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South San Francisco, California, United States
Associate Director, Chief of Staff & Project Manager
Research Executive
At Lyell, our vision is to develop curative cell-based immunotherapies for solid tumor cancers. We have innovative science originating from our founder’s world class labs and a unique and disruptive approach to research and development. Our company is first and foremost focused on understanding the science. We are a learning organization, dependent on deep collaborative relationships between all of our colleagues, partners and founders. Our culture is based on Science, Respect, Courage and Collaboration and it reflects who we are and the environment we are creating.


The incumbent is responsible for supporting the Chief Scientific Officer (“CSO”) and the Research Leadership Team (“RLT”) and works directly with research teams to manage projects, build processes and support advancement of the research portfolio and business. The incumbent works independently and with stakeholders to provide logical, innovative, and creative operations and communications solutions. The incumbent enables healthy discourse and discussion amongst the RLT, synthesizing large amounts of information and data, distilling it into actionable insights, and where assigned, guides operational strategy. The incumbent is a member of the RLT and seeks to build and hold a comprehensive perspective on the breadth and depth of programs and initiatives across Research and Lyell to serve as a trusted internal expert, able to guide and assist any member of the RLT.


  • Executes on CSO’s highest real-time priorities including pan-Research cross-Lyell, operational and emerging priorities
  • Serves as a thought partner to the CSO on organizational and team dynamics, communications and meeting cadence and content, including Research All-Hands.
  • Prepare and facilitate CSO presentations, communications and materials as required
  • Facilitates RLT meetings, offsites, and sessions, guiding discussion towards clear, efficient, and accountable decision-making
  • Effectively manages projects and teams as assigned for discovery and other projects as needed and identified (i.e., electronic lab notebook processes, discovery projects, project gating strategies, etc.)
  • Assists the CSO with the consolidation of a Research perspective on various annual processes as needed (i.e., Annual Budget, LRP, Resource alignments, Business Continuity, Enterprise Risk, etc.)
  • Serves as the operational lead for the RLT, including all aspects of meeting cadence, strategic and tactical agendas, meeting preparation, minutes, action plans, decisions and tracking of discussions through to follow-up actions and delivery with participants.
  • Track organizational initiatives and the science portfolio, identifying company needs and risks and bridging operational gaps where appropriate


  • BA/BSc
  • MBA or MSc preferred


  • Minimum 8 years’ experience in business operations, corporate communications, research/product development experience
  • Prior experience in biotech in an operations or project management, including experience with oncology brands or products
  • Tenured experience working with executive leaders and identified as a trusted advisor


  • Demonstrated excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to tailor messages to a diverse set of audiences
  • Proven ability to seek and take direction while anticipating problems and devising solutions without explicit guidance
  • Proven ability to work well under tight deadlines and to respond to rapidly changing demands while managing stakeholder expectations
  • Experience leading complex, multi-function projects that have an organizational-wide impact including longer-term projects and strategic initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively across all levels of an organization, in a highly collaborative manger, building trusting relationships and influencing as needed
  • Exceptional level of organizational, communication, presentation and management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, positive demeanor and outlook
  • Ability to work effectively in ambiguity, and in an evolving environment


  • Interprets and executes on strategies and recommends modifications. Works on challenging or unusual problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of complex, multi-faceted factors. Exercises judgment within broadly defined practices and policies when determining methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.

At Lyell, we believe that highest performing teams include people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences who respectfully challenge each other. We are committed to building an open, diverse and inclusive culture for all employees.

Lyell is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristics protected under applicable federal, state and local laws.
The Company complies with all laws respecting equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants with regard to any protected characteristic as defined by federal, state, and local law.  This position requires you to work onsite at the Company’s facilities and the Company requires that all employees working in its facilities be fully vaccinated (except as required by applicable law).  Therefore, this position requires you to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.  The Company considers you fully vaccinated once 14 days have passed since you received either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.  The vaccine must have been FDA approved, have emergency use authorization from the FDA, or, for persons fully vaccinated outside of the U.S., be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.”
We’ve learned from experience that some of the best people don’t always match our requirements perfectly - if you’re interested and think you could fit, please don’t hesitate to apply.
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