Senior Director, Head of Discovery Sciences – Orion Oyj, Turku



Orion Corporation operates in more than 25 countries, where we Orionees, 3400 in total, work in various positions in different fields. We encourage people to develop their competences and we offer opportunities to affect your own job and to create your own career path.

Our Research & Development (R&D) team offers a diverse and multi-disciplinary work environment where talented individuals are ready to share our passion for the work that we do in our three therapy areas (CNS , Oncology and Rare Diseases). Our goal is to change the course of the disease as well as to provide significant symptomatic relief and build well-being to patients globally.

Our ambitious mission to create new treatments for the future will require capabilities to discover new target proteins, development of new treatment concepts and increased collaboration with academic partners. Our aim is to pick the best modality based on what we learn in biology and pharmacology, whether it is a small molecule, peptide, antibody or antisense/RNA or even digital. To serve the future patients in the best possible way, we will strengthen our capabilities in R&D. 

Description of position

The responsibilities of this strategic role include the following (including, but not limited to);

  • Supervising and growing the newly created Discovery Sciences unit
  • Developing new technologies for drug discovery
  • Ensuring the resourcing and optimal plans for the drug projects
  • Identifying new drug targets and building the evidence for target validation
  • Writing scientific reports and publications
  • Contributing to the research strategy in R&D
  • Building a balanced and competitive portfolio for Orion

In this role, you will be in a key position leading the Discovery Sciences unit and a member of the R&D management team. You will report to the Senior Vice President in R&D and the location of the position is in Turku, Finland.

Description of unit

Discovery Sciences is accountable for de­vel­op­ing new tech­no­lo­gies, maintaining and developing research infrastructure and serving the Orion Research com­munity with state-of-the-art tech­no­lo­gies and know-how. Discovery Sciences is a key partner in the discovery of novel targets and drug projects with Oncology Research, Neurological Disorders Research and Digital Medicine Departments. The unit is one of four Research Departments in Orion R&D and is accountable for the R&D portfolio and strategy in collaboration with business and all R&D global functions.


To be a successful Senior Director, ideally you should have the following educational and professional work experiences:

  • PhD in immunology/oncology/neurological disorders with a minimum of five years Pharma experience
  • Deep understanding of target identification including various target classes
  • Experience in novel discovery technologies (e.g. CRISPR/Cas9, spatial single cell RNA seq, phenotypic screening)
  • Broad expertise of treatment modalities (small molecules, peptides, genome-based therapies, such as oligonucleotides and gene and cell therapies, and microbiome-based therapies)
  • Experience as a scientific leader/supervisor
  • Track record of high impact publications in the field of drug discovery
  • Excellent organizational and people leadership skills

We offer  

Orion offers you an excellent opportunity to work in a dynamic R&D leadership position in a department with exciting  R&D pipeline and an enthusiastic working environment. You will have opportunities to use your own strengths and to utilize your competencies. As an expert, you will be a valued member of a multi-disciplinary team jointly innovating and developing new treatments for the patients. Appreciation of colleagues strive for excellence and building the future are our core values. The culture of Orion R&D is professional and built on leading expertise, and we enjoy working together. Read more about Orion here.

Additional information on the position

For more information on the Senior Director position, please contact SVP R&D, Outi Vaarala Thursday 29th October from 11.15am until 11.45am or Friday 30th October from 2pm until 2.30pm via mobile number +358 50 9663472.

If you are the person we are looking for, please submit your cover letter and CV with your salary request via the link before the 11th November 2020.

Join us – together we build well-being and do work that we are proud of!

Approved medical examination which also includes drug testing is required prior to the employment. We will also carry out a security clearance prior to the employment for the selected person.

In many fields, Finland is considered a leader in the world (see the following link by copying it to your web browser) and is a great country to live in. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ira-kalb/finland-is-still-the-worl_b_10774930.html