Director, Pathologist

AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. At AstraZeneca, we are pioneering new frontiers by identifying and treating patients earlier, working towards the aim of eliminating cancer as a cause of death.

At AstraZeneca, we work together across global boundaries to make an impact and find answers to challenges. We do this with the utmost integrity even in the most difficult situations, because we are committed to doing the right thing. We continuously forge partnerships that help pursue world-class medicines in new ways, combining our people’s exceptional skills with those of people from all over the globe.     

Be part of fulfilling our ambition to be world leaders in Oncology. We are already the fastest growing team within AstraZeneca and across the industry, and there are countless new indications and targets in our game-changing pipeline. The vision of AstraZeneca Oncology is to redefine cancer, redefine our solutions to cancer, and restore patients' lives. To achieve this, we have an exciting and diverse portfolio that focuses on four scientific platforms that we believe show the greatest potential for yielding effective medicines for cancer patients. A place built on courage, curiosity and collaboration – we make bold decisions driven by patient outcomes. Empowered to lead at every level, free to ask questions and take smart risks that write the next chapter for our pipeline.

Job role:

  • Accountable for providing pathology support to ensure the execution of project requests and for generating data related to translational pathology across a team(s) within the span of Oncology R&D, Cancer Biomarker Development.
  • Assists Senior Director(s) and Executive Director(s) in setting departmental objectives/plans to ensure delivery of business objectives.
  • Generates and makes available new ideas, knowledge, data and technology related to translational pathology within Oncology R&D, Cancer Biomarker Development as well as advise and assist others on scientific and technological aspects related to projects and business plans.


  • Acts as an expert in one or more areas of Translational Pathology, serving as the point of contact for pathology and providing pathology and scientific consultation on translational project teams.
  • Develops, or uses expertise to support the development of, pathology objectives for Translational Medicine/Cancer Biomarker Development in Oncology Pre-CD and Early Oncology Post-CD programs and ensures these are aligned to broader AstraZeneca goals and objectives.
  • Helps oversee development and implementation immunohistochemical (IHC) and in situ (ISH) assays to evaluate predictive, prognostic, and pharmacodynamics pathology-based biomarkers for clinical trial application.
  • Maintains a high degree of understanding and awareness of internal and external developments that could affect the Translational Pathology Cancer Biomarker Development scientific subfunction and the drug development and discovery process, and shares this with team members as appropriate.
  • Reviews and characterizes (scores) slides for IHC assay optimization and validation, and for image analysis including Quality Control/Quality Assurance aspects.
  • Contributes to ensuring TransPath laboratory maintains CGP certification.
  • Establishes morpho-molecular correlations to inform the selection of markers and the interpretation of results for biomarker studies.
  • Performs high-quality annotations to support the training, testing, and validation of machine-learning algorithms.
  • Helps assess image analysis tools with the aim of increasing efficiency while maintaining the quality of data generation.
  • Provides implementation oversight in clinical trials including protocol and laboratory manual review, high-level guidance on sample submission from sites and central testing in laboratories, enables data transfer to AstraZeneca biostatistics group(s), and aids interpretation and presentation of data at internal and external meetings.
  • Serves as consultant pathologist on multiple product teams and sub-teams including Early and Late Oncology settings.
  • Builds networks with other teams and external stakeholders to learn about new developments, leverage opportunities and share best practices.
  • Responsible for the effective integration of data on new compounds and information on targeted diseases to ensure the department is supporting the drug development process.
  • May act as an expert resource in one or more areas of methods for proof of concept.
  • Where appropriate for Companion/Complementary Diagnostic (CDx), responsible for identifying suitable Diagnostic partners and coordinating steps required to develop assays with CDx partner and its implementation in clinical trials.
  • May manage or support complex and cutting-edge technologies to improve processes within Translational Pathology Cancer Biomarker Development or develop and introduce new technologies and approaches at the national or regional level.
  • Ensures that own work and work of function is compliant with Good Clinical Practice and Safety Health and Environment standards and all other relevant internal and external regulation and standards.

Essential education, qualifications, skills, and experience:

  • Medical (M.D.) with Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) or board certified in anatomical/surgical pathology or similar qualification
  • Extensive knowledge in tissue diagnostics (histology, cytology, immunohistochemistry, mIF, in situ hybridization)
  • Strong understanding of cancer biology, molecular pathology and drug targets.
  • Familiarity with digital and computational pathology
  • Strong team working skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Project management experience


  • Relevant experience in tissue biomarker discovery and analysis (preferably in pharmaceutical/diagnostic industry)
  • Relevant experience in drug development and / or clinical biomarker practice.
  • Ph.D. degree in experimental or human pathology or a related field
  • Ability to effectively interact with internal and external business partners
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and development

Location: Cambridge, UK

Competitive salary and benefits

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca we’re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration, and always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development. We’re on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.

So, what’s next?

  • Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.

  • Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours.

  • If you’re curious to know more then please reach out to Sophie Halpin.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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