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Head of Platform

Gordian Biotechnology

Gordian Biotechnology

South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, March 15, 2024
Are you ready to take ownership of Gordian’s unique in vivo screening platform, and evolve it into an even more powerful tool for predicting patient outcomes? You will be managing an interdisciplinary team of experts with a focus on operational excellence in executing screens, while finding ways for in vivo answers to improve both early and later stages of drug development for complex diseases.
The Destination:
Gordian Biotechnology is a therapeutics company whose mission is to cure age-related diseases and ultimately allow people to lead longer, healthier lives.
Traditional ex vivo screening methods have failed to produce effective treatments, as age-related diseases have complex causes that include interactions with the aged environment.
To address this problem, Gordian’s platform is the first and only to enable pooled in vivo tests at scale in our proprietary “patient avatars”. We are able to deliver and test hundreds of therapeutics in individual animals, and scale efficacy testing to cover every therapeutic target at the beginning of the drug discovery process (more info on our website). We can choose targets that really impact disease biology, to develop and commercialize therapies for the world’s deadliest diseases, and eventually for the processes of aging itself.
The Journey:
Our mission is audacious, and the path will be full of both challenges and excitement. Two things characterize the Gordian experience: 1) We work as a team, with ownership in our own roles and trust in each other. 2) We strive for extraordinary outcomes, and in doing so grow our skills and capability.
Team – Relying on each other begins with transparency. We set clear goals, visibly connecting individuals and teams to our company objectives. This empowers each of us to make autonomous decisions about our work, knowing how they will affect the bigger picture. Our communication happens out in the open. We give and receive feedback from a perspective of helping each other grow, share mistakes, and ask for help.
Extraordinary – Every day, we ask ourselves ‘How could this process/outcome be even better?’. Knowing our overall mission, we do what we think helps us make the most progress, without asking for permission. We don’t shy away from big challenges or unknown territory, but find a way to excel. Our colleagues are amazing, both at what they do and as people. They inspire us to keep up, to not let them down, and be inspiring in return.
Like any cutting-edge research environment, Gordian doesn't believe in a standard 9 to 5 day. We set ambitious project goals and support each other to meet them, while maintaining the balance individuals need to thrive and achieve excellence. Our team is geared towards helping each other out and maintaining a culture of intellectual and social fun. We like getting things done and keep standing meetings to a minimum. This year, in accordance with our unlimited vacation policy, each member took an average of 4.5 weeks of (offline) vacation, not including major holidays. We unwind with weekly team lunches, and support each others’ projects both experimentally and by ‘pre-mortem’ meetings to discuss possible failure modes and experimental design.
If this environment sounds appealing, help us bring it to life. We are at the beginning of a long journey, and want both your ability and your personality along for the ride. Our culture is a source of great pride; it represents both who we are, and who we wish to be.
You can dive deeper here.
About the Role:
Your mission as Head of Platform is to own the application and evolution of Gordian’s mosaic screening platform, leading the team producing transcriptomic data on potential therapeutic targets across MASH, HFpEF, IPF, & Osteoarthritis from our pooled in vivo screens.
Your team has been recruited for their expertise and enthusiasm and are already firing on all cylinders. They are always executing multiple overlapping projects demanding a high level of coordination and logistical planning. You must ensure continued operational excellence and efficiency of the team, helping organize and prioritize while balancing execution towards company goals with continuous improvement of processes and exploration of innovative ideas from the team. An important part of your job is to determine which efforts and initiatives are critical to achieving our next milestones, and provide structure for achieving these.
Most of your team’s work results in high-dimensional genomics data that requires analysis by our computational team to interpret. You will use your experience and comprehension, in collaboration with our head of data, to ensure that the platform and data teams communicate seamlessly and operate in lockstep to produce and make accessible the data that fuels our company. Under your leadership the team will be integrated both with their collaborators across the company, and have a clear sense of how their work ties to company strategy. You will digest ambiguity and imperfect information to provide your team with clear directions and conditions for having their work contribute to us reaching our shared goals.
Our technology is being used to run large Mosaic screens and discover new therapeutic targets, but can be applied to provide scaled in vivo answers to many other questions. We will count on you to guide evolution of the platform into providing answers that help drug development and decisions about clinical strategy. This will transform the value of our platform in improving predictive validity in drug development, and cement the promise of our in vivo approach to the world.
In your first month, you’ll build rapport with the Platform team earning their trust and understanding the work of each member as well as the know-how we’ve developed for in vivo screening. You’ll provide guidance and clarity for the team’s work, while identifying at least one area of strategic improvement for the team or technology and mapping out the right path to accomplish it.
By three months, the platform team is operating smoothly at a scale that is producing 5-10 hits per month, interfacing effectively with other teams (i.e. computational biology, disease leads) without CSO involvement. Additionally, you will have led the adaptation of our platform to produce data supporting at least one aspect of drug development (outside of target identification) and will have guided the implementation of one or more new methods to improve our cost or time per interpretable result by 20% or more.
About you:
You have a history of successful execution, both in- and outside of your job description.
You want a chance to do your best work, immerse yourself and excel, alongside people who will inspire you and whom you’ll be excited to spend your days with.
You truly want to play a key role in an early-stage startup screening new targets for intractable diseases of aging: A fast-paced environment full of both uncertainty and new challenges, demanding relentless resourcefulness.
You have experience with strategic technology leadership in biotech (preferably in drug discovery) and setting the direction for an established but evolving platform or suite of technologies.
You have worked at the intersection of molecules and computation and speak computational biology as a first or second language. You’re familiar with genomic datasets and their challenges.
You have’ve got experience managing a collaborative team in a fast-paced environment, and your team members will tell us that you brought out the best in them. You’re a crisp communicator, and are able to seamlessly manage collaboration with cross functional partners and teams.
You are excited to use cutting edge technology to find the best therapeutic targets, and turn those into drugs. You are familiar with pooled screening, barcoding, and the associated pitfalls and challenges, and ideally also with in vivo gene delivery and experimentation.
The Details:
Gordian aims to provide everything you need to thrive. Beyond our community and science, you’ll have enough equity to be a true stakeholder in the company, competitive salary, full health/dental/vision/life insurance, 401k with match, onsite lunch paid for 3 days a week, an onsite gym, whatever vacation you need to be at your peak, remote work flexibility, and access to world-class mentors and advisors to support your professional growth. Our building is in the heart of the biotech capital of South San Francisco.