The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by philanthropists Dan and Jennifer Gilbert to address their two priorities and passions: accelerating a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and transforming the city of Detroit, Michigan. The Foundation has embarked on two bold NF1 research initiatives: (1) the Gene Therapy Initiative, to develop curative therapies that address the underlying genetic abnormalities in NF1 patients, and (2) the Vision Restoration Initiative, inspired by their son’s loss of vision from NF1 and with a goal of advancing vision restoration therapies.
The Gilbert Family Foundation’s Vision Restoration Initiative (VRI) launched in April 2019, awarding more than $11M over 3 years to a consortium of distinguished ophthalmology, neuroscience, and NF1 expert investigators. In its initial phase, it will focus on basic science and early, pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies. In particular, VRI is focused on developing three types of therapeutic products to restore vision in NF1 patients who have lost their sight due to optic pathway glioma: endogenous cell replacement, exogenous cell replacement, and neuro-enhancement.
The Gilbert Family Foundation is in search of a Scientific Project Manager for VRI. The Foundation seeks a mid-level manager with an advanced scientific or medical degree and experience in drug discovery and/or preclinical development, ideally with experience in cell therapy and/or ophthalmology/vision research programs, and extensive project management skills. The Scientific Project Manager will serve as the administrator for VRI; provide technical assistance to VRI applicants, grantees, and advisory board; review progress reports and conduct site visits to grantee institutions to determine the adequacy and progress of research; identify research areas warranting either increased or decreased funding emphasis; and work collaboratively with Gilbert Family Foundation leadership and staff to achieve the overall goals of the program.
The ideal Scientific Project Manager is driven by an inquisitive mind and is able to deeply explore scientific ideas and research opportunities. They have a strong willingness to pursue novel ideas and collaborations towards a robust NF1 vision restoration research agenda. The Scientific Project Manager is a self-starter who can work independently but is also an excellent team player. The candidate should have a track record as a successful project manager with the ability to manage multiple biomedical projects and research partners at one time. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills are absolute musts.
This is a full-time position. The Gilbert Family Foundation is located in Detroit, Michigan. The successful candidate will not be required to be based in the Detroit area, but preference will be given to candidates who are located in or are willing to relocate to the area. The Scientific Project Manager will be expected to travel periodically for professional meetings and site visits.
The Scientific Project Manager is responsible for the overall management of projects, timelines, and deliverables for the Gilbert Family Foundation’s Vision Restoration Initiative. Using sound scientific judgement and understanding of VRI goals and objectives, the Scientific Project Manager will provide oversight for all VRI projects and activities. The Scientific Project Manager will represent VRI in the scientific community with professionalism and a deep understanding of the field and its challenges and will be expected to actively engage with relevant communities to develop relationships and opportunities for collaboration and capacity building. The Scientific Project Manager will report to the Foundation’s Scientific Officer.
YooRi Kim, Scientific Officer of the Gilbert Family Foundation
- Reviewing progress and financial reports, highlighting critical issues and reporting therein
- Conducting site visits to grantee institutions and nurturing the relationships critical to VRI’s success
- Leading coordination of virtual and in-person scientific meetings
- Leading coordination of VRI advisory board meetings
- Developing and maintaining relationships with VRI grantees, advisors, and other experts in the field
- Keeping abreast of new developments and challenges in the field, and identifying resources to address such issues
- Identifying and evaluating new opportunities related to VRI
- Providing support to the Scientific Officer as needed
Must have successfully completed an advanced scientific or medical degree that includes training in the biomedical sciences and have at least three years of relevant experience in drug discovery and/or preclinical development. Evidence of a successful track record as a mid-level project manager in a biomedical research environment is required. Ideal candidates will have experience in cell therapy and/or ophthalmology/vision research.
How to Apply
Candidates interested in learning more about this engagement should send a cover letter, CV, and three references to YooRi Kim, Scientific Officer of the Gilbert Family Foundation at Careers@gilbertfamilyfoundation.org no later than July 31, 2020. Candidates can also submit the application through the following link: