Head of Immune Inflammation Disease Area - 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’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 an Head of Immune Inflammation Disease Area - Mechelen,BE/Leiden,NL/Basel,CH/Romainville,FR


You lead and manage the teams, resources and activities assigned to your area. Expert advisor to the VP Head of Disease Biology, you play a central role in selecting the diseases targeted by the company. 

You design the scientific and organizational strategy to achieve the objectives of the Disease Biology division and to develop new competitive therapeutic compounds. More in particular, you are responsible for the identification and validation of targets and pathways aligned with the selected strategic approach. 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 academic collaborations to sharpen Galapagos’ disease and pathway knowledge. Besides leading the implementation of this strategy within your own teams, you are  responsible for the proper collaborative work between his teams and the other parts of the company.

Principal Accountabilities:

  • Design a competitive scientific strategy for Immune-Inflammation pipeline,
  • Build strong translational knowledge, fostering a bed-to-bench approach, identifies competitive pathways and targets and builds sound mechanistic insights to progress new therapeutic molecules to the clinic,
  • Acts at the interphase between Discovery and Development divisions, driving continued translational activities for projects in Development phases,
  • Draft implementation plans related to this strategy for his/her own department (scientific expertise, technical capabilities and resources) to deliver against pre-set objectives,
  • Act as an advisor to the VP Head Disease Area in the field of scientific strategy, budget and resources,
  • Build a strong competitive knowledge environment related to Immune-Inflammation Disease Biology as well as Pharma/Biotech companies, compounds and technologies in the field,
  • Lead, manage and coordinate a team of ~35 scientists appointed to the department, 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 academic collaborations,
  • Manage resources for your territory.

Job requirements

Who are you?

  • Ph.D. with at least 10 years drug discovery experience
  • Scientific expertise in inflammation, autoimmunity as well as an understanding of the competitive landscape in the area
  • 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.

What’s in it for you?

You will be part of an 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…!