Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

About Astellas Gene Therapies

Astellas Gene Therapies is an Astellas Center of Excellence developing genetic medicines for patients with rare, life-threatening diseases. Based on our innovative approach to developing genetic medicines, as well as our industry-leading internal manufacturing capability and expertise, we have become the Astellas Center of Excellence for their newly-created Genetic Regulation Focus Area. We are currently exploring three gene therapy modalities: gene replacement, exon skipping gene therapy, and vectorized RNA knockdown, with plans to expand our focus and geographic reach under Astellas. We are based in San Francisco, with manufacturing and laboratory facilities in South San Francisco and Sanford, North Carolina. For more information, please visit our website:

The Role

The primary purpose of the Director, Vector Biosciences is to lead the Vector Biosciences team within the Astellas Gene Therapies Discovery Bioscience Department. This role will closely collaborate with internal and external groups to identify and validate the Company’s research candidates and provide preclinical support for our gene therapy programs. The incumbent will manage experienced scientists and bioinformaticians and provide strategic and scientific guidance to members of the Vector Biosciences team.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Accountable for establishing and leading an industry leading gene therapy vector design and bioinformatics analysis.

  • Leads a team of scientists, research associates and bioinformaticians to design, build, characterize and test candidate gene therapy vectors to address indications within the Company’s gene therapy pipeline

  • Build the workflow to generate constructs by combination of computational approach including ML/AI and high-throughput screening assays at newly installed lab in Astellas and outside of Astellas via partnering.

  • Collaborates with Neuroscience discovery and Ophthalmology discovery teams and the Integrative Biology Dept to select the mode of action and concepts for each program including ITR, promoter and other regulating elements.

  • Oversees operation of the Vector Tech & Creation team to design and optimize the vector sequences to deliver the candidates of gene therapy product, and high throughput exploratory generation of test articles by productive workstream with the team via in vitro studies.

  • Collaborates closely with Technology Development Dept to transfer novel product candidates for generation of test articles for use in in vivo studies used for regulatory submission, and partnering for test article analysis and trouble shooting

  • Evaluates data quality and study progress on an ongoing basis, informs management of potential issues, develops solutions and works with the team on corrective action plans.

  • Oversees the selection and management of nonclinical vendors. Negotiate contracts and budgets with sites and vendors.

  • Ensures appropriate maintenance of nonclinical documents.

  • Liaise with other departments to coordinate and plan for the availability of nonclinical supplies necessary to meet study requirements.

  • Represents Vector Biosciences on cross-functional core teams and external collaborations

  • Develops and continually improves departmental infrastructure including development of SOPs.

  • Collaborate with Integrative Biology, Clinical and Regulatory Departments in finalizing IND dossiers

  • Communicate scientific content and strategy effectively in a variety of settings

  • Performs other duties as assigned or special projects as needed.

  • Leads and provides direction to a team of Scientists and Research Associates at various levels.

  • Recruits, hires, supervises, develops, and retains qualified staff who embrace Astellas AGT culture and core values, and increase organizational performance

  • Manages 5–10 direct reports and leads an organization of 20 total FTEs including dotted report lines.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Gene Therapy or related fields with 12+ years’ academia and/or industry experience in biologics discovery research

  • Experience designing vectors for gene therapy from a biotech or pharma environment.

  • Experience in AI/ML approach to create gene therapy product through HT screening

  • Strong people management skills with proven ability and enthusiasm to lead, motivate, inspire, develop, and encourage staff

  • Proven skills as an effective team player who can engender credibility and confidence within and outside the company

  • Excellent and effective written, verbal communication and presentation skills


  • Experience with rare diseases gene therapy products.

  • Experience managing CROs and external vendors

Working Conditions

  • Travel up to an average of 10% as needed.

Salary Range : $182,300 - $243,000 (NOTE: Final salary could be more or less, based on experience)


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation, Sick time, plus national holidays including Heritage Days, and Summer and Winter Breaks

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or on the basis of disability.


Category Gene Therapy Research & Technical Operations

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans