Director/Senior Director, Neuroscience

Boston, MA, USA ● Burnaby, BC, Canada Req #37
Thursday, June 10, 2021

Xenon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XENE) – a biopharmaceutical company with operations in Vancouver, BC, Canada and Boston, MA, USA – is advancing an exciting pipeline of therapies for neurological disorders, with a particular focus on innovative treatments for epilepsy. Xenon has a number of promising therapeutics in clinical development, valuable collaborations with pharmaceutical partners, and innovative early-stage research underway and also has a strong balance sheet to support its continued growth in 2021 and beyond.

We are a collaborative, ambitious, and driven team with a common mission to improve the lives of patients with neurological disorders. Creating a healthy and productive work environment is a priority, and we understand the importance of investing in our employees’ growth and development. We support charities and volunteerism, knowing that when our people contribute to their local communities, they are gaining new experiences and becoming even better leaders. Xenon’s employees are smart, passionate, and driven by their incredibly important work to discover, develop and deliver new medicines for patients in need. We are looking for talented and determined individuals who thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment to join our team during this transformative time for the company.

We are seeking an outstanding scientist to help lead our expanding Research efforts in developing important, disease modifying therapeutics for Neurological diseases. The successful candidate will play an integral role in shaping the Neuroscience research at Xenon, in identifying targets to prosecute for advancement into projects, and in building/expanding on our current research footprint. This highly motivated and creative individual will work closely with senior leaders in Research, Development, Clinical, and Commercial as part of a highly integrated and experienced team. The successful candidate will have a strong background in Neuroscience, familiarity with the use of human disease-relevant cells/tissues for drug discovery programs, and solid industry experience in successful drug discovery programs for Neurological diseases. The ideal candidate will have experience in neurology diseases as well as across multiple target classes and pathways. This position reports to the Vice President, Biology, and will be located in either the Vancouver, BC, Canada or Boston, MA, USA metropolitan areas.


  • Identify and prioritize new biology targets or phenotypic approaches suitable to initiate drug discovery programs with a focus on neurological diseases.
  • Using scientific research and insights, design, develop and implement in vitro assays for the initiation of Neuroscience projects.
  • Lead, manage, and execute Research strategy for developing novel therapeutics for neurological diseases.
  • Act as a representative of the Discovery team in cross-functional projects by building strong and effective relationships throughout the organization.
  • As a member of a cross-functional team, assess potential in-licensing candidates to strengthen our emerging portfolio in neurological diseases.
  • Contribute to the establishment of a new research lab focused on identifying novel targets utilizing human cell assays associated with neurological diseases, in the Boston/Cambridge area. Work to collect key requirements, forecast/manage cost and timelines, and ensure ongoing and up to date communication with all key stakeholders.
  • International travel may be required.
  • Plan and manage budget proposals and approved budgets in accordance with the Company’s strategic and operating plans and Finance policies.
  • Recruit, lead, direct, develop, coach and evaluate direct reports, if any, in accordance with the Company’s Human Resource policies and practices.
  • Act in accordance with Company policies, including, for example, the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and ensure policies are understood and followed by direct reports, if any.


  • PhD/M.D. with demonstrated expertise via impact publications in Neuroscience.
  • 10+ years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry with a clear track record of identifying new target opportunities which eventually led to advancement of clinical candidates.
  • Demonstrated leadership/supervisory prowess.
  • Familiarity with current approaches important for drug discovery programs associated with, for example, biology, chemistry, drug metabolism and modeling disciplines.
  • Neuroscience acumen enabling both the identification of high value biological targets for prosecution in a drug discovery program as well as the ability to prioritize those of highest potential.
  • Proven ability to build cross-functional teams, both internally and with external academic/partners, to effectively and efficiently initiate and progress research projects.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and initiative.
To apply, click Apply Now to create a candidate profile and complete the job application. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, due to the volume of applicants, only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.