The Scientific Program Director will work at the Department of Systems Biology in a complex, multi-investigator effort to employ powerful gene therapy approaches in pursuit of clinical treatment of radiation toxicity and morbidity using a combination of CRISPR technologies, high-throughput experimental assays, molecular biology, biochemical techniques, and animal studies. We are seeking a candidate who has expertise in project management, scientific writing, grant administration, and regulatory engagement with the FDA for translational studies. Working with the Principal Investigator (PI), the Director will be responsible for the management, operations and administration of a large multi-million, multi-year DARPA supported effort and the coordination of the associated research and reporting activities as they relate to grant deliverables. This includes making sure scientific progress and/or deliverables occur in a timely fashion, communication of progress occurs amongst collaborating laboratories within and outside of Columbia, and scientific progress is communicated in oral or written form to the funding institution. The Director will initiate and lead meetings among the scientific staff and will work closely with the PI and research team members to ensure that research studies are completed on time and within budget. Will assist in manuscript preparation and grant writing as needed. Furthermore, the Director will lead and organize pre-IND regulatory engagement activities with the FDA towards clinical pursuit of desired research objectives as well as assist in potential technology transition of program results towards commercialization.
This is a position for a highly organized person with good management skills and includes cross-disciplinary project coordination, scientific communications, budget management, liaising with the Center for Radiological Research and Columbia Genome Center, liaising with DARPA Program Directors, technology transfer activities, IACUC proposal generation and maintenance, and a wide range of support activities.
Key Roles in Program Management:
Lead and assist PI and co-investigators in synthesizing monthly technical and financial reports.
Management of program requirements including all deliverables, milestones, reports, and reagents specified by the granting agency. Prior experience working with DARPA is a strong plus.
Lead and assist FDA engagement activities towards an IND application in working with the Columbia Clinical Trials Office.
Technology transition and commercialization of program products through participation in start-up accelerator programs such as those through Columbia Technology Ventures.
Direct and prioritize resource allocation to ensure that all research deliverables are met for the entire program.
Leadership of Program Operations and Financial Administration:
Oversee the general operation of the entire program and ensure that ongoing administrative and operational processes support the goals and objectives of the program. Plan and lead routine project team meetings.
Evaluate productivity to ensure that research grant deliverables are met in a timely manner and communicated to the funding agencies.
Establish mechanisms to continually evaluate and respond to short- and long-term operational and fiscal needs.
Financial management of large-scale projects in working with the finance team, generating up to monthly reports.
Engage with the Columbia Clinical Trials Office and the FDA for Pre-IND discussions in preparation of IND application by the end of the program.
Liaise with the Columbia Genome Center (including the High Throughput Screening and Next Generation Sequencing facilities) and Center for Radiological Research.
Independently interact directly with sponsoring agencies (such as DARPA program officers), key project personnel, on behalf of Principal Investigator.
Write formal and informal communications and reports regarding project progress and share directly with sponsors, collaborators, and other members of the financial/administrative leadership.
Draft copy related to the project for a wide range of publication contexts, such as draft press releases and text of publications for scientific journals.
Support PI by maintaining oversight of all personnel working for the program (>15 personnel).
With PI, set the strategy and establish standards for hiring, performance appraisal, and competency assessment. Establish job expectations and methods for measurement of standards for all personnel.
Coordinate with all personnel cross multiple investigator groups and provide Human Resources and administrative leadership in the development and implementation of policies and procedures that apply the program.
Maintain awareness of team engagement; identify and respond to key challenges and areas of opportunity.
Independently draft IACUC protocols and other compliance documentation for projects.
Ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements for animal and computational research.
Convey to project team and ensure compliance with institutional policies and procedures.
Bachelor's degree and five years of related experience; or Master's degree and two years of related experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
A PhD in a relevant field.
Published scholarly work in related field.
Position requires strong familiarity with key components of the research program, such as gene therapy, genome engineering, computational biology/bioinformatics, molecular biology, radiation biology, and systems biology.
Experience with writing scientific components of grant proposals and reports.
Sufficient familiarity with scientific aspects of research to draft text independently.
Project management experience, preferably experience overseeing a large, multi-component project.
Strong familiarity with administrative aspects of managing large sponsored research projects, including knowledge of federal compliance requirements
Graduate-level experience in genetics, radiation biology, gene therapy, drug delivery, CRISPR technologies, molecular or systems biology, or a related field.
A broad understanding and general interest in the field of gene therapy and genomics, its clinical and translational implications.
Post-graduate experience in research, program management or scientific writing/editorial skills.
Excellent written and oral communications skills
Some experience in grant administration processes
Knowledge and some experience in the administration of a science program which includes knowledge of budget management, project reporting, and supervision of staff.
Independence and self-initiative essential.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 506242
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Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.