Senior Director, RNA Therapeutics

Ginkgo Bioworks Inc.
Full Time
Boston, Massachusetts
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Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms.

Ginkgo is a high-growth, well-capitalized public biotech company in Boston that is redesigning the living world to solve some of the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our mission to “make biology easier to engineer” is poised to disrupt multiple industries by leveraging our innovative data, automation, and scale in biological engineering.  Ginkgo has built a platform for "cell engineering" to use AI/ML tools for DNA design, long DNA synthesis and assembly, next-gen sequencing, automated culturing, assay development, high-throughput high-content screening to advance pre-clinical research and development as well as manufacturing process optimization across therapeutic modalities.

Ginkgo is a partner driven company with over 100 programs running on the platform. We are seeking to enable drug-developers but have no designs to develop therapeutics ourselves. Within Ginkgo, the Mammalian Engineering team consists of a set of scientists and engineers with subject matter expertise across cell therapy, gene therapy, rna therapeutics, and biologics. This team is responsible for translating challenges our partners have into actionable R&D programs that leverage the broader Ginkgo platform’s resources (aka the Foundry); and then manage and execute on those programs to deliver solutions on time and budget. Ginkgo has a number of public and confidential programs in RNA therapeutics, including developing next generation circular RNA and mRNA constructs with Pfizer, and triggering cell-type specific circularization with . We have also invested in RNA circularization technology through acquisition of Circularis. As a partner-driven platform company we are not focused on any particular therapeutic area and are generally interested in enabling the appropriate pharmacological characteristics for a partner’s payload. These efforts blend with our teams’ efforts in gene therapy and delivery technologies.

We are looking for a Senior Director, RNA Therapy to continue building and managing our portfolio of RNA therapeutic programs. The ideal candidate will have had experiences both developing RNA platforms and driving preclinical and/or clinical programs with increasing leadership responsibilities throughout their career. The position requires a combination of deep technical understanding, general business acumen, project management skills, superior communication skills, and the ability to grow and lead scientific teams. This is a leadership role reporting to the VP of Mammalian Engineering.

Please note:  this role could be based in either our Seaport or Cambridge locations, but requires some flexibility to occasionally be present at the other location.

Responsibilities:

  • Leading and developing a team of scientists and engineers to deliver on programs across the RNA therapeutics portfolio
  • Support program leads (and in some cases lead programs) and drive accountability for program progress
  • Develop and instill strong project management practices in the team
  • Communicate project and team performance to leadership and external customers
  • Work in conjunction with Ginkgo’s Commercial Team to directly interface with current and potential external partners to drive more programs on the platform.
  • Use those conversations to understand gaps and opportunities for Ginkgo to help RNA therapeutic developers. Formulate a strategy to address gaps or take advantage of opportunities through internal programs, licensing, acquisition, etc. that could drive significant value.
  • Establish strong partnerships with Ginkgo’s Foundry teams to develop a strategy to scale the numbers of programs Ginkgo can support– through standardization, institution of processes, etc.
  • Assist with shaping Ginkgo’s overall direction as a company and support its evolving needs, as necessary

Minimum Requirements:

  • PhD in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, computational biology or related field
  • 10+ years of research experience in biopharma R&D settings with at least 3 years industry experience in RNA therapeutics. Experiences both in platform development and program leadership
  • Deep experience and technical leadership in one or more RNA modalities: mRNA, ASOs, circRNA, RNA manufacturing, RNA aptamers – demonstrated through program success, publications, etc.
  • Proven track record of leading and organizing successful teams and mentoring both managers and individual contributors
  • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to oversee multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and collaborate with cross-functional teams
  • Excellent communication and organization skills, with the ability to effectively convey project plans and complex technical information to a wide range of internal teams, executive leadership, and external partners

Preferred Capabilities and Experience

  • Strong understanding of challenges and opportunities to improve delivery of various RNA modalities (LNP-based, complex oligosaccharides, etc.)
  • Strong background in one or more of the following: computational RNA design, ribosomal profiling.
  • Strong immunology background
  • Good understanding and past use of quantitative approaches to tackle biological problems

#LI-MB1

To learn more about Ginkgo, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com/press/ or check out some curated press below:

We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  

We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees, employment applicants, and EOE disability/vet.

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