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Director of Research and Development

Aralez Bio

Aralez Bio

San Leandro, CA, USA
Posted on Monday, July 1, 2024

About the Company

Aralez Bio is the developer of noncanonical amino acids designed to make valuable products in a sustainable way. The company has invented an enzymatic method for synthesizing noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) also called unusual or unnatural amino acids. Our proprietary approach enables ncAAs to be synthesized with high enantiopurity in just a single step, giving our clients access to amino acids that are needed for innovations in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and functional materials. Our process is 10x cheaper, 10x faster, and 50x greener than conventional approaches, while simultaneously expanding amino acid chemical space 100x.

Job Summary

The Director of Research & Development (R&D) will oversee multiple departments, including protein engineering and chemistry, to lead the development of new processes and products in support of the company's growth and goals. This role requires a deep understanding of biocatalytic processes and protein engineering, as well as strong project management skills. The Director will collaborate closely with business, manufacturing, and quality assurance teams to ensure the successful development and expansion of products.

This position will report to the Chief Technical Officer.


Strategic Planning and Execution

  • Develop and implement long-term R&D strategies aligned with the company's mission and goals.
  • Monitor industry trends and emerging technologies to identify opportunities for innovation and growth.
  • Collaborate with the business team to set project goals to meet market needs.
  • Facilitate communication with business and manufacturing teams to support product expansion.
  • Lead regular meetings to exchange ideas and provide project updates.
  • Conduct update meetings with customers as needed to communicate project progress.

Project Ideation

  • Work with business and manufacturing teams to identify company needs and formulate R&D projects accordingly.
  • Conceive, plan, and schedule experiments in collaboration with the R&D team.
  • Analyze and interpret experimental results, troubleshoot assays and experiments.
  • Oversee the transfer of technology and knowledge from R&D to manufacturing and commercialization teams.
  • Collaborate with manufacturing teams to resolve any issues during the scale-up and production phases.

People Management

  • Manage and mentor individuals and teams within the R&D department.
  • Conduct one-on-one meetings, set goals with direct reports, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Foster a collaborative and high-performing team environment.
  • Develop and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of R&D initiatives.
  • Prepare and present regular reports on R&D performance to senior management.
  • Use data-driven insights to optimize R&D processes and improve overall efficiency.
  • Participate in the recruitment and hiring of team members to build a skilled and capable R&D team.
  • Conduct interviews and evaluate candidates to ensure alignment with company culture and project needs.

Intellectual Property Management

  • Identify and protect intellectual property (IP) generated from R&D activities.
  • Work with legal teams to file patents and manage IP portfolios.
  • Monitor competitive IP landscape and ensure freedom to operate for new developments.

Risk Management

  • Identify potential risks and challenges in R&D projects and develop mitigation strategies.
  • Implement robust risk management practices to ensure project continuity and success.
  • Monitor and address any safety concerns within the R&D laboratory environment.

Customer and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Engage with key customers and stakeholders to understand their needs and incorporate feedback into R&D projects.
  • Communicate R&D progress, achievements, and challenges to senior management and stakeholders.
  • Ensure transparency and alignment between R&D activities and customer expectations.


  • Advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a related field.
  • Extensive experience in developing biocatalytic processes and engineering proteins.
  • Proven track record in managing long-term projects and leading R&D teams.
  • Strong background in project management, with the ability to conceive, plan, and execute complex experiments.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Experience in hiring, mentoring, and managing individuals and teams.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.
  • High level of adaptability and problem-solving skills in a dynamic research environment.


  • Leadership and decision-making skills to guide the R&D department and drive strategic initiatives.
  • Strong analytical and troubleshooting abilities to interpret experimental data and resolve issues.
  • Effective communication skills to facilitate collaboration and convey project updates to various stakeholders.
  • Organizational prowess to manage multiple projects, proposals, and reports concurrently.

The Director of R&D will play a crucial role in advancing our company's research capabilities and driving innovation in biocatalytic processes and protein engineering. If you are a visionary leader with a passion for scientific research and a proven ability to manage and inspire teams, we invite you to apply and join our dynamic biotech company.


Aralez Bio’s salary range for this position is $175,000 - $225,000 per year. This exact salary will be based on your level, as judged by your interview performance and experience. Salary is just one component of Aralez Bio's total compensation package for employees. Your total rewards package will include equity, medical, dental and vision coverage, weekly catered lunch, an unlimited PTO policy, yearly company retreat, and other benefits.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to join an early stage company at the forefront of a rapidly growing industry.

How to Apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Director of R&D Application - [Your Name].” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Or you can apply directly for the role online via LinkedIn.

Aralez Bio is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Please reach out if an accommodation is needed.