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Executive Director, Cancer Biology

Status: Archived
CompanyZai Lab
LocationSan Diego
How to Apply

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Company Description

Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ: ZLAB; HKEX: 9688) is an innovative, research-based, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company based in China and the United States focused on bringing transformative medicines for oncology, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders to patients in China and around the world. Our goal is to leverage our competencies and resources to positively impact human health worldwide.

Founded in 2014, our experienced team has secured partnerships with leading global biopharmaceutical companies, generating a broad and late-stage pipeline of innovative drug candidates. Based on our proven track record of success, Zai Lab has earned the reputation as a trusted partner of choice for global biopharmaceutical companies seeking to not only access the Chinese market but also find a long-term strategic partner for global clinical development.  Our unique business model builds on our in-licensed assets and innovative partnerships to expand our internal discovery and development capabilities and has created a portfolio of potential best-in-class and/or first-in-class therapies. Zai currently has four products on the market in China

Zai Lab was successfully listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in September 2017 and completed secondary listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2020. In 2022, Zai Lab became dual-primary listed on both the Nasdaq and the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges. Since its inception, Zai Lab has expanded significantly with several offices across China. In 2021, Zai Lab established its U.S. Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  As of January 2022, the Company has a global team of approximately 2000 employees.

Job Description

Responsible for leading and building a team, and, in a ‘hands-on’ fashion, contributing to all stages of small molecule drug discovery and early development including target ID and validation, hit discovery, and lead optimization through to IND.  In addition to line management responsibilities, expected to influence overall Company strategy and engage with key external CROs.

  • Oversight of all internal and external biology activities focused on the preclinical development of existing NCEs with pre-identified targets (small molecule) and identify new targets.
  • Provide leadership, strategic oversight, resource management, and organizational framework to ensure timely decision-making on projects.
  • Identify, support, manage, and develop talent among the team; act as a resource and mentor to team members by providing guidance, instruction, feedback, and ongoing coaching; encourage visionary thinking. Value the advancement of our programs and our people.
  • Preserve and promote the current model of participative decision-making in an organization.
  • Other duties and projects as assigned.



  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with 12 years of industry experience working in the pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology field as a biologist; or equivalent combination of higher education, training and experience.


  • Extensive track record of leading drug discovery programs through to IND and adopting highly innovative approaches to answering complex biological questions
  • Ability to multi-task/ prioritize and time management of daily activities
  • History of publications and conference presentations
  • Proven ability to work within a matrix management structure to influence programs
  • Demonstrated ability to lead through others and develop emerging leaders within the organization
  • Ability to work productively and collaboratively with potential corporate partners/external collaborators
  • Intermediate to advanced software skills (e.g., Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project)
  • High attention to detail
  • Demonstrates a high level of accuracy and effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Flexibility within a rapidly changing environment
  • Excellent ability to work in a goal and team-oriented setting
  • Well-developed organizational skills and the ability to thrive under pressure

Zai Lab US requires all employees who are working onsite or who are in customer facing positions to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (subject to any legally required exemptions)

Additional Information

The pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $281k and $328k/year; however, base pay offered may vary depending on multiple individualized factors, including market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. The total compensation package for this position may also include other elements, including a sign-on bonus, restricted stock units, and discretionary awards in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits (including 401(k) eligibility and various paid time off benefits, such as vacation, sick time, and parental leave), dependent on the position offered. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment.

If hired, employee will be in an “at-will position” and the Company reserves the right to modify base salary (as well as any other discretionary payment or compensation program) at any time, including for reasons related to individual performance, Company or individual department/team performance, and market factors.

At Zai, we are proud of the gender diversity of our company and our promotion of women in biotech. We have achieved gender base pay equity at all levels, 58% of our employees are women and 54% of our management positions are held by women. We are committed to the health of patients and our planet. That’s why our environmental protection, social responsibility, and corporate governance strategy, called “Trust for Life” is integrated within our business.

Disclaimer: This description is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of duties, responsibilities, or requirement for the position. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or based on disability.

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