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Senior Director Structural Biology & Biophysics

Semma Therapeutics

Semma Therapeutics

Sales & Business Development
Boston, MA, USA
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2023

Job Description

General Summary:

We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced leader of Structural Biology and Biophysics to further develop our research efforts in structural biology, biophysics, and biochemistry of the research site. This role will be on-site in our state-of-the-art research site in Boston. You will lead a multidisciplinary team of scientists in utilizing state-of-the-art techniques to elucidate the structures of critical targets, key protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions, and molecular mechanisms of action of our therapeutic approaches. Your expertise in structural biology and biophysics will be instrumental in guiding our drug discovery programs and providing key insights for the advancement of novel therapeutics.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead and manage a team of scientists and researchers specializing in structural biology, biophysics, and biochemistry, providing guidance, mentorship, and fostering a collaborative work environment.
  • Develop and implement strategic plans to leverage structural biology and biophysics approaches for target identification, validation, mechanism of action studies, and drug discovery.
  • Oversee and improve the design, execution, and analysis of experiments using a range of techniques, such as cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, , and other biophysical assays.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including medicinal chemists, computational scientists, and cellular biologists, to drive integrated drug discovery projects from target selection to lead optimization and delivery of clinical candidates.
  • Apply your expertise in protein-ligand interactions and structural biology to guide hit identification, lead optimization, and the development of structure-based drug design strategies.
  • Define the strategic direction for the structural biology and biophysics department, and contribute to the overall research and development strategy of the company.
  • Stay current with the latest advancements in the field of structural biology and biophysics, and integrate new technologies and methodologies into the drug discovery process.
  • Foster external collaborations with academic institutions, research organizations, and industry partners to enhance the company's capabilities.
  • Contribute to the preparation of scientific publications, patents, and regulatory documents, as well as presentations at conferences and meetings.
  • Provide scientific leadership and guidance to support decision-making processes and project prioritization as a member of the site research leadership team as a member of the site research leadership team.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant regulatory guidelines, maintain accurate records, and promote a culture of scientific rigor and integrity within the team.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Established reputation with a strong track record of scientific impact in driving drug discovery programs forward by initiating and implementing protein biochemistry, biophysics, protein mechanism of action and structure/function studies. Experience can come from functional or cross-functional project leadership roles.
  • Experience in managing scientific teams, individual and team performance, goal setting, and career growth development and building a culture of innovation and inclusion.
  • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, with the ability to motivate and mentor a team of scientists and collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams.
  • Exceptional problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to articulate goals, objectives, and present complex scientific concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Extensive experience interfacing with internal and external stakeholders to collaborate and execute on research programs, deliver results, and influence decision making.
  • A collaborative and innovative mindset, with a passion for advancing scientific knowledge and making a meaningful impact to benefit patients.

Education and Experience:

  • Ph.D. (or equivalent degree) in Structural Biology, Biophysics, Biochemistry, or a related field and 11+ years of industry / academic experience with a minimum of 5 years managing a team.
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent degree) and 15+ years of relevant employment experience, or
  • Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent degree) and 20+ years of relevant employment experience.
  • Extensive experience in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or leading academic biomedical research setting, with a proven track record of leading and managing teams in structural biology, biophysics, and biochemistry.
  • Experience in applying structural biology and biophysics to advance drug discovery programs.



Company Information

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation.

Vertex is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Vertex is an E-Verify Employer in the United States. Vertex will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.

Any applicant requiring an accommodation in connection with the hiring process and/or to perform the essential functions of the position for which the applicant has applied should make a request to the recruiter or hiring manager, or contact Talent Acquisition at