Director Discovery Haematology BioScience

Acerta Pharma is a Haematological Oncology R&D centre of AstraZeneca. We are dedicated to discovering and delivering innovative medicines for haematological malignancies. Working here means being entrepreneurial, and working globally together with AstraZeneca colleagues to make the impossible a reality. Our goal is to be at the forefront of developing the next generation of cancer therapies for haematological malignancies.

As part of the ambitious expansion plans of the research site in Oss, The Netherlands, we have an exciting opportunity for a Director Discovery in our BioScience group. You will work with AstraZeneca’s global Oncology teams to drive the application of innovative science in support of applying cutting-edge approaches to accelerate the drug discovery process for haematological malignancies. In this role, you will be leading and overseeing several research programs across the different stages of pre-clinical drug discovery towards the identification and development of clinical drug candidates.

Director Discovery Haematology BioScience
Oss, The Netherlands

Your Challenge
The Director Bioscience Discovery will join the department’s research efforts in the discovery and early development of small molecule therapies for the treatment of haematological malignancies. You will be responsible for guiding a team of dedicated researchers working on several programs across the different stages of pre-clinical drug discovery geared towards the identification, validation, and development of clinical drug candidates. The successful candidate needs to demonstrate a high level of seniority, autonomy, initiative and decision making.  Your responsibilities will be focused on delivering clinical drug candidates; demonstrating both depth and breadth in the scientific discipline of oncology drug discovery.  The ideal candidate will drive innovation and have an impact on the scientific direction of the department and in the oncology disease areas we are strategically aligned with. The candidate will be expected to establish effective collaborations both inside and outside the company and to demonstrate excellent communication and managerial skills. In this role you will report to the Senior Director BioScience of Acerta Pharma.

What will you be doing?

  • Initiate, manage and lead multiple discovery research programs that result in the identification  of novel drug targets, research programs, and ultimately the development of clinical drug candidates for haemato-oncology.
  • Drive innovation and have an impact on the scientific direction of the Department in the area of haematology with a preference towards human lymphomas.
  • Contribute to defining the scientific strategy for haematological malignancies Drug Discovery
  • The candidate can act as lead functional member of the project(s) with frequent interaction with senior internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrate excellent managerial skills to enable his/her global team to deliver on their objectives and to develop their professional growth
  • Provide input on hiring, promotions, resources and budget allocations within the department
  • Direct the proper use and implementation of new technologies to establish long-term research plans.

What do we ask of you?

  • You have a PhD degree in Biology or Biomedical Sciences, with a post-doctoral training and a minimum of 8 years of drug discovery experience in the area of Oncology, preferable in the area of haematological malignancies.
  • You bring a minimum of 5 years of drug discovery experience within the pharmaceutical industry and have a track record of leading programs to the identification of clinical drug candidates.
  • A solid background in cellular, molecular and/or immune tumor biology with a good understanding of the therapeutic landscape in Oncology.
  • Experience in small molecule drug discovery is a must have.
  • Strong track record of publications in this field.
  • Evidence of impact beyond individual projects such as: leading research platforms, disease strongholds, target classes, etc.
  • Strong external network and being recognised by peers as an expert in the field.
  • Demonstrated competence for team leadership and/or people skills to manage and coach teams with members across different continents.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Able to effectively present and visualise scientific data, results and concepts.

What can we offer you?

  • A dynamic, innovative, international working environment where you can be part of the development of new medicines that can make a difference to patient’s lives
  • The opportunity to lead and work with a dedicated team, in which you can learn from each other and in which colleagues support each other. At Acerta Pharma we are proud of our team spirit!
  • Good salary and secondary benefits including 8% holiday allowance, 25 holidays on a full-time basis. Collective pension with a fixed percentage personal contribution, bonus scheme. Vitality of our colleagues is important to us, which is why you can exercise in a gym at a discount or make use of our bicycle plan.

For candidates from abroad we offer a good relocation package (including support for an application to tax authorities for the 30% tax ruling).
For our international colleagues we also offer an expat program, including a Dutch language course.

The team
The culture is informal, with a good team spirit and a willingness to share and learn from each other. At Acerta Pharma we are all working towards the same goal, also in collaboration with various other departments in the AZ organization.
We strongly adhere to the AstraZeneca ethics guidelines concerning diversity, respect and ability to speak up. 

Acerta Pharma
Our international headquarters is located at the Pivot Park in Oss, the Netherlands, where we are in the process of building a new research centre with state-of-the-art research laboratories for 140 researchers. Together with our colleagues of AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, San Francisco, Boston (US), Gothenburg (SE) and Cambridge (UK) we are committed to innovative drug discovery and development in the field of haematological oncology.
Acerta Pharma has received approval from both the US (FDA) and the European Regulator (EMA) for its small molecule BTK inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In addition, AstraZeneca and Acerta Pharma are closely collaborating on a large number of other innovative medicines to treat haematological malignant diseases.

How to apply:
We would like to receive your resume (Curriculum vitae) and cover letter in English. For this, go to the website, and use the apply button at the bottom of this vacancy. You can upload the documents at the bottom of the second page.

If you have any questions about this vacancy, our recruitment team (Karin Raadschelders, Caroline van Oppen & Maaike Willems) can be reached via or on +31(0)85 – 047 0244.

Acquisition by recruitment and selection agencies is not appreciated.

Pivot Park Captains' Dinner

10 years ago, Pivot Park opened its doors to the world. Thanks to your commitment, support and confidence, we have been able to grow it into the successful and innovative biopharmaceutical campus it is today.

Now it’s time to celebrate!

We are therefore delighted to invite you – along with all your fellow CEOs at Pivot Park – to a special night out featuring inspiring art, a wonderful dinner and lots of opportunities to network and exchange ideas.

Erwin Wurm | Am I a House?

For the first time, the artist shows a cross-section of his work, from Narrow Furniture to One Minute Sculptures, within the walls of a historic building. Villa Constance, a former home that today houses Museum Jan Cunen, is not only a location but also part of the conversation. Because what exactly is a house?


The development of medicines in Oss began one hundred years ago. It was then that the foundations were laid for what would become a flourishing pharmaceutical sector in the Netherlands, leading to groundbreaking discoveries such as insulin and the anti-conception pill.

Today, the entire chain is still represented in Oss, from early-stage research to the commercial scale production of medicines. Working in Oss, we focus on the health of people all over the world. Employees at dozens of companies large and small put their heart and soul into new medicines, products and services that will improve lives worldwide. Together, our strength lies in our combination of broad knowledge about the development of medicines and a thorough understanding of the requirements of high-quality production.

This shared past and common values stimulate strong bonds among everyone who works in pharmaceuticals in Oss. We build on qualities, expertise and networks that go back decades. And with a wide variety of pharmaceutical companies, suppliers and scientific institutions all located nearby, we offer an attractive business climate and an excellent basis for international collaboration.

We are proud to work together to create a better and healthier future for all, a collaboration that in turn fuels growing employment: today, most pharmaceutical jobs in the Netherlands are in Oss. Here we connect talent and companies and stimulate entrepreneurship, while our expert employees are our most important asset. Their drive ensures that Oss has an influence on health all over the world.

Pharma in Oss offers endless opportunities to startups and talent in a city and region that is a joy to live and work in. We are committed to collaboration and sustainable and successful entrepreneurship. Oss’s pharmaceutical companies are intrinsically competitive while also being committed to quality and safety. This, plus their focus on new health solutions and contemporary technology, makes us a leader in our pursuit of a better life for people worldwide.