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Astellas Pharma Director/Sr. Director of Research in Westborough, Massachusetts

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

Astellas Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc and focused on the development and commercialization of stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies. Astellas is an R&D-driven global pharmaceutical company whose philosophy is to contribute to the improvement of people's heath around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.

AIRM has a world-class R&D team, and is pursuing a diverse range of disease indications, ranging from macular degeneration (currently in clinical trials) and other ocular indications to vascular and autoimmune disease. AIRM's intellectual property portfolio includes pluripotent stem cell platforms -- both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells as well as other cell-based therapy research programs. AIRM is headquartered in Massachusetts.

Astellas is announcing a Director/Sr. Director of Research opportunity at their Astellas Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) site in Westborough, MA.


In this key role, the incumbent is responsible for helping to manage and provide strategic direction and leadership for development of pluripotent stem cell-based regenerative medicine products across multiple therapeutic areas. This position will work closely with the Vice President of Research and other Astellas/AIRM executives to develop and implement the Astellas/AIRM regenerative medicine scientific vision of turning innovative science into value for patients.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • As a key member of cross-functional teams related to regenerative medicine, works closely with key internal stakeholders, contribute to preparation, proposal, and implementation of overall Astellas Regenerative Medicine Research strategy.

  • Collaborates with the Vice President of Research and other senior leaders to manage overall business objectives.

  • Maintains high level of professional expertise through active diligence and awareness of emerging technologies, trends, and innovative advancements in the field with an eye to keep Astellas at the forefront of Regenerative Medicine

  • Works collaboratively with Business Development and Portfolio Strategy to assist in the evaluation/prospective acquisition of valuable regenerative medicine assets. Participates in the technical review and diligence of licensing/partnering opportunities in the regenerative medicine area space

  • Strategically and objectively advises on research and/or development programs in alignment with department objectives and interfaces with research team leads to drive program objectives

  • Help develop and maintain high quality and productive collaborations with key medical/scientific opinion leaders related to regenerative medicine and AIRM research programs

Quantitative Dimensions:

  • Helps manage a portfolio of 10+ PSC-based cell therapies and facilitates the progression of programs through stage-gates towards IND filing

  • Works with operations and contracting manager to monitor pace of program spend and effectively make budgeting decisions for multi-million-dollar operating expenses

  • Conceptually contributes to the preclinical objectives and study designs for cell therapy assets across 6-8 different therapeutic areas.

Organizational Context:

  • Reports to Vice President, Research

  • Routinely liaises with multiple Associate Directors/Directors within Research to facilitate alignment and provide strategic direction to cross-functional programs

  • Direct manager of Operations and Contracting Manager to oversee department spend, budgeting, and forecasting



  • A PhD is mandatory with a background in regenerative medicine and extensive experience in pluripotent stem cell-based differentiation systems across multiple therapeutic areas

  • Minimum of 14 years post-degree experience in stem cell research and development, with at least half of those years in a managerial role

  • Demonstrated experience leading scientific teams in preclinical development of stem cell-based therapies, with strong record of meeting objectives and deliverables

  • Demonstrated ability to navigate and manage complex cross-functional interactions in a matrixed, global organization effectively

  • A deep and broad understanding of how to communicate and work well with scientists and external decision-makers worldwide

  • A thorough understanding of how to influence local and global scientific teams in order to position new regenerative medicine efforts and add strategic value to short and long-term planning that contributes to Astellas' success


  • At least 8 years of managerial experience in a pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, or biotechnology setting

  • Experience working across a broad range of therapeutic areas that includes at least 2-3 of the following areas: retinal degeneration, corneal disease/injury, autoimmune disorders, neurologic/neuroinflammatory diseases, vascular/cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, liver disease, hematologic disorders, solid tumor oncology, mitochondrial disease

  • Experience with gene engineering, gene editing technologies a plus


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program


Category Research and Development

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans