Chief Scientific Officer, The Lupus Foundation of America

The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable, and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. We have redefined lupus research to expand efforts beyond funding research grants. Our innovative approach addresses the root problems that interfere with progress and sets a course to solve them. We focus on three critical goals: identifying the causes of lupus, discovering better ways to control symptoms and, ultimately, finding pathways to cure lupus.

The Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), a member of our executive team, will serve as a key advisor to the President and CEO, and play an essential role in advancing our mission and move toward our vision of a life without lupus. The CSO will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of a transformational, patient-centered research agenda, focusing on accelerating solutions toward new pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus.

This is a unique opportunity to advance the work of LFA in funding lupus research, collaborating with people with lupus and healthcare professionals to accelerate treatments, and continuing to build significant relationships with domestic and international key opinion leaders. The CSO will oversee the current research grants, while developing new grant-funding structures and processes. The candidate will need to display non-traditional thinking and employ a multidisciplinary approach to accelerate the development of new, safe and effective lupus treatments

Principal Duties And Responsibilities

The CSO’s responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and implement a forward-looking strategic plan for growth of the Foundation’s research portfolio.
  • Serve as LFA’s strategic lead and main contact with the Medical – Scientific Advisory Council and its chair; manage key staff to support the Medical-Scientific Advisory Council.
  • Lead the process to evaluate and recommend lupus research investments that accelerate investigations into the discovery of new treatments and a cure; this work will include evaluating the effectiveness of these investments based on established metrics and reporting the results to the CEO.
  • Provide leadership in developing collaborations with external organizations that inform and guide LFA Research goals and objectives (ex: NIH, academic and industry partners, regulatory agencies, and domestic and international non-profit organizations).
  • Serve as the LFA’s subject matter expert with key stakeholder communities on research priorities, grants and contracts, and provide consultative/supervisory support to other project managers.
  • Maintain relationships with the drug development industry and key stakeholder communities involved in the research and development of lupus drug therapies.
  • Manage and direct the LFA’s scientific and research staff, providing on-going support, counsel and employee development opportunities.
  • Oversee the continued awareness and growth of the LFA’s peer-reviewed, open access journal, Lupus Science & Medicine. Work to position the journal as the premier source for lupus information through ongoing communication and collaboration with the journal’s publisher (BMJ), editors and editorial board.
  • Develop department and program specific budgets and forecasts; oversee adherence to budgets, policies and internal and external regulations.
  • Identify research investment opportunities.
  • In conjunction with the CEO and SVP, Development and Fundraising to formulate ideas and pitches, and meet with major donors to help secure transformational research gifts.
  • In coordination with VP, Advocacy and Government Relations, oversee and lead efforts to expand and enhance LFA’s data hub/registry.
  • Develop and implement annual operating plans for the LFA research agenda consistent with the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Attend and present at leading scientific and health policy conferences.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


  • Minimum of ten (10) years of proven experience working in a research related organization, preferably managing a grant portfolio focused on scientific and medical advancements.
  • Combination of excellent science and business know-how, as well as the ability to align company functions with its mission and vision.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively across internal and external teams.
  • Excellent communication skills, with a proven record of public speaking and writing to multiple stakeholders, including people suffering from serious illnesses, and government, academic and industry partners.
  • Extensive industry, research and management experience.
  • Significant experience with research and publication, grant writing and fundraising.
  • Bring and maintain a strong understanding of the external environment and best practices to guide strategy and initiatives (informed by primary and secondary research in related fields such as drug development, clinical care, and nonprofit practices).
  • Distinguished record of research leadership, including experience building a successful research program, recruiting and mentoring of staff, and a record of scientific contribution in a focused area of clinical or health services research.
  • A proven track record of sound judgment and an analytical approach to decision-making.
  • Familiarity with autoimmune diseases preferred.
  • Ability to travel (domestically and internationally) as required or requested for business purposes.
  • Computer skills required: Grants/Contract Management Systems; Project Management Software; Microsoft Office Suite, FLUXX, etc.
  • Strong results-driven personality with a high level of enthusiasm and energy
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, start-up environment.
  • Education: Senior level researcher with PhD or MD training in basic, clinical and/or research discipline relevant to patient-centered outcomes research (e.g., medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, clinical epidemiology, health services research); or a Master’s degree in one of these disciplines along with a professional clinical degree (e.g., medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, clinical psychology).

More Information

Qualified and interested candidates should submit a cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to [email protected] Please include “CSO” in the subject line. NO telephone calls, please.