Head of Computational Research - Mechelen,BE

Job description

Pleased to meet you, we are Galapagos, a dynamic fast growing Biotech company with offices in Europe in Belgium (Mechelen), France (Romainville and Paris), the Netherlands (Leiden), Basel (Switzerland), Spain (Madrid), Italy (Milan) and in the 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 : The ‘make-it-happeners’.


We are looking for a Head of Computational Research  - Mechelen,BE



The Computational Research group is part of the Discovery organization. It currently consists of 7 scientists and is expected to grow substantially (initially to 10, more thereafter). At the moment, it consists of three subteams: Molecular Modelling & Design, Computational Technologies and Molecular Intelligence. The group’s primary role is the judicious application of molecular data science, chemoinformatics, molecular modelling and statistics in a multi-disciplinary environment to achieve the goals of a diverse portfolio of drug discovery projects. It is also involved in the identification and development of new computational methodologies and strategies through both internal and external collaborations.


Your responsibilities:

  • Establish the vision and mission of the group and implement it in order to significantly impact the portfolio of drug discovery projects and the efficiency of the drug discovery process;
  • Manage and grow the existing subteams, ensuring development of subordinates;
  • Adopt a leadership role to turn Galapagos into a full-fledged data-driven company, among others by:
    • creating and leading a data management and data sciences team,
    • ensuring that appropriate infrastructure (data warehouse, ontologies management, analysis tools, etc.) is available for the entire Discovery organization,
    • developing and expanding Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence activities to maximize the impact of these novel techniques,
    • leading joint bioinformatics and cheminformatics Technology Development efforts,
    • automating internal and external information retrieval and knowledge creation, and
    • fostering the application of AI techniques throughout the organization and co-directing the overall AI effort;
  • Create an environment that allows efficient uptake of novel drug modalities (beyond small molecule modulators) into the portfolio and develop the tools needed to support any type of modality within the portfolio;
  • Work as part of the larger management organization to prioritize activities, and to identify and implement new methodologies and strategies;
  • Identify external opportunities and manage external collaborations;
  • Establish and manage close interactions with stakeholders beyond the own group, such as bioinformatics, ITS and drug development.

Job requirements

Who are you?

  • PhD or equivalent with a demonstrated track record in computer-aided drug discovery
  • At least 10 years of experience in a pharmaceutical and/or biotech environment
  • Strong knowledge of structure- and ligand-based drug design, chemoinformatics, machine learning and programming applied to drug discovery
  • Strong experience in managing trans-disciplinary teams in an international context
  • Proven leadership
  • Fluent in English, preferably also in Dutch and/or French

You will be part of a fast growing and amazing company. As a “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...!