Associate Director Immunology

Associate Director Immunology


Oxford, United Kingdom

Location: Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford

Salary: competitive

Contract type: Permanent


Ervaxx is a well-funded, early stage biotech currently in ‘stealth mode’, which has identified novel tumour-specific antigens derived from reactivated endogenous retroviral sequences. The company is using this foundational discovery to enable the development of a range of pharmaceutical products including vaccines, biologics and cell therapies. Importantly, these pharmaceuticals are non-personalised and thus able to broadly impact the needs of oncology patients. We are looking to increase the capacity of our immunopeptidomic pipeline to expand the number of tumour types, in which we can confirm the presence of antigenic peptides, predicted from transcripts arising due to dysregulated human endogenous retroelements.

The role

We are looking for a highly motivated Associate Director who has a deep passion for immunology and the role of T-cells in the exciting field of immuno-oncology. This entrepreneurial leader will build an understanding of human T-cell biology against Ervaxx’s novel tumour -specific antigens and translate this understanding into transformative products that enhance the response of CD8+ cells in the tumor microenvironment. The Associate Director of Immunology will lead our efforts to identify the most immunogenic antigens for incorporation into vaccines and potentially biologics or cell therapies to make a meaningful difference for patients suffering from cancer. As a member of the senior team, s/he will collaborate with our internal team of scientists, as well as external collaborators, and engage in regular dialogue with the leadership team and board of directors. We’re a small, dynamic and growing company – the Associate Director of Immunology will help play a pivotal role in building out our research team.

This position represents an excellent opportunity for someone to discover and develop an early stage product through to clinical application.

The Associate Director of Immunology will be expected to:

  • Help build and lead a team of T-cell biologists, as well as manage a range of external collaborators and academic collaborators to deliver high quality data.
  • Work closely with company bioinformaticians and immunopeptidomic scientists to validate the role of novel T-cell antigens in cancer.
  • Strong expertise in immunology, with experience of drug discovery preferred.
  • Provide functional leadership for company projects from early discovery potentially through clinical development, including regular updates to the company’s senior leadership team, board of directors and key corporate partners.
  • Play a leading role ensuring that state-of-the-art science is applied broadly and consistently across company drug discovery and development programs.
  • Challenge the status quo of the company’s R&D strategy while helping to foster a culture of transparency and mutual trust and respect across the organization.

Your major responsibilities will include:

  • Designing, conducting and evaluating experiments to establish the role of novel antigens in driving T-cell biology, including T-cell profiling for very low frequency cells (use of Elispot, pentamers), FACS sorting/analysis, CTL cloning and recombinant T-cell receptor expression/characterization.
  • Working collaboratively with other scientists from a range of disciplines including bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, proteomics, vaccinologists and clinicians to ensure optimal design of the pharmaceutical solutions.
  • Providing expert technical direction, challenge and problem solving in projects.
  • Contributing to the non-clinical part of regulatory documents (e.g. IND, IMPD, IB, NDA).
  • Publishing peer reviewed papers and reviews in high quality and high impact journals.
  • Creating a vibrant and innovative working environment where improvements and new ideas are adopted and freely shared among the teams.
  • Providing scientific leadership, supervision, coaching and mentorship for less experienced scientists in your team, as well as, other scientists in our matrixed environment.
  • Recommending, gaining commitment to, initiating, leading and championing new science and technology initiatives to improve delivery projects.
  • Be a cultural steward of the company and help create a collaborative, curiosity driven team environment

To help ensure success in the role, ideally you will have:

  • A PhD in a relevant scientific discipline, strong expertise in immunology
  • At least 10+ years’ experience in scientific and leadership roles preferably within biopharma companies, including experience working to develop biologics.
  • An emerging reputation as a thought leader with a track record of publishing findings and presenting at scientific/industry meetings.

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Associate Director Immunology