VP, R&D Data Science Strategy – CV/M | Top Global Pharma | work from CA, NJ, PA or MA: RETAINED SEARCH

Cornerstone Search Group
July 1, 2021
Greater New York City Area, United States of America
Job Code
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VP (TA Head), R&D Data Science Strategy – CV/M & Rare Disease TAs | MD or PhD | Top Global Pharma | work from NJ, PA, or MA | RETAINED SEARCH

Cornerstone Search Group’s HEOR/RWE/Data Science Practice (est. 2008) has been retained by one of the industry’s most respected and successful pharmaceutical companies to identify an innovative leader to serve as their Vice President, R&D Data Science Strategy & Portfolio Management for their Cardiovascular/Metabolism and Rare Disease Therapeutic Areas. This highly visible, strategic, and impactful team leadership role reports to an inspiring Chief Data Science Officer who in turn reports to the Global Head of R&D, who is a passionate believer in the importance of integrating Data Science into every facet and function of R&D (from Discovery through to Clinical Development and Regulatory Submission) rather than it being a mere supportive or bolt-on function.

IN A NUTSHELL (see the full scope of responsibilities further below), this VP will: (1) sit on the cross-functional leadership team of the Global Head for CV/M R&D, (2) define and execute the data science strategy for the CV/M and Rare Disease TAs to improve the probability of success and accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new medicines, (3) along with a team of direct reports will design and manage a portfolio of data science projects and programs, and (4) will partner with the Data Science department’s analytical, programming, and platform groups to execute on that portfolio.


(1) strong Cardiovascular, Metabolic, or related therapeutic area knowledge, ideally gained in a Discovery/Research and/or Clinical Development capacity; and

(2) good-to-strong knowledge of a Data Science related field (e.g., RWE or HEOR or Epi or Bioinformatics or Computational Biology or Data Analytics or Statistics or AI/ML); and

(3) excellent problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills with the ability to present technical solutions in a simple manner and can communicate the pipeline and business implications; and

(4) a background in pharma/biotech, strategic consulting, academic research, or a data science-related vendor.


 (1) Employer of Choice: Our client is considered a pre-eminent industry leader, lauded as a great place to work, enjoys a sterling corporate reputation, has an outstanding pipeline (diverse, innovative, and large), and enjoys increasing revenue across a wide range of products (many recently approved blockbusters) rather than just one or a few dominant products that may face patent expiration and/or competitive threats. It is not only a company that you can be proud to work at, but it has the tangible and intangible qualities that will help you attract and retain top talent for your team.

(2) Influence and Impact: You will report into the Global Head of Data Science who reports directly into the Global Head of R&D who believes passionately in the role Data Science can and should play in all R&D activities ranging from Drug Discovery to Regulatory submissions and everything in between (i.e., HEOR, BD, Clinical Development, Translational Science/Medicine). This company has Data Science in the right high-level place within the organization, within the right structure, with strong resources, and the commitment from the top to drive and maximize the impact of Data Science in many ways that are lacking at most other companies.

(3) Career Growth: Our client is one of the few pharma companies that provide their top performers with the ability to “spread their wings” and take on new roles throughout the organization rather than keeping them siloed in one area of expertise. This is one of the many reasons why they have low turnover.

 (4) Ability to Work and Hire from Multiple Locations: Our client has hubs in the NJ/PA metro area and in MA, giving you location flexibility if you need to, or want to, live in different areas (now or in the future), and very importantly allowing you to hire your team from these data science hotbeds.

(5) Manage R&D Data Science Strategy for 2 Global TAs


  • Reports to Chief Data Science Officer, who reports to Global Head of R&D.
  • Sit on the leadership committees of both the R&D TA Head for CV/M and the R&D TA Head for Rare Disease..
  • Create and execute a vision of data science for these 2 therapeutic areas that are aligned with both the company’s overall Data Science strategy and the unique needs of these 2 Therapeutic Area’s R&D (Drug Discovery though Clinical Development) efforts.
  • Manage and mentor an existing and growing team of Program Managers (Director level) accountable for the pulling together of cross-functional expertise (internally and externally) to ensure the successful implementation of the high value Data Science use cases. Develop top-notch talent that can “speak” both Life Science and Data Science.
  • You and your Program Manager direct reports will partner with the Data Science department’s Data Analytics, Programming (AI/ML), and Platform teams to develop, implement, and scale complex analytical algorithms, extract relevant insights, and use these insights to drive decision making for product development programs.
  • Drive the adoption of data science insights and a data driven mindset in these 2 R&D organizations.
  • Lead each TA’s external and internal innovation in data science across the pipeline from exploratory research to late clinical development.
  • Drive therapeutic programs at all stages of the pipeline with existing and novel data science methods.
  • Identify external data sets of value to internal programs and set up mutually beneficial collaborations and agreements.
  • Identify and assimilate emerging trends in data science and attend relevant meetings/conferences.

LOCATION: This position can be based in either NJ, PA, or the Boston/Cambridge, MA area.

RELOCATION: Our client can offer an attractive relocation plan for a post-COVID relocation. In the meantime, our client is not requiring people to work on-site.

COMPENSATION: Our client offers one of the industry’s strongest and most comprehensive compensation and benefits packages and can offer a sign-on bonus to offset unvested stock and forfeited annual bonus.


Rita Boyle | Partner

E: rboyle@cornerstonesg.com | P: 973.656.0220 x735 | M: 908.334.1904

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ritaboyle

Corey S. Ackerman, JD | Senior Partner

E: cackerman@cornerstonesg.com | P:  973.656.0220 x 716

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/coreyackerman

CORNERSTONE SEARCH GROUP – Life Sciences Executive Search

6 Campus Drive | Suite 301 | Parsippany, NJ 07054 USA

www.cornerstonesg.com | 973.656.0220

Representative Retained Search Assignments:

  • Medical: Multiple CMO, Global Head of Clinical Development, Medical Affairs and Drug Safety/PV search assignments as well as numerous position as the Director, SD, ED and VP level for biotech/small/medium/large pharmas
  • HEOR/Market Access/RWE: Multiple VP/Head positions and 150+ positions at the AD/Dir/SD and ED level for biotech/small/medium/large pharmas
  • CSO | mid-size global biotech
  • US President | European Pharma
  • SVP, Head of Global Medical Affairs | mid-size oncology company
  • SVP, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs | late-stage Israeli biotech
  • SVP, Quality | generic pharma
  • Group VP, Global Commercial Head | API Business Unit | Indian pharma
  • VP, Data Science - RWE | Top 5 Pharma
  • VP, Head of Regulatory Affairs | Boston biotech
  • VP, Head of Regulatory Affairs | NYC commercial-stage biotech
  • VP, Head of R&D Operations | Boston biotech
  • VP, Head of Health Economics & Outcomes Research | Top CNS specialty pharma
  • VP, Head of Real-World Evidence | Top 5 pharma
  • VP, US Head of Oncology Medical Affairs | Japanese Pharma
  • VP, Head of Heme/Onc Clinical Research | Public oncology biotech
  • VP, Head of Global Drug Safety & PV | Chinese oncology biotech
  • Executive Director, Head of Global Clinical Pharmacology | Public oncology biotech
  • Medical Director, Clinical Development | Boston biotech

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