Director, Head of Biology, CNS Research - Research and Development San Diego, CA

  • Company: Takeda
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Posted: November 20, 2016
  • Reference ID: 1602831

Are you looking for a patient-focused company that will inspire you and support your career? If so, be empowered to take charge of your future at Takeda. Join us as a Director, Head of Biology, CNS Research in our San Diego office.


The Head of Biology for CNS Research acts as the strategic leader for research activities for the Takeda California CNS Drug Discovery Unit and is responsible for all biological activities from target identification through to preclinical translational support for clinical assets up to early proof of concept in patients. The Takeda California team employs enterprise thinking and creative partnerships with internal and external organizations to translate human patient data sets and proprietary bacTRAP data into innovative drug discovery projects that are aimed at transforming the quality of life of patients suffering from neurodevelopment disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.


  • Guided by the Global CNS Drug Discovery Unit and Therapeutic Area Unit strategy, sets the local strategy for the Takeda California CNS Drug Discovery Unit group
  • Leads the selection of new drug targets and executes efficient preclinical lead optimization and translational biology validation, incorporating target engagement and/or functional biomarkers of drug action
  • Expands portfolio to incorporate large molecule therapeutics and collaborates with the Takeda functions and external partners to enable their progression to clinical PoM.
  • Develops an innovation portfolio with Takeda partners, CROs and academic collaborators that can test and deliver the next generation of CNS drug discovery concepts
  • Seeks, evaluates and proposes preclinical/clinical in-licensing candidates.
  • Identifies, engages, and ensures the success of research partnerships across Takeda‚Äôs global network and the external scientific community.
  • Keeps up-to-date with the latest scientific advancements (e.g. competitive situation, new technologies and partnerships) and is well informed about current regulatory (FDA etc.) requirements and trends.
  • Sets departmental scientific and business goals and manages the financial budget and other administrative functions
  • Has significant accountability for the performance and results of functional groups or strategic business, scientific or support function
  • Leads, coaches, and provides direct scientific leadership to group members
  • Works with the leadership team, Translational Research and Early Clinical and Therapeutic Area Unit to allocate appropriate resources to ensure timely achievement of pipeline and technology goals
  • Develops talent within the department, providing performance feedback and training opportunities.
  • Implements initiatives and best practices to ensure an open and free scientific culture that is rich in diversity.
  • Collaborates with senior management to manage company operations, set company-wide policies and ensure compliance


  • PhD in Life Sciences or equivalent with at least 10 years of relevant experience
  • Well informed in all areas of drug discovery from target identification through preclinical research, including biomarker, and PK/PD/Tox assays.
  • Track record of accomplishment in research as evidenced by quality and quantity of publications and/or inventions and/or products and clinical candidates.
  • Track record of leading complex cross-functional collaborations
  • Demonstrated ability to organize the activities of a large team of scientists working in highly diverse scientific areas, including managing relationships with academic collaborators and CROs.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including preparation and organization of data for efficient presentation to any internal or external senior audience or partner.

  • Manual dexterity required to operate office equipment (i.e. computers, phones, etc.).
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time
  • Carrying, handling and reaching for 25 lb. objects.

  • Willingness to travel to various meetings or client sites, including overnight trips.
  • Some international travel will be required, likely several times yearly.
  • Requires approximately 15% or more travel.

  • 401(k) with company match and Annual Retirement Contribution Plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Company match of charitable contributions
  • Health & Wellness programs including onsite flu shots and health screenings
  • Generous time off for vacation and the option to purchase additional vacation days
  • Community Outreach Programs

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Takeda is an EEO employer of minorities, women, disabled, protected veterans, and considers qualified applicants with criminal histories in accordance with applicable laws. For more information, visit

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