Scientific Chief of Staff
South San Francisco, CA
Research – Executive team /
Onsite, Full-time /
Science at Gordian is scaling, and with your help, so will our Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Gordian is looking for a Scientific Chief of Staff to work as a strategic partner, providing critical support in planning, communication, and decision-making across our scientific teams that will be essential to drive our science forward.
At Gordian Biotechnology, we are on a mission to cure age-related disease, allowing people to lead longer, healthier lives and wake up every morning, more capable than the day before.
Age-related diseases have complex causes that include interactions with the aged environment, and traditional ex vivo screening methods have failed to produce compelling targets or effective treatments. To address this problem, Gordian’s platform enables in vivo Mosaic Screening to deliver and test hundreds of therapeutics in individual animals. We select the most clinically relevant Patient Avatars, whose age, physiology and genomics most closely resembles human patients. Using these and other proprietary tools, we can scale in vivo efficacy testing to more targets than have ever been explored by biopharma, at the very beginning of the drug discovery process (more info on our website). This lets us develop and commercialize therapies with greater chance of impacting the world’s deadliest diseases, and eventually for the processes of aging itself.
Our mission is audacious, and the path will be full of both challenges and excitement. Two things characterize the Gordian experience: 1) We work as a team, with ownership in our own roles and trust in each other. 2) We strive for extraordinary outcomes, and in doing so grow our skills and capability.
Team – Relying on each other begins with transparency. We set clear goals, visibly connecting individuals and teams to our company objectives. This empowers each of us to make autonomous decisions about our work, knowing how they will affect the bigger picture. Our communication happens out in the open. We give and receive feedback from a perspective of helping each other grow, share mistakes, and ask for help.
Extraordinary – Every day, we ask ourselves “could this process/outcome be even better?”. Knowing our overall mission, we do what we think helps us make the most progress, without asking for permission. We don’t shy away from big challenges or unknown territory, but find a way to excel. Our colleagues are amazing, both at what they do and as people. They inspire us to keep up, to not let them down, and be inspiring in return.
Like any cutting-edge research environment, Gordian doesn't believe in a standard 9 to 5 day. We set ambitious project goals and support each other to meet them, while maintaining the balance individuals need to thrive and achieve excellence. Our team is geared towards helping each other out, an orientation best exemplified through the support we provide for each others’ projects, both experimentally as well as through “pre-mortem” meetings to discuss possible failure modes and experimental design. We like getting things done and keep standing meetings to a minimum.
We like to have social as well as intellectual fun, including through weekly team lunches, monthly company happy hours, and regular social events hosted by Gordian for the broader community. We also encourage our colleagues to unwind; this year, in accordance with our unlimited vacation policy, each member took an average of 2.5 weeks of (offline) vacation, not including major holidays.
If this environment sounds appealing, come experience it with us. We are at the beginning of a long journey, and want both your ability and your personality along for the ride. Our culture is a source of great pride; it represents both who we are, and who we wish to be. You can dive deeper into our values here.
Your primary mission as Scientific Chief of Staff is to be an extension of our CSO, working closely with him to absorb and implement strategic skills and initiatives across the company.
You will be an integral part of our organization, participating in sync meetings, engaging in strategic discussions, and gradually standing in for the CSO in various interactions, relieving them of operational tasks to focus on research and development.
You'll spend a significant amount of your time learning from our CSO to gain key insights into our mission and vision, critical strategic and organizational initiatives and becoming well versed in our culture. This will give you the insight needed to partner with our scientific teams to provide guidance on prioritization, cross-company impact, and other factors required to align our work across teams.
You'll also have a significant role in managing external relationships, communicating with key partners and scientific advisors to enable collaborations and goodwill. You’ll think about and execute ways to build our external brand, through events, social media, and other communications.
Internally, you’ll spend time closely collaborating with our CSO to flesh out and take on projects aimed at broadly improving strategy, collaboration, and culture at Gordian. You’ll combine organization and enthusiasm to successfully jump into challenging and sometimes ambiguous projects, while also removing operational tasks from our CSO and staying on top of company deadlines and strategic dates.
In your first month you will become familiar with our technology and disease programs assisting our CSO in coordinating matrix work. You’ll create a manual capturing scientific, cultural, and organizational onboarding for new employees. Additionally you’ll take over a project to manage Gordian’s Small Business Innovation Research grant work ensuring the necessary meetings are scheduled and experiments are progressing as planned.
In two months, you’ll have developed a strong understanding of Gordian’s strategy for 2024 and are assisting the CSO in overseeing key projects in partnership with our disease leads and functional leads. You’ll have successfully completed one project that is a key rock or blocker for Gordian (examples could include developing a project management handbook, developing a company-visible version of goals/metrics for 2024, etc.)
By three months you will have fully immersed yourself in Gordian’s culture and can take over the majority of preparations and management for a critical brand launch. You have also proven your ability to quickly adapt and handle unexpected responsibilities and challenges that arise, and are seizing unexpected opportunities to support Gordian’s mission.
You want a chance to do your best work, immerse yourself and excel, alongside people who will inspire you and whom you’ll be excited to spend your days with.
You want to play a key role in an early-stage startup: A fast-paced environment full of both uncertainty and new challenges, demanding relentless resourcefulness.
You love science, and are committed to ensuring that treatments reach patients in need, but feel that your skills are best suited outside of the lab. You enjoy the “strategy” of science as much as (or maybe more than) the doing of science.
You have a knack for absorbing both ideas and preferences, to rapidly develop a sense of how our CSO would act in a given situation. You have good judgment, good taste, and drive efforts to completion.
You have strong organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects, tasks and timelines. You are comfortable guiding and collaborating across multiple teams.
You have excellent communication skills, both written and visual. Additionally you have a high standard of work and commitment to quality.
Having a moderate understanding or previous work history focused on molecular biology, physiology, and genomics, will be extremely helpful.
Gordian aims to provide everything you need to thrive. Beyond our community and science, you’ll have enough equity to be a true stakeholder in the company, competitive salary, full health/dental/vision/life insurance, 401k with match, onsite lunch paid for 3 days a week, an onsite gym, whatever vacation you need to be at your peak, remote work flexibility, and access to world-class mentors and advisors to support your professional growth. Our building is in the heart of the biotech capital of South San Francisco.
$125,000 - $160,000 a year