Science Director, Glial Biology and Drug Discovery

Job Location

Los Angeles or Princeton Office

Job Reports To

VP Biology

Job Description

CHDI oversees a portfolio of projects aimed at understanding the natural onset and progression of Huntington’s disease (HD) with the goal of identifying and accelerating therapies for patients.  CHDI’s strategy is anchored on the causal Huntington disease gene and the wild type and mutant huntingtin protein. We seek to understand how the mutant gene leads to neurodegeneration. We seek an accomplished and collaborative scientific problem solver who will bring innovative thinking to strategic priorities, experimental planning and execution of investigations of the role of glia in HD pathogenesis with a goal to identify therapeutic opportunities. The position offers involvement in an innovative model of non-profit rare disease drug discovery and development and participation in an entrepreneurial and collegial work environment, with opportunities and resources to contribute significantly to the understanding and treatment of HD.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Accountable for the evolution of CHDI’s research portfolio in the area of glia biology and its relationship to HD pathogenesis and therapeutic intervention
  • Implement strategic plans for uncovering the role of mutant HTT in glial (dys)function, and the relationship of glial dysfunction to neurodegeneration
  • Implement and develop genetic approaches to investigating glia function in animal and cell based models
  • Oversee and evolve investigations of cell transplantation involving glia progenitor cells
  • Contribute as a member of a multidisciplinary team to the design, evaluation, prioritization, and implementation of cell based and animal models of HD
  • Participate in internal and external team meetings to evaluate and advance the validation of targets, outcome measures, and models for (HD) drug discovery
  • Management/oversight of a collaborative network of external contract research organizations, biotechnology collaborators, and academic scientists engaged in an integrated portfolio of projects to interrogate glia function in HD
  • Critically analyze and synthesize data sets
  • Participate in internal and external scientific reviews
  • Fulfill necessary process, legal, and business requirements to enable our scientific efforts


The candidate of choice will have:

  • An MD or D. in neuroscience and postdoctoral training with expertise in glia development, physiology and disease pathology
  • Experience working on neurodegenerative or myelination diseases.
  • Experience in applications of stem cell biology and cell based therapy for CNS diseases
  • Knowledgeable in neuroanatomical, optogenetic and electrophysiological techniques to investigate CNS circuitry dysfunction
  • Experience in cell based assays to investigate CNS questions
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience as an independent scientist in an academic or industrial environment
  • A track record of scientific accomplishment as evidenced by publications in refereed journals
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, design, and drive innovative programs and demonstrated evidence of scientific “problem solving”
  • Strong analytical skills, critical reasoning, and scientific rigor
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and effective interpersonal skills necessary for the coordination of a large network of external global collaborators
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a technical, interdisciplinary team oriented environment and with external academic and industrial partners
  • Evidence of being highly self-motivated and an ability to work both independently and in a team
  • Ability to travel to the CHDI Los Angeles/Princeton office as well globally and nationally to interact with collaborators

Preferred Skills:

An ideal candidate would also have:

  • Experience working on Huntington’s disease
  • Experience in the biopharmaceutical sector
  • Drug discovery experience in validating CNS targets for therapeutic advancement
  • Experience in CNS imaging
  • Experience in microscopy and image analysis, particularly in animal models
  • Productive history of having accountability for managing/overseeing external collaborators and collaborations
  • Training and knowledge in genetics
  • Experience in bioinformatics mining

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