Associate Director, Development Unit Head - mRNA Drug Substance





The Cell and Viral Drug Substance team within the GSK Vaccine’s Technical Research and Development organization, has as a mission to develop the next-generation mRNA vaccine platforms for rapid development of new vaccine candidates.

We are looking for a scientific leader in the RNA field to head a newly formed mRNA Drug Substance development unit, which mission is to drive the integration of an external partner Drug Substance platform process for clinical & commercial manufacturing of mRNA. Located in Rixensart, Belgium, the position will play a significant role in shaping current and next-generation GSK’s leading mRNA vaccine platforms to accelerate addressing unmet medical needs, an exciting field having a direct impact into patients and global health. This role will report to the Head of the Drug Substance Cell and Viral Department and provides the opportunity to integrate a diverse group of top talented experts in vaccines’ industry, lead key activities and further grow and progress in your career.

Your responsibilities:

  • Scientific leadership of a multidisciplinary team with ~8-10 direct reports including RNA synthesis, purification and analytics up to pilot scale

  • Internalize a pre-established mRNA vaccine platform from an external partner and mature its robustness, scalability, and characterization using QbD principles for late phase CMC development and commercial manufacturing

  • Build the operational framework and mindset to run as a highly agile & competitive “plug and play” platform to drive new vaccine candidates fast from discovery to clinic

  • Integrate and strategically influence a complex stakeholder network having laser-sharp focus on objectives to aggressively advance our corporate strategic agenda and guarantee our play in the rapid changing mRNA field

  • Manage, coach and develop this newly formed team having high performance, operational excellence, flexibility and agility at the core

Why you?

Basic Qualifications:

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:

  • PhD in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Bioengineering with specialization in RNA biology, chemistry or similar

  • > 4 years’ experience in biotech or biopharma plus > 4 years of independent research in a competitive environment in a closely related field

  • Demonstrated experience being a people’s manager, capability to influence senior leaders, lead in complex dynamic environments, critical & strategic thinking, fast decision making and adaptability

  • Excel at complex problem solving through critical thinking using knowledge gained through formal education, experience, and sound judgment, and foster this as a culture within the team.

Preferred Qualifications:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:

  • End-to-end vision of vaccines product and process development and biomanufacturing of nucleic acids, preferably mRNA

  • Knowledge of the relevant regulatory environment, particularly FDA/ICH/ISPE guidelines on risk management, technology transfer and process validation

If you have a disability and require assistance during the course of the selection process, you will have the opportunity to let us know what specific assistance you require in order to make suitable arrangements.

GSK is a global biopharma company with a special purpose – to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together – so we can positively impact the health of billions of people and deliver stronger, more sustainable shareholder returns – as an organisation where people can thrive. Getting ahead means preventing disease as well as treating it, and we aim to impact the health of 2.5 billion people around the world in the next 10 years.

Our success absolutely depends on our people. While getting ahead of disease together is about our ambition for patients and shareholders, it’s also about making GSK a place where people can thrive. We want GSK to be a workplace where everyone can feel a sense of belonging and thrive as set out in our Equal and Inclusive Treatment of Employees policy. We’re committed to being more proactive at all levels so that our workforce reflects the communities we work and hire in, and our GSK leadership reflects our GSK workforce.

Job application