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University of Rochester Chief Scientific Officer - 215659 in Rochester, New York

Chief Scientific Officer

Job ID



Strong Memorial Hospital

Full/Part Time


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Full Time 40 hours Grade 058 Empire Discovery Institute


The Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) is a recently formed not-for-profit drug discovery and development collaborative between three premiere Upstate New York academic, research, and clinical institutions—the University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo, and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Its mission is to advance drug discovery throughout New York State. EDI will harness New York's wealth of academic capital and provide resources and expertise needed to convert groundbreaking discoveries in the lab into life-changing treatments and medicines. Together, these leading institutions boast a diverse and robust scientific development portfolio concentrated in neuroscience, musculoskeletal research, infectious disease, immunology and oncology. EDI’s focus will be on the acceleration of early-stage drug discovery programs into promising new drug candidates for development and commercialization into innovative new medicines.

The Position

The CSO will be responsible for implementing EDI’s strategic R&D roadmap and providing exemplary scientific input into EDI’s research and development programs in order to support the overall strategy set by the CEO and the Board of Directors. The CSO will lead the research, translational and preclinical development of new drug candidates from target selection, hit-to-lead identification/optimization, drug candidate selection, IND enabling studies to early clinical development. The individual must have a strong background and driven track record in leading medicinal chemistry efforts in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and a thorough understanding of the drug discovery and development process. It will also be important for the individual to have excellent communication skills to articulate EDI’s strategy to research collaborators, investors and pharmaceutical industry partners.

The specific responsibilities of the position are as follows:

  • To work with EDI’s CEO and scientific advisory panel to establish EDI’s strategic roadmap for drug candidate selection, advancement, out-licensing and commercialization.

  • To provide scientific leadership in identifying and developing novel preclinical drug development opportunities in close collaboration with EDI’s academic partners and investigators.

  • Lead and manage EDI’s drug discovery efforts through a variety of approaches including medicinal chemistry, high-through-put screening (HTS), computer aided drug design (CADD), and fragment-based drug discovery approaches.

  • Provide scientific input, guidance and oversight of EDI’s external vendors working to establish, optimize and apply molecular and cell-based assays, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology models and biomarker approaches to advance EDI’s programs.

  • Making formal presentations at medical, scientific, strategic partnering and fundraising meetings on behalf of EDI

  • In collaboration with EDI’s CEO, oversees budget planning and negotiating, in addition to monitoring spending and general fiscal responsibilities

Preferred Skills & Knowledge

  • PhD degree or higher in science and/or related medical field.

  • 10-15+ years’ experience within the pharmaceutical and/or biotech industry, including experience in multiple therapeutic areas with small molecule and biologics.

  • Proven experience in successfully progressing drug candidates from discovery to IND and early clinical development.

  • Demonstrated management and leadership skills, with expertise in drug discovery and development process, with strategic thinking abilities and strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Strong problem-solving skills and sound judgment to accelerate strategic and project decision-making and evidence for successful cross-disciplinary stakeholder negotiation to drive portfolio and project results.

  • A demonstrated passion to translate research into pathway and target identification and validation.

  • The ability to work effectively with diverse groups of people, the capacity to listen, and the ability to gain trust and inspire others to further the Institute’s mission and priorities.

  • Comfortable prioritizing, delegating and overseeing a complex organizational environment that includes collaborating with multiple academic research institutions, corporate partners, venture capital firms, research foundations, external vendors/CROs and governmental agencies.

  • Capable of independently assuming project and licensing evaluation leadership roles to define and achieve EDI’s objectives and portfolio priorities.

  • Fiscally responsible and able to lead decision-making in resource planning, finance, project management, and outsourced CRO relationships.


8 AM-5 PM

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled