May 10th, 2022 Rare Disease

Director/Senior Director Preclinical Scientist


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Please be aware that Acadia has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees.

Position Summary:

We are seeking a highly qualified and motivated scientist who enjoys being involved in all aspects of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). The ideal candidate should have a strong neuroscience background and hands-on experience in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models. This role will contribute to the research and/or development of the products, projects and program in support of the Rare Disease pipeline with a focus on genetic neurological diseases. This individual will conduct and collaborate with others on basic research and development including preclinical pharmacology, safety, drug distribution studies supporting various projects relevant to long-term objectives of the company. In addition, actively supports pipeline building activities within the Rare Disease and genetic medicine arenas.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversees the management of translational medicine deliverables with focus on preclinical research and development in the Rare Disease pipeline (focus on antisense oligonucleotides)
  • Participates in identification of new opportunities within Rare Disease, with a focus on neurology, and in diligence activities in consideration of new opportunities
  • Serves as a subject matter expert in preclinical genetic disease and genetic medicine approaches, which may include RNA-based interventions such as antisense
  • Plans experimental programs to include design, logistics, resource allocation, schedules, identified critical support needs, and other necessary details others to implement the program(s)
  • Provides oversight on scientific management of preclinical pharmacology, safety, and PK/PD studies supporting early drug development
  • Manages vendors and consultants to complete nonclinical studies for the various programs
  • Provides cross-functional study management support for preclinical programs including development and management of timelines and leading regular team meetings
  • Helps support preparation of reports and regulatory documents for IND and NDA submissions
  • Supports due diligence projects by defining nonclinical study plans and developing overall project timelines and associated budgets
  • Works across functional areas on projects including initiating/attending sub-team meetings and organizing ad hoc working groups as needed to move project activities forward
  • Communicates project status and issues, and ensures project team goals and regulatory deliverables are met
  • Proactively anticipates obstacles and devises and implements solutions to achieve project goals through management of relevant team members
  • Provides guidance to team members to objectively assess and resolve project issues to improve project effectiveness


  • PhD in a relevant discipline and minimum 10 years of progressively responsible, relevant experience in pre-clinical research and development
  • Experience and deep scientific understanding of neurological genetic disorders and genetic medicine based therapeutic approaches
  • Prior working experience in antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) is required
  • Advanced understanding of drug development process and the principles, concepts, practices, and standards of pharmaceutical project management
  • Experience in translational medicine activities with an emphasis on preclinical pharmacology, safety, and PK/PD
  • Knowledgeable in the tools and procedures of experimentation, including the various experimental designs, statistical tools of data analyses, software applications available for data manipulation and presentation, and instrumentation pertinent to the research. Through a complete understanding of the tools and design methods, able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each, in terms of applicability to the particular research at hand
  • Experience managing cross-functional project teams and working in a semi-virtual environment including CROs and academic collaboration
  • Skilled at negotiating with business partners or management and influencing senior level leaders regarding matters of significance to the organization


Establishes strategic plans for designated function(s) and may participate with others in management to align objectives across the organization. Develops methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for projects, programs, and people. Works on complex issues where analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth knowledge of functional area and related organizational objectives.  Erroneous decisions will have a serious impact on the overall success of functional area and may impact the long term success of the company.

Physical Requirements:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, see, talk or hear in a standard office environment. Employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Ability to travel by car or airplane independently up to 25% of the time and work  after  hours if required by travel schedule or business issues.


What we offer you:

  • Competitive base, bonus, new hire and ongoing equity packages
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) Plan with a fully vested company match 1:1 up to 5%
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan with a 2-year purchase price lock-in
  • 15+ vacation days
  • 14 paid holidays plus one floating holiday of your choice, including office closure between December 24th and January 1st
  • 10 days of paid sick time
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition assistance

EEO Statement:

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications in the exact way they are described in job postings. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and innovative company and we are looking for the BEST candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background or may meet the qualifications in a different way. We would strongly encourage you to apply – especially if the reason you are the best candidate isn’t exactly as we describe it here.

It is the policy of Acadia to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants without regard to considerations of race, including related to hairstyle, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, country of origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, legally-protected medical condition or information, marital status, domestic partner status, family care status, military caregiver status, veteran or military status (including reserve status, National Guard status, and military service or obligation), status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, or any basis protected under federal, state or local law.

As an equal opportunity employer, Acadia is committed to a diverse workforce. If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation. Furthermore, you may request additional support if you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access Acadia’s career website due to your disability, along with any accommodations throughout the interview process. To request or inquire about your reasonable accommodation, please complete our Reasonable Accommodation Request Form or contact us at [email protected] or 858-261-2923.

Please note that reasonable accommodations granted throughout the recruiting process are not guaranteed to be the same accommodation given if hired. A new request will need to be submitted for any ADA accommodations after starting employment.