Scientific Director of Neurodegenerative Disease Genomics

About the New York Genome Center

The New York Genome Center (NYGC) is an independent, nonprofit academic research institution focused on advancing genomic research. We are furthering investigation and patient care for those suffering from neurological diseases and cancer through applying our unique capabilities in whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, state-of-the-art analytics, and the development of genomic tools. The NYGC’s scientific focus is disease-based research in areas where we can make a significant difference:

  • Neuropsychiatric diseases (autism, schizophrenia, bipolar): We are broadening our robust research of whole genomes of autism patients to expand into related disorders that have genes implicated in common with autism, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s): Leveraging the success of our international consortium for ALS research, we are extending our work across a range of neurodegenerative diseases that have pathways in common with ALS.
  • Cancer: Our scientists are pushing forward the leading edge of cancer genomics research by focusing on whole genome sequencing of individuals with cancer and their tumors, novel population-level cancer analytics, and the application of both single cell and spatial transcriptomics.

We serve as a nexus for collaboration in genomic research for the New York Community and beyond, building on the combined strengths of our faculty, member institutions, scientific working groups, affiliate members, as well as industry partners. Essential to this commitment is an outstanding faculty who are developing novel approaches to scientific inquiry and leading independent research labs based at the NYGC and one of our member institutions. They also support the NYGC scientific mission and engage in research programs that are of mutual interest with the NYGC and the wider scientific community.

Position Description
The Scientific Director of Neurodegenerative Disease Genomics will drive collaborative research in neurodegenerative diseases. As a member of the leadership team, the Scientific Director will develop and execute the disease area strategy at the NYGC and coordinate collaborative, cross-functional and inter-institutional neurodegenerative disease research (including ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease). This position reports to and works closely with the Scientific Director & CEO and with the Director of the Center for Genomic for Neurodegenerative Diseases to further develop and implement the scientific strategy for neurodegenerative disease genomics research at the NYGC, coordinate collaborative research with academic and industrial partners, and engage in strategic efforts to position the NYGC and its founding institution partners (Institutional Founding Members – IFMs) at the forefront of neurodegenerative disease research.

The Scientific Director will support and advance the scientific and institutional vision and mission of NYGC’s leadership by fostering partnerships between members of the NYGC Affiliates working group on neurodegenerative diseases and funding partners, including the development of proposals for joint funding. Such proposals may be targeted to federal funding sources, philanthropic organizations and individuals, and/or industry partners. This individual will be expected to operate in a highly collaborative environment, partnering with exceptional peers and leaders at other research institutions. This role will require navigating and effectively managing complex cross-institutional relationships to nurture positive relations with these critical partners. This person will be a key contributor to NYGC’s dynamic research environment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Ensure alignment of NYGC’s research activities with its strategic objectives.
    • Manage scientific working groups that bring together IFM researchers, NYGC faculty, senior associate faculty, NYGC technology development, computational scientists, and affiliate members. Lead efforts to define research projects and project objectives. Bring people together around a common goal and manage competing priorities. Identify appropriate internal and external collaborators to lead research projects.
    • Oversee and coordinate all research projects and initiatives within the neurodegenerative disease genomics program generated from the working groups. With the support of a project manager, ensure projects are appropriately resourced and progressing as planned.
  • Identify and lead collaborative research projects in neurodegenerative disease. Develop research program goals and align scientific projects to these goals.
    • Lead institutional and collaborative efforts to obtain external research funding from grants, contracts, industry and philanthropic sources to support research projects.
      • Understand agency research priorities (e.g., through strategic plans, NIH meetings, direct engagement with NIH leadership) and monitor federal and state funding trends and directions. Provide recommendations on the research and funding landscape to inform decisions on strategic direction and initiatives.
      • Actively pursue research funding opportunities. Provide leadership and faculty with greater awareness of the funding environment and opportunities for research program initiatives. Develop close working relationships with NYGC research faculty and affiliate members to advise on joint research opportunities and strategies. Mentor other researchers at NYGC.
      • Participate in the NYGC Grant Review Committee. Provide subject matter expertise on funding opportunity requirements, agency grants policies, critical contacts, etc.
      • Lead and coordinate grant and funder proposals and applications, bringing together NYGC staff and affiliates to write highly competitive submissions. Review and edit neurodegenerative disease grant proposals from across the NYGC and affiliate institutions.
      • Drive regular contact and strategic interactions with prospective partners, collaborators, officials, and professional organizations to promote and craft new opportunities and to ensure a strong fit with the funder’s objectives.
      • Support the Chief Business Officer and VP, Development by identifying industry collaboration and foundation funding opportunities. Attend meetings and present NYGC scientific work or capabilities to secure partnerships, funding, and philanthropic support. Lead internal efforts to write and submit competitive proposals in a timely fashion.
  • Represent NYGC in the scientific community. Engage diverse clinical and genomics researchers in New York and beyond to generate interest in collaborative research with NYGC’s genomics and analytic expertise. These activities will be directly aligned with the Center’s goals to further our scientific impact on disease genetics and genomics. This may include: participating in conferences, industry meetings, workshops, panels, and meetings with government agencies.

Position Requirements

  • PhD in biological sciences.
  • 10+ years relevant work experience.
  • Extensive experience and familiarity with neurodegenerative disease research and demonstrated ability in grant writing.
  • Experience working with government agencies that support scientific research, particularly the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.
  • Experience leading large, collaborative research projects, including as PI, as well as a record of publication and funding related to the genomics of neurodegenerative disease.
  • Experience coordinating large grant applications, including those with multiple institutions, understanding the requirements, and grant writing.
  • The ability to lead through influence.
  • Significant experience in genomic research.
  • Strong project management skills and experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.A highly collaborative leader who can operate effectively in an environment of ambiguity and bring diverse stakeholders together to achieve a common goal.
  • A credible scientific leader with deep and recognized expertise in neurodegenerative diseases.


  • Job Mastery – deep understanding of leadership role within the complex scientific ecosystem of the NYGC.
  • Continuous Learning – strives to expand the depth and breadth of technical and professional skills. Collaborative – encourages participation from team members and works effectively at all levels.
  • Credible – functions with a high level of integrity.
  • Communicative – actively listens to others and uses good judgement as to what to communicate to whom; provides feedback.
  • Focused – utilizes efficient and effective processes.
  • Adaptable – demonstrates flexibility with changing priorities.
  • Innovative – develops new insights and pursues improvements.
  • Takes Ownership and Initiative – prioritizes tasks, manages time and delivers on commitments.

Savant Consulting has been exclusively retained to conduct this important executive search assignment.

For additional information please contact:

Guevara Rowand
Managing Partner, Savant Consulting


The New York Genome Center is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, protected veteran or military status, domestic violence victim status, partnership status, caregiver status, alienage or citizenship status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. The New York Genome Center takes affirmative action in support of its policy to hire and advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.