Program Manager


Los Angeles, CA; with regular travel to NYC and Princeton office


The CHDI Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together academic and industrial laboratories, government agencies, and other funding organizations in the search for Huntington’s disease (HD) treatments. We focus on all aspects of drug discovery and development, including target identification and validation, animal model development, biomarker discovery and validation, lead identification and optimization, and IND-enabling preclinical studies, all of which will allow the Foundation to rapidly identify and develop treatment options for HD patients.

At CHDI, we are seeking a highly motivated and organized project manager with a strong experience in the coordination and management of translational and preclinical studies. In addition the candidate should be very detail-oriented and have significant experience working with Ph.D. level scientists as well as with our legal and finance teams. The position offers significant growth opportunities, exposure to a new model of non-profit orphan disease drug discovery, and an entrepreneurial work environment with high impact.  Salary will be commensurate with experience. The candidate will report to the VPs of translational biology and chemistry.

Job requirements:

  • Bachelors or Masters Degree in the life sciences (biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences)
  • Contract management experience and hands-on experience coordinating studies with collaborating sites.
  • Experience in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry.
  • Experience in licensing, technology transfer and alliance management in industry or academia a plus.
  • Self-motivator and resourceful.
  • Strong organizational and multitasking skills.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Outlook.

Job responsibilities:

  • Work with scientists to understand project goals and deliverables and to propose a contract structure tailored to meet those objectives.
  • Work with scientists and the legal department to prepare contracts with collaborators, including fee-for-service companies, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies.
  • Work with scientists and the financial officer to evaluate and optimize proposed budgets for new projects.
  • Use existing tracking tools to monitor the progress of executed contracts in accordance with the rules of engagement as specified in each contract.
  • Identify and communicate potential issues and delays to scientists, the legal department and the financial officer in a timely manner and propose solutions to remedy the issues in an expedited fashion.
  • Liaise with collaborative counterparts to ensure: a) that studies are conducted in accordance with corresponding contracts; and b) that deliverables are delivered on time and per allocated funds to each such study.
  • Work with biorepository and animal breeding managers to ensure: a) that materials are available and can be provided for a given study prior to the execution of contracts; and b) that materials generated by collaborators are properly registered in CHDI’s databases, consequently tracked and deposited.
  • Participate and host monthly steering committee meetings with collaborating organizations, prepare meeting minutes, follow up on action items and perform in an ‘advisory’ role on matters related to operations, finances and legal issues.
  • Upon the execution of a contract, present the “rules of engagement” including CHDI’s internal policies as they pertain to expenditure, travel, licenses, subcontracted services, etc. to the steering committee.
  • Review monthly invoices, cross-reference with financial terms of corresponding contracts, flag discrepancies and resolve issues with collaborators and/or the CHDI financial officer in an expedited fashion to meet the monthly timeline.
  • Review academic financial audit reports and reconcile. Work with principle investigators and grant analysts at academic institutions to understand and resolve budgetary discrepancies.
  • File scientific reports and project management documents in CHDI’s document management system and distribute internally to relevant individuals.
  • Participate in monthly project managers’ team meetings and host selected meetings in accordance with the pre-established schedule.
  • Update project management documents such as resource, expenditure and deliverable trackers and file such documents in CHDI’s document management system.
  • Propose tools and strategies to streamline and optimize tracking of studies and expenditures whenever possible.