it operates.