Director, Discovery

Position Summary

Genocea Biosciences, Inc. is a fast paced, innovative cancer vaccine and cell therapy company based on a unique screening technology (ATLAS™) enabling the identification of novel T cell antigens in samples originating from individuals suffering from cancer or other diseases. To date, this screening technology has delivered a number of completely novel antigens for various intractable infectious diseases and has enabled the initiation of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial to develop a personalized vaccine for solid tumors. The successful candidate for this position will be expected to lead the Discovery team and help broaden the application of the ATLAS™ technology to diverse new therapeutic areas and other immunological functions. The candidate will demonstrate deep mastery and up-to-date knowledge of T cell and innate immune cell biology, as well a detailed understanding and fluency in state-of-the-art high throughput cell-based assays. Extensive automation experience is also required. The candidate should have significant experience managing teams of associate and senior scientists as well as a keen ability to crystalize, communicate and implement strategy at all levels of the company. The ideal candidate should have 10+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology industry along with outstanding scientific credentials in the form of an extensive and relevant peer-reviewed publication track record. The candidate will also be an outstanding communicator, both in scientific and project-related strategy.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Leads team responsible for identification of neoantigens for personalized vaccine and cell therapy development

  • Plans and directs scientific projects aimed at miniaturizing and automating the high throughput identification of T cell antigens and T cell receptors. Identifies and manages necessary resources for achievement of goals.

  • Ensures that documentation of experimental data meets standards suitable to support publication, FDA submission and patent filing

  • Assists in the coordination and execution of research collaborations

  • Hires, manages, trains and mentors technical team consisting of junior and senior scientists. Establishes expectations, defines roles, supports career development and manages performance

  • Creates vision, delineates, communicates and implements technology development strategy for the entire company

  • Communicates with Executive team and peers to ensure that technological innovations are fully integrated in the organization


  • Prior experience (5-10 years) working successfully in a management role. Demonstrated success in managing staff performance.  Ability to motivate staff to work effectively and hold staff accountable to individual and departmental goals

  • Documented topic-specific scientific expertise (peer-reviewed publications, invited speaking engagements)

Required Skills

  • Extensive experience in high-throughput cell-based assays, T cell biology, molecular biology, and automation. Knowledge of cell imaging and TCR sequencing preferred

  • Demonstrated skills in data analysis of complex multidimensional datasets, including laboratory and IT automation technologies

  • Excellent critical thinking, time management and organizational skills.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present at the highest level.

  • Ability to engage, sustain and influence effective relationships at the management level.

Education Requirements

  • PhD in immunology, cell biology or related field

  • 10+ years relevant industrial experience

  • Background in immuno-oncology