• La Jolla Institute for Immunology
  • La Jolla, CA
  • Aug 17, 2020
Healthcare Organizations Executive

Job Description

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), a world leader in immunology research and scholarship, seeks a distinguished scientist, inspirational leader, and experienced research executive and fundraiser to serve as its next President and Chief Scientific Officer (President). This is a natural and planned progression as the current President is retiring from leading the Institute.

Over the past 32 years, LJI has positioned itself at the forefront of scientific discovery in immunology, with its talented faculty generating and disseminating knowledge in the Institute’s core research centers of autoimmune disease, cancer, and infectious disease and vaccine research. These centers address research mandates with wide-ranging applications to diseases like type one diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, HIV, Pertussis, COVID-19, Tuberculosis, Parkinson’s, Dengue, Lassa and Ebola. Working closely with the Institute’s world-class preeminent faculty, Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and the executive leadership team and staff, the next President will assume the responsibility to advance LJI’s scientific strengths; ensure the Institute’s financial resilience; recruit and retain distinguished faculty members and staff, and enhance LJI’s visibility and impact for years to come.

La Jolla Institute for Immunology was established in 1988 by a coalition of leaders from academia and industry. These leaders envisioned a unique and dynamic partnership between basic science and applied research, one that would lead to breakthroughs in the understanding of the immune system and improve global human health through the development of treatments and cures for immune system disorders. The La Jolla Institute remains an independent non-profit research institute true to its founders’ intentions, pursuing a vision of Life Without Disease.

The President and Chief Scientific Officer will maintain a friendly, collaborative environment within LJI, while building on existing success to boldly lead the Institute into its next era of excellence. They will ensure that the organizational structures and resources are in place to allow the continued excellence of the Institute. In doing so, the President will not only be a leader within LJI but will also highlight and promote the critical roles that independent research institutions play in biomedical research and in human health worldwide. The President will assume responsibility for several key opportunities, which are detailed further in this profile. In summary, they will: 

  • Elevate and enhance LJI’s scientific vision and mission;
  • Expand revenue opportunities (endowment, licensing, and philanthropy) to support LJI’s world-class science and strengthen the Institute’s financial standing;
  • Maintain and grow external partnerships and collaborations;
  • Unite LJI’s stakeholders around shared values and purpose;
  • Recruit, retain, mentor, and inspire the next generation of LJI faculty and leadership; and
  • Work closely with the Board of Directors to support LJI’s continued development and success.


Qualifications and Characteristics

This position provides a rare opportunity for a prominent scientist who is also an inspirational and creative leader to guide a distinguished institution to its next stage of achievement. The successful candidate for President and Chief Scientific Officer will possess many (if not all) of the following qualifications and characteristics:

• A Ph.D. and/or M.D. in a relevant field of science—preferably immunology—and a distinguished record of research and publications that would support appointment as a professor at LJI;

• Intellectual vision and a broad, interdisciplinary view of the opportunities in biomedical science; a keen understanding of the funding environment for science, the possibilities for research collaborations, and creative appeals for research funding;

• Fundraising experience and ambition; the ability to articulate to prospective donors the mission, strategy, and contributions—both present and potential—of LJI as well as its special character;

• A track record of leading scientists and administrators in planning that is creative and rigorous; an inventive and ambitious spirit disciplined by an uncompromising standard of excellence;

• Public presence and outstanding communications skills; the ability to build consensus with a diverse range of constituents and to generate excitement around ideas;

• Ability to work with a governing board; a record of building and maintaining an engaged and supportive Board of Directors;

• The ability to inspire a broad constituency and serve as a convener of people and ideas;

• The ability to collaborate and work within a team;

• Experience in managing complex budgets;

• Experience in building partnerships with private industry, other research institutes, and/or government;

• Respect and appreciation for the history of LJI and its long-term commercial and university partnerships, combined with energy and excitement to maximize its future potential;

• An accessible and engaging style as a colleague, manager, and community leader; a willingness to communicate often and to consult closely with colleagues, coupled with a willingness to act decisively;

• An impeccable reputation for personal and organizational integrity, transparency, compliance, and accountability.


Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

David Bellshaw, Cati Mitchell-Crossley, and Brett Barbour

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300 San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

LJI provides Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) to all employees and applicants regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, veteran status, sexual orientation, or pregnancy. This applies to all personnel practices, including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfers, educational assistance, and social and recreational programs.