Project Leader Early Discovery

Job description

Pleased to meet you, we are Galapagos, a dynamic fast growing Biotech company with offices in Europe in Belgium (Mechelen), France (Romainville), the Netherlands (Leiden), Basel (Switzerland) and in US, (Boston).

We’re in the business of changing lives. In our quest to discover and develop life-improving medicines we go where no one has ever gone before.  In every challenge we face, we see new opportunities.  We want to challenge the impossible.  We need thought leaders and rapid thinkers, entrepreneurs in spirit and status quo-fighters.  Collaborative innovators and perseverant idealists. We need the best-in-class.  In other words, we need you.

In the area of auto-immune and / or fibrotic diseases, the Project Leader participates to the selection and design of therapeutic strategies. He is acting from target discovery up to pre-clinical candidate delivery but also beyond, driving pharmacology activities for projects that entered clinical phases. The Project leader is responsible for driving drug discovery projects in Discovery to success, operating in a matrix environment and orchestrates the activities of several departments, ranging from in vitro through in vivo pharmacology. He is also designing and driving external academic and industrial collaborations. The Project Leader is expected to participate in building an up-to-date knowledge environment, allowing to design competitive strategies to address the diseases selected.



  • Leading Discovery drug discovery projects (small molecules or antibodies) in the area of Immune-inflammatory of Fibrotic diseases. Delivering against pre-set objectives.
  • Leading Pharmacology activities for the characterization of molecules in Development phases, with emphasis on Translational activities.
  • Reporting on progress to the scientific management team of the company.
  • Building a productive and trust-based collaboration with the Galapagos expert teams.
  • Managing external collaborations.
  • Contributing to the design of a competitive strategy for selected diseases by integrating knowledge gathered from own insights, key literature, feedback of KOL’s, congresses.
  • Bring key elements to map the competitive environment in the area and support decision making towards strategy and target selection.
  • Assist the Business Development team by providing high quality scientific support. 



  • Ph.D. with at least 8 years’ drug discovery experience in the biotech or pharmaceutical industry.
  • Knowledge of the drug discovery process supported by a demonstrated track record of delivery and leadership in drug discovery projects.
  • Solid knowledge of in vitro and in vivo pharmacology as well as of concepts in pharmacokinetics.
  • Solid knowledge of target validation processes.
  • Knowledge of Translational concepts (use of target and disease biomarkers).
  • Scientific expertise in inflammation, autoimmunity or fibrotic processes is an important advantage as well as an understanding of the competitive landscape in the area.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Talented in organizing and planning.
  • Creative and critical thinker. Able to build a synthetic view on literature in the field.
  • Experience in working in a matrix environment represents an advantage.

The position reports to the Therapeutic Area Head.

What’s in it for you?

You will be part of a fast growing and amazing company. As ‘make-it-happener’ you will get all the support you need to make your job successful. At Galapagos we aim to recruit the best people, who stand out among their peers, with integrity and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. Our employees are the strength behind Galapagos, a highly motivated team, eager to maintain Galapagos’ leading position and achieve breakthroughs in pharmaceutical research. Galapagos offers a competitive remuneration package and a dynamic work environment.


We are Galapagos : together we can make it happen…!