Back to Open Positions

Executive Director/Vice President, Head of Research (Biologist)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Job Description

Executive Director/Vice President, Head of Research (Biologist) 



Chief Executive Officer 



Tavanta Therapeutics (Tavanta) is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company developing a diverse pipeline of small molecules, peptide conjugates, and drug/device combination products that bring clinically meaningful benefits to patients with serious or debilitating diseases. As we continue to grow, there is an opportunity for an Executive Director/Vice President, Head of Research to lead our peptide conjugate research programs focused on pulmonary disease. 

The corporate culture at Tavanta is grounded in the core values of accountability, teamwork, and support. It is the responsibility of every person to emulate and abide by these values as the company grows.   

We are all accountable for efficient and effective development of products that help patients with unmet medical needs through focus on innovative strategies and operational excellence. 

We value teamwork and work in high-performing teams whose success is based on trust, transparency, and integrity. 

We challenge each other.  We motivate each other. We support each other. 



The position will lead Research at Tavanta in line with corporate strategy. The position is accountable for the design and execution of all in-house and outsourced research initiatives according to accepted principles of good research practice and the demands of patent filing standards in line with strategic objectives. The incumbent will optimize Tavanta’s in-house research capabilities by setting up the technical infrastructure and acquiring the necessary expertise through human resource planning and technical training of existing personnel. The incumbent maintains up-to-date scientific expertise in relevant therapeutic areas and shares such expertise with company leadership, relevant stakeholders, and the scientific community.  




  • Ensure that the research programs support the promotion of successful lead-candidate molecules  
  • Maintain a state-of-the-art level of scientific investigation that stands up to peer-review and complies with principles of good laboratory practice 
  • Lead and optimize the research department and approach to better achieve goals 
  • Communicate Tavanta’s research with a diverse set of external audiences including the peer-reviewing research community and investors 
  • Support a seamless integration of research activities with Tavanta’s patent strategy  



  • Create and implement Tavanta’s research strategy by delivering a continuous stream of supportive data  
  • Analyze and optimize Tavanta’s in-house research capabilities with a view to an expansion  
  • Manage day-to-day activities of a global research team, including a peptide synthesis and bioanalytic laboratory in Budapest 
  • Design and implement a coherent compound screening strategy with efficient and flexible use of internal and external resources commensurate with Tavanta’s financial resources 
  • Design and execute in-vitro and in-vivo primary pharmacology investigational strategies to support IND/CTA regulatory filings that efficiently leverage internal resources, academic partnerships, and high-quality contract research organizations 
  • Remain current on technology, experimental design, latest information, new vendors and identify additional indications that could be pursued based on MOA 
  • With IP (internal and external) and broader research team, identify and prepare Provisional/ PCT documents 
  • Maintain a program of seminars and relevant continuing education activities to continuously challenge team members to improve their scientific knowledge and skills 
  • Present sufficiently corroborated scientific data to the scientific community in the form of abstracts, posters, presentations, and publications  
  • Ensure efficient interactions with external vendors, collaborators, and experts  



Education and Experience 

  • Advanced degree in life sciences (Ph.D.), preferably in biology, with a minimum of 10-15 years’ hands-on exposure, expertise in pulmonology and inhaled pharmaceuticals and proteins/peptide research. Experience should encompass leading a research group (direct reports) preferably in a small pharmaceutical company environment and significant self-directed set-up of a diverse set of laboratory investigations. A publication track record and proven ability to present scientific findings to expert audiences are necessary. 

Required skills and behaviors include:  

  • Demonstrated ability to think holistically and long-term across a broad spectrum of industry trends and issues 
  • Ability to envision, shape, and communicate long term business objectives and priorities and be able to create competitive strategies and plans 
  • Proven track record in setting up and using biological research devices and investigational techniques in the field of pulmonology and across a spectrum of therapeutic areas 
  • Collaborative, team-oriented, and goal-driven while being self-aware of strengths and weaknesses   
  • Excellent analytical and conceptual thinking abilities, forward-looking, out-of-the-box problem-solving skills 
  • Proven history of building relationships and fostering engagement across multiple stakeholders, including the board, senior management, operational levels, suppliers, and business partners 
  • Exceptional leadership skills and the ability to mentor and develop strong contributors  
  • A practical, results-oriented leadership style that can translate innovative, creative strategies and conceptual thinking into action plans 
  • Ability to present to a broad group of internal and external stakeholders 
  • Persuasive communication skills and ability to mentor and develop strong contributors 
  • Sound business acumen with a practical, results-oriented leadership style that can translate innovative, creative strategies and conceptual thinking into action plans 
  • Tavanta is a small company, and the role will require the ability to ”roll up your sleeves every day” 



This position can be remote with the possibility of up to 20% domestic and global travel.  

  • Apply Now

    Fields marked with (*) are required.
  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 50 MB.