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Associate Director, Exploratory Biology

Posted on Apr 6, 2021 by GW Pharmaceuticals Plc

Cambridge, MA 02138
Immediate Start
Annual Salary

The primary objective of the Exploratory Biology team is to drive and enable technical approaches and analytical methods to help identify novel biological targets and pathways relevant to the mechanism of action of cannabinoids (and related entities). This will entail the co-ordination of in-vitro, in-vivo and ex-vivo based assays to provide rigorous multivariate data sets to support the progression of the GW pipeline. Outputs from Exploratory Biology are expected to provide novel and validated methodologies to support confirmation of target/pathway interactions with cannabinoids (and related entities) for translational decision making and to facilitate IP generation. The role will require close partnership with the GW's VP of Research, Senior Director of Research and the Preclinical Discovery Group as well as working with key external scientific collaborators. The role will be pivotal in informing GW to identify areas of future Discovery research required for the assessment and development of inventive commercial products.


Lead, direct and line manage the Exploratory Biology team

Provide strategic input into non-clinical goals and activities

Maintain a sufficient awareness of company-wide product development activities and status to ensure Exploratory Biology hypotheses/investigations/findings are compatible with later stage development of GW assets

May personally manage GW-sponsored and ARO-led studies across a variety of therapeutic areas as required to meet corporate goals as needed and consistent with the post-holder's scientific expertise

Represent GW to contract research organisations (CRO), academic centres and development/commercial partners

Ensure Exploratory Biology studies are run in accordance with the appropriate GW, CRO or academic researchers SOPs, relevant regulatory guidelines, legislation and departmental processes as required per study

Maintain good working relationships with relevant key opinion leaders and AROs

Supported by Preclinical Operations and in collaboration with other Preclinical Managers, is accountable for timely and effective management of the Exploratory Biology section of the Preclinical budget

Encourage Exploratory Biology to make full use of historical GW data via cross section and inter-departmental proactive interaction plus critical and objective assessment of peer reviewed literature and its limitations

Define and manage all Preclinical Exploratory Biology study/programme resource needs and establishes relevant contingency plans

Accountable for ensuring that the Experimental Biology team identify and communicate IPR opportunities arising from their activities to GW's IPR Team

Responsible for maintaining own and Biology team's cGxP and H&S knowledge applicable to the job

With support from Preclinical Operations team, is accountable for devising, agreeing, implementing and monitoring biology team departmental processes and governance structures

Develop the Experimental Biology group via training and/or opportunities, with a focus upon new and fit for purpose technologies. Leads (or delegates) appropriate training to educate relevant GW employees with regards to Experimental Biology projects and data as required.

Operate in an inclusive manner and demonstrates awareness of the benefits of diversity


PhD in appropriate scientific discipline with relevant experience

Extensive research experience in an appropriate biology based/scientific discipline of a pharmaceutical company or similar environment

Knowledge of relevant guidelines and legislation pertinent to the position

Strong and proven experience in managing a high performing team

Experienced in presenting key data at national and international meetings and symposia

Competence in budgetary control and management

Organisational skills, proven time management ability and the ability to effectively prioritise

Ability to use initiative and problem solve within defined team, budget and resource

Ability to lead, direct, manage, motivate, collaborate and develop others

Good report & scientific technical writing skills

Good communication skills

Written and verbal presentation skills

Excellent attention to detail

Working knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Endnote, search engines and databases used for literature searches, and relevant scientific visualization and analysis software platforms (eg Spotfire, GraphPad and R-Studio)

Ability to work in a team and as an individual

Demonstrates a pragmatic approach to problem solving

Self-motivated approach, with a willingness to assist colleagues to achieve goals

Ensures that activities under their control are carried out in ways to minimise risks to health, safety, security and the environment


Knowledge of the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development process

Understanding of cannabinoid (including non-endocannabinoid pharmacology of plant cannabinoid) pharmacology

Understanding/awareness of the therapeutic areas of interest to GW

Commercial awareness

Proven ability of high functioning in a Matrix organisation

Reference: 1152692890

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