Head of Discovery Oncology - Mechelen,BE/Leiden,NL/Basel,CH/Romainville,FR

Job description

Pleased to meet you, we are Galapagos, a dynamic fast growing Biotech company with offices in Europe in Belgium (Mechelen), France (Romainville & Paris), the Netherlands (Leiden), Switzerland (Basel), Italy (Milano), Spain (Madrid), the UK (London), Germany (München), and in the US (Boston).

We are 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 an Head of Discovery Oncology - Mechelen,BE/Leiden,NL/Basel,CH/Romainville,FR

Scope of the funtion

You lead and manage the teams, resources and activities of the oncology discovery group reporting to the Senior Vice President, Head of Discovery small molecules. You interact closely with the commercial, licensing & acquisition and with the development organizations to set up the priorities for the oncology portfolio, while choosing the best modalities to reach these objectives. You also design the scientific and organizational strategy to deliver a portfolio of novel drug candidates in the field of oncology. Part of your responsibilities is the identification and validation of targets, pathways and animal models aligned with the selected strategic approaches. For active drug discovery projects, you operate in a matrix environment and orchestrates the activities of several departments (ranging from in vitro to in vivo pharmacology), bringing adequate disease models to mechanistically understand and progress new molecules.

You are also leading research activities for projects that entered clinical phases supporting indication selection and answering translational questions. Finally, you are expected to drive the generation of an up-to-date knowledge environment and to set up external collaborations to sharpen Galapagos’ oncology knowledge.


Principal Accountabilities:

  • Design a competitive scientific strategy for Galapagos’ oncology portfolio,
  • Play a key role in shaping the oncology portfolio in collaboration with commercial, licensing and acquisition and development organizations,
  • Select the appropriate modalities to achieve the objectives set by the oncology group,
  • Build strong translational knowledge, fostering a bed-to-bench approach, identifies competitive pathways and targets and builds sound mechanistic insights to progress new drug candidates to the clinic,
  • Acts at the interphase between Discovery and Development, driving continued translational activities for projects in Development,
  • Draft implementation plans related to this strategy (scientific expertise, technical capabilities and resources) to deliver against pre-set objectives,
  • Act as an advisor to the SVP Head of discovery small molecules in the field of scientific strategy, budget and resources,
  • Build a strong competitive knowledge environment related to oncology
  • Lead, manage and coordinate a team of scientists, by motivating and empowering the team members; ensure the implementation of the corporate culture; ensure smooth communication and interactions within your own group and towards stakeholders; ensure team member’s development by his / her leadership and coaching abilities,
  • Act as a senior representative of the company by developing the appropriate external and internal network; ensure an efficient and smooth communication within his / her team and towards the corporate partners,
  • Set up and manage collaborations,
  • Manage resources.

Job requirements

Who are you?

  • Ph.D. with at least 15 years drug discovery experience
  • Scientific expertise in CAR-T, Antibody drug conjugates and small molecules modalities
  • Scientific expertise in oncology, precision medicines and immune oncology as well as a deep understanding of the competitive landscape in these areas
  • 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 technologies and processes
  • Knowledge of Translational concepts. An affinity with state-of-the art ‘omics’ technologies is an advantage
  • Excellent proven leadership skills, with the ability to influence, motivate and empower.
  • With a strategic view, you are able to act as an advisor and influencer of top management and the teams.
  • Creative and critical thinker. Able to build a synthetic view on literature in the field.