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South San Francisco, California, United States
Senior Director, Program Team Leader
Project Management
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, Collaboration and Courage and it reflects who we are and the environment we are creating.

In this role, you will lead multiple programs for a cell therapy candidate, including working with internal functions and management to develop an overall vision and strategy for the program, ensure a consistent understanding and narrative regarding the program strategy, and drive the overall strategy by setting program goals and ensuring progress toward those goals.


  • Lead cross-functional teams that include representatives from research, process development, manufacturing, supply chain, project management, clinical, intellectual property, alliance management and finance
  • Represent the team and the program to leadership for strategic decision-making
  • Contribute to or lead initiatives related to Lyell’s portfolio or project teams and business processes
  • Set or help set program strategy specific to the product
  • Understand and then resolve or adapt program or product strategy to internal and external challenges, constraints and opportunities relevant to the program such as commercial opportunity, regulatory requirements, clinical standard of care, emerging innovations, resources and investments, third party relationships, intellectual property, and portfolio strategy
  • Function as internal expert on product, including hurdles and key data; understand who the subject matter experts are internally and ensure alignment between their views and data and the overall project strategy
  • Collaborate and provide decision support for portfolio projects, including frameworks and analysis resulting in internal alignment
  • Proactively identify new opportunities to address scientific, clinical, supply chain, economic or execution challenges of cell therapy
  • Conduct regular reviews/meetings with senior management and other functions as appropriate to communicate key issues, achievements, etc. and gather feedback
  • Take ownership for functioning of project team system


  • MS, MBA or JD with a minimum of 17 years’ experience; or
  • PhD in biology, oncology or related field with a minimum of 15 years’ experience


  • 12-14 years of experience in biotech/pharmaceuticals, including in oncology and/or cell therapy
  • Previous experience leading cross-functional teams
  • A depth of understanding in cell therapy principles and practices
  • Demonstrated work experience with early-stage clinical studies and clinical trials


  • Understanding of overall drug development process and early phase clinical studies, including regulatory and clinical
  • Scientific understanding relevant to cell therapy, evidenced by education or experience, including significant familiarity with research and clinical development, ideally in cell therapy
  • Demonstrated ability to build, lead and motivate project teams in cross-functional or matrix environments
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to establish relationships and influence without direct authority
  • Strategic awareness, along with the ability to use effective tactics and behaviors to support chosen strategy
  • Analytical skill, including ability to determine key factors and strategic imperatives, and determine tactical actions based on those
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Comfortable dealing with ambiguity, able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to determine key facts and present clearly, as well as understand detail and nuance

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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