Associate Director, Project and Portfolio Management (Oncology)



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Opportunity

insitro is changing the way that drugs are discovered and developed for patients by applying a machine learning-driven approach that leverages insights derived from a combination of external human cohort data and high-quality cellular data generated in-house. To enable this vision we are seeking an Associate Director of Project and Portfolio Management to join PPM. You will help lead our cross-functional teams who are responsible for discovering and advancing exciting drug candidates into the clinic to treat diseases with high unmet medical need.

The successful candidate will apply the principles of project management with the proven ability to drive development and execution of high quality, cross-functional project plans that include clear direction on pipeline team requirements. You will work closely with project leaders and cross-functional teams spanning research and development, SWE, and data science/machine learning to define project strategy and develop and implement aligned project plans and timelines to meet defined objectives. You are also accountable for project performance, risk management, overall project administration, and issue resolution.

You will also partner closely with the team leader to ensure the team achieves and maintains a successful team environment with a high-level of performance and will identify and participate in establishing and improving project management tools and standard methodologies across the target/drug discovery and development portfolio to support various critical initiatives.

You will be joining an exciting biotech startup that has long-term stability due to significant funding, but that is still very much in formation. You will have ample opportunities for growth and impact. You will work closely with a diverse and dedicated team, learn a range of skills, and help shape insitro’s culture, strategic direction, and outcomes. Join us, and help make a difference to patients!

About You

  • BS degree required in a life science field, MS or PhD preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in biotech/pharmaceutical industry, preferably in the early development space, including 6-8 years in project/portfolio leadership leading cross-functional matrix teams
  • Extensive knowledge of the drug development process and deliverables at each stage of the pipeline, with a focus on target discovery and IND-enabling studies through clinical proof-of-concept
  • Solid understanding of oncology disease area, competitive environment, and drug development pathway with the ability to take part in strategic discussions
  • Excellent Project Management Skills – driving execution while balancing speed, quality, and cost
  • Project Management Certification (PMP or equivalent)
  • Strong experience with project management practices and proficiency with project management tools and software with ability to lead the development of critical path analyses and scenario planning
  • Strong understanding of high-content human data modalities (e.g., genetics/genomics, histopathological imaging, spatial biology) and data generation technologies
  • Familiarity with computational methods that are relevant to biomedical informatics, clinical informatics, statistical genetics, and/or medical genetics
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and summarize complex information into key concepts for broader communication
  • Demonstrated ability to lead matrix teams, knows how to work at the strategic level with the project team lead and when to delve deeper to resolve issues and challenges
  • Experience facilitating and documenting team meetings to enable cross-functional communication, decision-making, and alignment with internal and external customers while leading all aspects of project scope, deliverables, risks, and resources
  • Ability to resolve complex problems with strong interpersonal skills to build and maintain positive working relationship with cross-functional collaborators
  • Strong communicator able to integrate and succinctly summarize the various parts of a project and effectively tailor messages to audience including senior leaders
  • A positive can-do attitude, outstanding organizational and problem-solving skills and a proven track record of driving for results and supporting innovation

Nice to Have

  • Experience with developing, implementing, and driving adoption of fit for purpose tools for augmenting processes across the company
  • Exposure to machine learning approaches, as applied to biology discovery or in related fields
  • Exposure to, or keen understanding and interest in, working in a venture capital backed startup environment
Compensation & Benefits at insitro
Our target starting salary for successful US-based applicants for this role is $180,000 - $200,000. To determine starting pay, we consider multiple job-related factors including a candidate’s skills, education and experience, market demand, business needs, and internal parity. We may also adjust this range in the future based on market data.
This role is eligible for participation in our Annual Performance Bonus Plan (based on company targets by role level and annual company performance) and our Equity Incentive Plan, subject to the terms of those plans and associated policies.
In addition, insitro also provides our employees:
  • 401(k) plan with employer matching for contributions
  • Excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage (insitro pays 100% of premiums for employees), as well as mental health and well-being support
  • Open, flexible vacation policy
  • Paid parental leave
  • Quarterly budget for books and online courses for self-development
  • Support to occasionally attend professional conferences that are meaningful to your career growth and development
  • New hire stipend for home office setup
  • Monthly cell phone & internet stipend
  • Access to free onsite baristas and cafe with daily lunch and breakfast
  • Access to free onsite fitness center
  • Commuter benefits
About insitro
insitro is a drug discovery and development company using machine learning (ML) and data at scale to decode biology for transformative medicines. At the core of insitro’s approach is the convergence of in-house generated multi-modal cellular data and high-content phenotypic human cohort data. We rely on these data to develop ML-driven, predictive disease models that uncover underlying biologic state and elucidate critical drivers of disease. These powerful models rely on extensive biological and computational infrastructure and allow insitro to advance novel targets and patient biomarkers, design therapeutics and inform clinical strategy. insitro is advancing a wholly owned and partnered pipeline of insights and therapeutics in neuroscience, oncology and metabolism. Since launching in 2018, insitro has raised over $700 million from top tech, biotech and crossover investors, and from collaborations with pharmaceutical partners. For more information on insitro, please visit