January 10, 2019

Director/ Sr. Director, Oncology Research

Company Background

Codiak is the leader in the emerging field of exosome therapeutics, working to harness the power of this cellular messenger system to create potentially life-changing medicines. A venture-backed startup founded in 2015, Codiak has rapidly built a proprietary technology platform for exosome engineering and manufacturing that allows for precise targeting of important molecular pathways, opening the door to the development of therapies for cancer and other diseases. Led by an experienced and dedicated team, Codiak has at its foundation a positive and collaborative culture that is deeply rooted in cutting edge science and promotes opportunity for growth.

Position Description

Responsible for leading oncology programs at Codiak responsible for establishing advancing multiple novel exosome therapeutics programs in Oncology. Extensive experience with target prioritization, validation, lead identification and advancing clinical candidates through non-clinical development is essential. Hands on experience in vitro and in vivo cancer biology models and experience developing models to screen drug candidates across a wide array of therapeutic classes, especially small molecules and siRNA are required. In this role, you’ll be expected to work closely with the pharmacology and immunology research groups, and the heads of Research and Clinical Development, to design and execute an experimental plan consistent with Codiak’s mission to develop transformative exosome-based therapeutics for cancer. The candidate will be expected to lead this group from the bench and will have principal responsibility for defining a growth strategy for the Oncology Research group. You will be a decisive and results-oriented individual who is flexible, team-oriented, creative and able to excel in a multi-project, fast-track environment. You will be a strategic thinker who interacts and collaborates with project teams, peers and management in identifying and achieving discovery goals from both scientific and strategic perspectives.


  • • Apply expertise in oncology, cancer biology and drug discovery to influence overall Oncology Research strategy and project progression;
  • • Serve as Oncology Research lead on cross-functional preclinical and clinical project teams; working as leader or key contributor to design, plan and deliver multiple individual projects via team and matrix management;
  • • Lead and manage a team of scientists conducting pharmacology (in vitro and ex-vivo) to advance candidate drugs from preclinical discovery into early clinical development. Manage performance and development of individual team members to maximize success and motivation. Assume responsibility for direct reports as needed, including recruiting, managing, mentoring and developing scientific staff;
  • • Support the effective running of the department by contributing to budget and resource management to ensure portfolio progression and capability builds;
  • • Manage and drive internal and external collaborations/alliances with oncology focused academic institutions and pharma/biotech companies;
  • • Model expectations of quality and of effective people leadership and talent development;
  • • Manage or lead projects for multiple programs across the portfolio and schedule activities in accordance with line function and corporate/department goals, assignments and priorities;
  • • Effectively manage both internal and external work, including interactions with technical and administrative staff at CROs and external vendors to deliver high quality results;
  • • Build cross-functional projects that cut across disciplines, including Exosome engineering, molecular biology, bioinformatics and in vivo pharmacology;
  • • Consistently convert new science into new targets and advance drug discovery programs through maximizing the value;
  • • Author to clinical study report sections, regulatory submissions and updates; (IND/CTDs, NDA/BLA, DSUR etc.) and abstracts/manuscripts for publication. Review assay validation and bioanalytical reports and provide training to internal staff;
  • • Engage the external environment through thought leadership and by publishing scientific work;
  • • Establish and maintain visible and active engagement with key opinion leaders, professional societies, and academic institutions;
  • • Work closely with collaborators on in vitro and in vivo oncology models to enable an increased understanding of disease etiology;
  • • Keep abreast of relevant literature; develop visibility outside of functional area; .
  • • Contribute to departmental administration; demonstrate fiscal responsibility with respect to cost of experiments, technology, external collaborations, and travel


  • • PhD, or equivalent experience, in cancer biology research, pharmacology/drug discovery as evidenced by high impact peer-reviewed publications and /or a strong track record in pharmaceutical drug discovery;
  • • 8-10 years of research experience after post-doctoral training in an industrial setting;
  • • Proven track record in advancing drug candidates through pre-clinical development
  • • Proven history as a line manager / team leader incl. objective setting and review, individual performance management and team development;
  • • Demonstrated experienced at reviewing/validating the biology for new therapeutic targets;
  • • Working knowledge of novel therapeutic modalities (e.g. siRNA, protein based therapeutics, cell-based therapies) and their application to drug discovery;
  • • Experience and/or working knowledge of a range of in vitro and ex vivo skills that can be applied to immuno-oncology research including multiparameter flow cytometry, human primary immune cell assays and tumor model systems for immuno-oncology research;
  • • Experience in preparing documents and reports for internal governance committees and regulatory agencies, including INDs; Strong interpersonal, influencing, problem solving and negotiating skills, together with evidence of having used these to support collaboration(s); both within an organization and/ or external partners;

Compensation & Benefits

Codiak provides competitive compensation and benefits package that support and reward the contributions of each member of the team.

Apply Today

Those interested in joining the team effort at Codiak BioSciences to advance the nascent and exciting field of exosome technology into therapeutics with transformative potential are invited to email their CV.

About Codiak

Recent discoveries have demonstrated that exosomes derived from normal cells can act as a potent and safe delivery system for multiple therapeutic payloads. These small vesicles, which leave cells and travel throughout the body, can mediate dramatic effects in animal models of disease.

We are developing a broad platform for the delivery of macromolecules to the cytoplasm of diverse cells and tissues, to create a proprietary pipeline of novel, targeted medicines for diseases with high unmet medical need. The company’s technology exploits the natural propensity of exosomes to transmit macromolecule payloads between cells to create a pipeline of drugs across a broad range of diseases, including those associated with currently “undruggable” targets. While our initial focus is on oncology/immuno-oncology, this approach also offers significant potential in hematology, neurology and gene therapy and other therapy areas.

We are now producing drug candidate exosomes using the engExTM platform, our novel therapeutic engine for exosomes. We tailor exosomes to express molecules on their surfaces and/or deliver specific cargo inside. This affords us the flexibility for designing proprietary drug candidates; exosomes can be mixed and matched into rational and targeted combinations with the potential for a broad therapeutic platform.

As of December 2017, Codiak has raised a combined $168.5M in Series A-C financing. The company maintains partnerships with academic exosome labs and has multiple paths to clinical and commercial success through the breadth of the company’s research, strength of its IP position and proprietary innovation behind its production capabilities.

Inspired Employees

Codiak’s CEO and first employee Doug Williams, Ph.D., (former EVP of Biogen R&D, CEO of ZymoGenetics) espouses the belief that inspired employees create great science. Employees treat the company as if it was their own and report that there is “direct and respectful communication,” and “trust that teammates will do the right thing and never compromise integrity.”

Named one of 11 disruptive startups “on a do-or-die mission to launch new meds” by Endpoints News in January 2018, Codiak is in the heart of Boston’s biotechnology hub at 500 Technology Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Codiak BioSciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; creed; religion; national origin; age; ancestry; nationality; marital, domestic partnership or civil union status; sex, gender, gender identity or expression; affectional or sexual orientation; disability; veteran or military status or liability for military status.