Head of Research

Unique opportunity to join an exciting, mid-stage biotechnology company

Talaris Therapeutics, Inc.(“Talaris”) is developing a breakthrough, one-time cell therapy to enable patients who receive a living donor kidney transplant to no longer require lifelong immunosuppression, without rejecting their donated organ.  Achieving durable, drug-free, immune tolerance to a donated organ has been referred to as a “Holy Grail” of organ transplant.  In a ground-breaking, phase 2 study conducted between 2008 – 2016, our lead therapy, FCR001, enabled 70% of patients to be weaned off all immunosuppression within 12 months of their kidney transplant. No tolerized patient has had to resume immunosuppression.  We have followed these patients for an average of almost five years since their transplant, and the longest for over ten years.  Our single-dose cell therapy has also shown the potential to induce durable remission of certain types of severe auto-immune diseases, and to benefit other solid organ transplant patients.  Talaris recently secured $100M in private financing from leading life sciences investors and in Q4 2019 we initiated a Phase 3 pivotal trial of our therapy in living donor kidney transplant patients.  We also expect to initiate two Phase 2 trials of our therapy in additional indications in 2020.  Our wholly-owned cell processing facility and most of our operations are based in Louisville, KY, and we also have a corporate office in Boston, MA.

Job Description

The Head of Research will report to Talaris’ Chief Scientific Officer, who is located in Louisville, KY. This role may be based in Boston, the NY/NJ area, or Louisville, although if not based in Louisville, then it will nonetheless be expected that the individual spend on average at least 1-2 weeks per month in Louisville. Overall, the position will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive research plan for Talaris, for driving the preclinical and translational development of our earlier stage pipeline initiatives, and for building out our research group and function.

Primary responsibilities

  • Lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive research plan for Talaris, including building out and overseeing our research function and team
  • Develop a thorough understanding of Talaris’ key technologies and publications, as well as alternative and/or competing means by which to induce durable immune tolerance and/or stem cell engraftment.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of existing and emerging technologies that may assist Talaris in better understanding how our FCR001 product promotes immune tolerance and stem cell engraftment, and make recommendations for research priorities and research modalities to be used in conjunction with Talaris’ existing and/or pending clinical or preclinical studies
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of competing and complementary technologies and scientific approaches to establish durable immune tolerance, and make recommendations to management on potential areas for external collaboration with both companies and academia.
  • Assume responsibility for building and managing Talaris’ current and future portfolio of collaborative research projects for our clinical studies
  • Conduct a de novo assessment of Talaris’ current IP portfolio and claims and recommend additional research initiatives to develop new or complementary IP or expand existing claims to strengthen our IP portfolio.
  • Lead the preclinical and translational development of our FCR product for the deceased donor setting. Specifically, this will involve leading Talaris’ efforts to assess the key cellular constituents of bone marrow that is derived from harvested vertebra and working closely with internal and external analytical- and cell processing experts to develop and validate a method to use cells derived from deceased donors to generate an FCR-product.
  • Work closely with our CSO and our Head of New Product Planning to assess the suitability of our technology for additional indications of high unmet need
  • Work collaboratively with fellow researchers both within and outside Talaris to plan, execute, analyze and discuss experimental strategies and data designed to advance our research agenda.
  • Work closely with Talaris clinical operations team to coordinate collection, handling and appropriate routing of research samples being obtained from ongoing clinical studies
  • Develop and write experimental protocols and detailed lab records as necessary
  • Contribute to Talaris’ publication strategy and author or co-author high-quality articles, suitable for publication in appropriate peer-reviewed publications, reporting on the results of Talaris research.

Years/Type of Experience

  • 10+ years of research and/or translational development experience in immunology or stem cell biology, including experience directing laboratory personnel.
  • Demonstrated expertise in design, execution, analysis, interpretation and peer reviewed publication of laboratory and/or translational research.
  • Significant experience in flow cytometry, cell sorting and/or related technologies
  • Expertise in stem cell biology is desirable.

 Educational and Other Requirements

  • PhD in immunology or related field, or equivalent research experience
  • The successful candidate will be highly self-directed, and goals- and deadlines oriented. He/she must also have strong organizational skills, as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Residence and Travel

  • It would be desirable for the successful candidate to be based in Louisville, or to relocate to Louisville within a reasonable timeframe of accepting this role. Talaris will reimburse for all reasonable relocation costs.
  • However, if residence in Louisville is not possible, then regular travel to Louisville for an average of at least 1-2 weeks per month will be expected, more when necessary.

Compensation will be competitive and will include an annual cash performance bonus, stock options and attractive benefits, and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Apply: Please submit resume or CV and cover letter to hiring@Talaristx.com

Talaris is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits unlawful discrimination.