Vice President, Research

Novato, CA
Ultragenyx – Research
Why Join Us?
Be a hero for our rare disease patients
Ultragenyx is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing treatments for rare and ultra-rare diseases. Founded in 2010, the company has rapidly built a diverse portfolio of small molecule, monoclonal antibody, mRNA and gene therapy candidates with the potential to address debilitating genetic diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no approved therapies.     
Developing new treatments for rare genetic diseases is challenging work. It takes courage, talent, and dedication to look past the easy answers and uncover new solutions that can make a meaningful impact. At Ultragenyx we push each other to perform at our very best, because we never lose sight of our mission – to make a difference in our patients’ lives.
Come join our team during this exciting time of growth and opportunities!

Why Join Us?

Ultragenyx is a clinical stage biotechnology company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases with an initial focus on serious debilitating metabolic genetic diseases.  Founded in 2010, the company has rapidly built a diverse portfolio of both large and small molecule candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no approved therapies.  

Come join our team during this exciting time of growth and opportunities! Our headquarters is in Novato, CA, 25 miles north of San Francisco and we also an office in Brisbane.
Position Summary

The Vice President of Research is accountable for leading the Research department by, providing the scientific management, expertiseand work environment necessary to enable the innovation and success of a high functioning Research team. The main goal is to guide the science, by setting the scientific expectations and providing the scientific clarity for the Research department in support of all Ultragenyx department Translational Research programs.   These translational research projects will span many rare and ultra-rare therapeutic areas and multiple technical modalities, including small molecules, traditional biologics, and mRNA.  The VP of Research will also engage both internally and externally to actively evaluate product and technology ideas with the goal of expanding Ultragenyx’s research pipeline in support of overall company strategic goals and objectives. S/he will lead intra- and inter-departmental teams to optimize scientific outcomes through collaboration, transparency, accountability, and innovation..   S/He must be able to represent Ultragenyx and its programs effectively in a variety of settings, from the laboratory to partner presentations. The VP Research is a key member of the Translational Research Management Team (TRMT), which is the governance body responsible for setting the Translational Research (TR) priorities, allocating project resources, choosing translational project leaders and advising on the project goals to best advance early stage discovery and translational biology projects. Given the multi-functional and collaborative demands of this role, the VP Research must thrive in a matrixed, multidsplinary and cross functional environment. S/He will, in partnership with NonClinical Sciences and other departments, lead independently and play a critical role in various governing bodies to, ensure the scientifically rigorous execution and efficient advancement of the translational science pipeline.  The VP Research must be energized by an entrepreneurial and highly collaborative working environment and must be wholly supportive of the company’s strategic direction and dynamic development model.  

Responsibilities, including but not limited to:

    • Manage and develop the Research Department.  This includes the recruitment and retention of scientists and staff and managing the research operation to assure team members are supported and successful
    • As a core TRMT member and other cross functional governing bodies, provide strategic vision, leadership and oversight for Ultragenyx Translational Sciences programs and projects
    • Ensure that all team members are engaged, learning and routinely sharing knowledge. Develop, prepare and promote colleagues for evolving key positions.  Foster a culture of scientific accountability, engagement, high quality results, and innovation in an open and highly collaborative environment to maximize corporate outcome
    • Provide input into activities across translational sciences research in multiple disease areas pertinent to Ultrgenyx’s cooperate mission. These include, but are not limited to, efficacy demonstration, biomarker research, novel indication applications, academic collaborations, presentations and publications 
    • Lead to achieve key deliverables for the translational science team ensuring successful and efficient program advancement from pilot stage through focused research stages to IND filing
    • Serve on the relevant governing bodies which are accountable for providing the insight and leadership to ensure proper priorities and expectation are set appropriately in order to achieve Ultragenyx goals
    • Ensure, in collaboration with the TRMT, work to ensure research projects are organized and resourced properly for optimal outcomes utilizing the state of the art methods, technology and processes in order to maximize efficiency and productivity.
    • Provide oversight and manage the prioritization of research projects to assure that adequate resources, people and finanical, are aligned and managed against budgets to achieve Translational Sciences’ goals
    • Lead and drive the company’s research platform by managing complex scientific activities, including defining and guiding Ultragenyx’s research direction and development of a world class team
    • Articulate Ultragenyx’s vision to internal board members, potential corporate partners and scientific communities.
    • Establish and maintain a strong network of peers within the industry
    • Manage external projects with academic and contract organizations in drug discovery; lead partnership programs and create and maintain intellectual property
    • May represent Ultragenyx as the senior Research spokesperson at trade associations and/or scheduled symposia and meetings. 
    • Maintain a culture of accountability, collaboration, innovation and collegiality within the Research Department by establishing and/or maintaining performance expectations and deliverables and developing and/or hiring top talent to drive corporate outcomes
    • Develop, coach and mentor talent, technical and subject experts and future leaders within Research department
    • Lead team members, to ensure they are appropriately trained, following appropriate policies, standard operating procedures and practices to achieve good scientific practice, a safe work environment and quality data and research material


    • PhD or MD/PhD degree, with track record in drug discovery and development to include leading original scientific research
    • Experienced and seasoned leader of success in drug discovery, preclinical development and translational research
    • Minimum 15 years’ research experience in an appropriate academic setting or in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry with a strong research background in first-in-class therapeutics for rare diseases and a proven record of advancing new discoveries across multiple modalities to include small molecule, biologic and nucleic acids
    • Established reputation in the relevant medical / industrial community; scientific credibility; a strong record of peer-reviewed publications
    • A working understanding of the process and strategy of intellectual property formation and management and the use of intellectual property to enhance the value of Ultragenyx programs, both defensively and offensively
    • Experience in evaluating, establishing and managing successful scientific collaborations with leaders in academia and industry
    • Demonstrated ability to communicate a vision for drug discovery and to influence key constituencies effectively, including scientific staff, management, board members, corporate partners and investors
    • Sound business judgment and the ability to evaluate alternatives, establish priorities and apply resources productively
    • Strong leadership, interpersonal and people development skills. Demonstrated ability to attract, motivate, develop and retain a highly educated, talented team of technical and support staff dedicated to scientific excellence
    • Goal oriented; ability to make hard decisions, to prioritize and to terminate projects and redeploy, if necessary
    • Competence to work effectively with strong leaders, both internally and externally, and with Ultragenyx’s strategic partners
    • Innovative thinker with an entrepreneurial / biotech mindset.  Strategic vision; excellent analytical skills and strong decision-making skills
    • Experience and track record of innovation and creativity; deep knowledge of new technologies and cutting edge approaches.
    • Passion and commitment; ability to lead and innovate a Research and Discovery organization and to ensure the success of programs from discovery research through to market
    • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with all levels within the organization
    • Proven leadership skills; action-oriented and entrepreneurial
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We understand that diversity of thought, culture and background will help us do the best for our patients. We prohibit unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin/ancestry, age, disability, marital and veteran status. 

Note to External Recruiters: All candidate activity and open positions are managed strictly through our Human Resources Department. Our Human Resources Department kindly requests that recruiters not contact employees/hiring managers directly in an attempt to solicit business and present candidates. Please note that failure to comply with this request will be a factor in determining a professional relationship with our organization. Submission of unsolicited resumes prior to an agreement set in place between the Human Resources Department and the recruiting agency will  not create any implied obligation.  Inquiries on developing a recruiting relationship with us, may be directed