Senior Director - Oncology Safety Science & Discovery 



Sales & Business Development
Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2024

Senior Director – Oncology Safety Science & Discovery

At AstraZeneca, it is our bold ambition is to eliminate cancer as a cause of death. This is underpinned by our rich pipeline aimed to deliver innovative treatment options for patients.

Oncology Safety colleagues contribute to this ambition by accelerating innovative and expert non-clinical safety science. We are now looking to recruit a

Senior Director, Head of Safety Science & Discovery, Tumor Targeted Delivery

Introduction to role:

As an empowered leader at AstraZeneca, you will work at the forefront of safety science, toxicology and drug discovery, operating in a multidisciplinary, diverse and global environment. You will play a key role in discovering novel targeted drug candidates (such as antibody-drug conjugates) and accelerating their advancement through clinical development. This position is preferably based in Gaithersburg, MD (Washington DC metro area).

This role will report to the Global Head of Oncology Safety and will be a member of the Oncology Safety department leadership team.


  • Be an inspiring leader and line manager for a team of ~10 highly skilled and driven scientists/specialists, with a strong focus on developing talent and driving high performance.

  • Accountable for the non-clinical safety aspects of the Tumor Targeted Delivery (TTD) portfolio and closely partner with the TTD drug discovery organization in Oncology R&D to ensure novel drug candidates are delivered to quality and timelines.

  • Oversight and guidance of the design and successful delivery of project-specific strategies to predict, assess and mitigate target- and modality-related safety risks.

  • Act as strategic and scientific leader in the predictive safety and investigative toxicology field, identifying and driving development of scientific and technical capabilities, in line with portfolio needs and trends in the field.

  • Develop Oncology Safety science through collaborative networks across AstraZeneca R&D, external collaborations, publications, etc.

  • As a member of the Oncology Safety Leadership Team, identify and deliver on overall department objectives, proactively contribute to our inclusive culture and provide the right support/challenge balance to enable engaged colleagues to develop their skills and deliver on their objectives, and engage with stakeholders to ensure adequate resourcing.

Essential Skills/Experience:

  • Excellent scientist with a PhD (or equivalent) in Biology, Toxicology, Pharmacology, Oncology, Immunology or related field, a strong scientific track record, and a willingness to challenge conventional thinking.

  • Extensive experience in drug discovery and safety science / toxicology from the pharmaceutical industry or biotech sector, with a solid understanding of drug discovery/development.

  • Expertise in Oncology and targeted therapeutics, including understanding of drug safety aspects of ADCs.

  • A track record in the leadership, management and development of individuals and teams.

  • Excellent communication and effective influencing skills and ability to navigate in a complex stakeholder matrix.

  • An inclusive leadership and collegiate working style that contributes to our Great Place to Work objectives. Experience with (or interest in) working with teams across geographies including awareness of subtle cultural differences.

When we put unexpected teams in the same room, we unleash bold thinking with the power to inspire life-changing medicines. In-person working gives us the platform we need to connect, work at pace and challenge perceptions. That’s why we work, on average, a minimum of three days per week from the office. But that doesn't mean we’re not flexible. We balance the expectation of being in the office while respecting individual flexibility. Join us in our unique and ambitious world.

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca, we follow the science to explore and innovate. We are working towards treating, preventing, modifying and even curing some of the world's most complex diseases. Here we have the potential to grow our pipeline and positively impact the lives of billions of patients around the world. We are committed to making a difference by fusing data and technology with the latest scientific innovations to achieve the next wave of breakthroughs. If your passion is science and you want to be part of a team that makes a bigger impact on patients' lives, then there's no better place to be.

Ready to make a difference? Apply now!

Date Posted


Closing Date

29-Feb-2024Our mission is to build an inclusive and equitable environment. We want people to feel they belong at AstraZeneca and Alexion, starting with our recruitment process. We welcome and consider applications from all qualified candidates, regardless of characteristics. We offer reasonable adjustments/accommodations to help all candidates to perform at their best. If you have a need for any adjustments/accommodations, please complete the section in the application form.AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.