VP, Assay Development

Durham, NC
R&D /
Full-Time /
As the Vice President of Assay Development, you will report directly to the CEO of Xilis, Inc. This is an exceptional opportunity to lead a talented team of scientists and research associates, driving the development of novel and high-impact primary patient cell-based assay products and workflows. You will be responsible for developing the assays that serve as the foundation of the Xilis MicroOrganoSphere (MOS) platform, collaborating with cross-functional teams, and ensuring our products meet the highest standards of quality, accuracy, and performance. You will play a strategic role in setting and achieving the scientific goals of the organization, driving the scientific vision, and providing crucial leadership and expertise across portfolio management, research, and development.
In addition to driving close internal collaboration across teams, you will collaborate with external partners including KOLs and pharma/biotech executives.
This role will be a good fit for a highly motivated dynamic, hands-on individual who understands what it takes to succeed in a startup environment, leveraging a technology platform to advance and use the full potential of a novel technology and to lead and expand an incredibly talented team of scientists.  
Key Responsibilities:
Strategic Leadership: Develop and implement a comprehensive assay development and productization strategy aligned with the company's mission and objectives. Set clear goals and milestones for the Research & Development team.
Team Management: Manage a diverse and high-performing team of scientists, research associates, and project managers. Foster a collaborative and innovative work culture.
R&D Pipeline Management: Oversee the development of cell-based and molecular assays and testing platforms from concept to market release, ensuring projects are executed on time and within budget. Actively review and adjust priorities, programs, and decisions to optimize delivery against the most value-generating aspects of Xilis’ programs.
Innovation and Technology Assessment: Stay current with the latest developments in assay technologies and identify opportunities for innovation and improvement in our product portfolio.
Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that all assay development activities adhere to relevant regulatory standards and guidelines, including but not limited to FDA, ISO, and CLIA.
Cross-functional Collaboration: Collaborate closely with other departments, including Technology Platform, Operations, Quality, Business, and Clinical Development to ensure seamless product development and launch.
Resource Allocation: Manage budgets, resources, and external partnerships to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the assay development process.
Quality Control and Assurance: Implement and oversee quality control measures to ensure that all developed assays meet the highest standards of accuracy and reliability.
Data-driven Product Development: Work with technology and data science teams to generate robust datasets and interpret and make data-driven decisions to guide product development.
Intellectual Property Management: Ensure the protection of intellectual property and the development of a strong patent portfolio.


    • Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology), with a minimum of 10 years of experience in cellular assay development.
    • Proven track record of successfully leading teams in the development and commercialization of molecular assays or related products.
    • Proven track record in building and managing teams of highly skilled scientists and managers of various levels of experience.
    • A deep knowledge of cancer biology and immune-oncology and drug development across different modalities – small molecules, biologics, gene, and cell therapy.
    • Experience with organoid-based models and primary patient-derived models is strongly preferred.
    • Experience with cutting-edge technologies, including PCR, NGS, immunoassays, microscopy, and related methodologies.
    • In-depth knowledge of the various scientific and technical disciplines (and their integration) related to evaluating and advancing platform and therapeutic development.
    • Experience leading and working collaboratively on cross-functional project teams.
    • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate complex scientific concepts effectively.
    • Strategic thinker with a passion for innovation and a commitment to staying at the forefront of scientific advancements.
    • Willingness to lead, act as a player-coach, and do what is necessary to meet project and corporate goals.