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Director, Information Technology

Company: Atara Biotherapeutics
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posted on: May 3, 2021

Job Description:

Job Description

The Director, IT role is to plan, coordinate, and supervise all activities related to the acquisition, design, development, implementation, deployment and support of Atara Bio's R&D Functions (Preclinical & Translational Science, Clinical Sciences, Drug Safety/Pharmacovigilance/Regulatory Affairs, Medical Affairs, Clinical Development & Operations) applications or other R&D areas as necessary. This individual will apply proven communication and problem-solving skills, and knowledge of best practices to guide his/her team on issues related to mission-critical information and software systems. This is a technical hands-on management position.

Reports to: Vice President, IT

Location: Thousand Oaks CA

Travel: Travel may be required (up to 20%).


Strategy and Planning:

  • Manage IT investments against R&D delivery initiatives to ensure alignment
  • Develops talent in a strong team by identifying potential, developing and motivating team members
  • Drives customer value through technology roadmaps and delivering against them
  • Manages diverse business partner relationships and accountability
  • Leads/supports the expansion of existing department systems to enterprise use
  • Evaluates proposals for platforms and applications of use of an existing system in order to identify potential problem areas and make appropriate recommendations to drive deployment
  • Ensures that proposed platforms, applications and systems meet business requirements and goals, fulfill end-user requirements, and identify and resolve systems issues.
  • Reviews and renew contracts with vendors and brings value and high-quality support from them
  • Reviews and analyzes existing application effectiveness and efficiency, and then develops strategies for improving or leveraging these systems
  • Defines and drives technology solutions in this space and measures outcomes via KPI's and metrics for reporting

Acquisition and Deployment:

  • Coordinates and facilitates consultation with stakeholders to define business and systems requirements for new technology implementations and information services in R&D
  • Guides the approval, prioritization, and control of projects and the project portfolio as they relate to the selection, acquisition, development, and installation of major information systems
  • Manages the development and deployment of new applications, systems software, and/or enhancements or expansion of use of existing applications throughout the enterprise that significantly improve business operations
  • Applies expertise in regulatory GCP computer software validation practices and associated change management methodologies to improve Atara Bio's systems
  • Prepares validation testing as necessary for system upgrades and patches
  • Collaborates with analysts, designers, and business process owners, and system owners in the testing of new software capabilities, programs and applications
  • Works with Information System staff to ensure system(s) will fit into existing infrastructure and meets Atara Bio standards for hardware/software systems

Operations and Support:

  • Manages and provides direction for R&D IT team in support of business operations
  • Provides technical leadership to project managers, business analysts and programmers working on application project teams
  • Designs, develops, and installs enhancements and upgrades to systems and application software
  • Works with other Information System staff to assist with quality assurance, program logic, and data processing
  • Cultivates, disseminates, and enforces functional policies, procedures, and quality assurance best practices
  • Helps drive budget planning and ongoing budget management to implement IT systems in R&D
  • Works with business owners to formulate and conduct training sessions and teaching materials for propagating enterprise applications knowledge throughout the organization as appropriate
  • Recommends, schedules, and performs software improvements, patches, upgrades, and/or purchases
  • Supervisory responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees: planning, assigning, and directing work; performance management and reviews; staff development; directing outsourcing partners
  • Performs IS application administration tasks as necessary


  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or related field and 10+ years work experience in deploying and supporting R&D systems with 5+ years or experience managing people and external vendors for project and support delivery
  • Direct experience in software deployment, development and/or programming design and systems management in an FDA Regulated Environment
  • Proven experience in overseeing the direction, development, and implementation of software solutions and deployment of 3rdparty hosted solutions
  • Expertise in system and software quality assurance best practices and methodologies
  • Demonstrated capabilities with change management, corrective action/preventive action plans, and IT Management systems
  • Good project management skills and/or substantial exposure to project-based work structures, project lifecycle models, etc
  • Knowledge of database design, data catalog and elements to help deploy enterprise data capabilities
  • Strong understanding of basic system engineering, object-oriented design, information risk and security guidelines, and architecture standards
  • Knowledge of applicable regulatory requirements, data privacy practices and laws including FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and HIPAA
  • Proficiency in computer systems validation, including authoring IQ/PQ/OQ documents
  • Strong understanding of Regulatory Affairs, Medical Affairs, Clinical Development, Health Economics and other R&D functions
  • Proficient with working with stakeholders across IT and R&D business units
  • Deep understanding of R&D business and translating that to IT solutions to help deliver value for R&D
  • Strong understanding of R&D Data needs to optimize IT solutions
  • Strong customer-service orientation
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent listening and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to communicate ideas in both technical and user-friendly language
  • Ability to conduct research into application issues and products
  • Highly self-motivated and directed
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Able to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment
  • Experience working in a team-oriented, collaborative environment
  • An innovative, data-driven person with a "can do" attitude and willingness to do the work
  • High bar personal ethics with a "patients first" value system
  • Role model for Atara TRAIT values (Transparency, Respect, Accountability, Integrity, Trust)

More about Atara Bio

We launched Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2012 to help patients with serious diseases and few therapeutic options. We are considered a leading off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company (Nasdaq ATRA) developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases.

We're proud of our team of 400+ Atarians co-located by design in 4 different locations including South San Francisco (corporate headquarters), Thousand Oaks (R&D and manufacturing headquarters), Zug, Switzerland (european headquarters) and a R&D site in the Denver, Colorado area. Our Southern California hub is anchored by a new 90,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art Atara T-Cell Operations and Manufacturing (ATOM) facility. Our mission - "Transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence."

Our vision - "T-Cell Immunotherapy for every patient, any time."

Visit to learn more. Atara Bio is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and other lawful factors. In accordance with applicable law, the Company prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity, expression or dysphoria, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, transgender status or any other classification protected by federal, state or local laws or because of the individual's association with a member of a protected group or connection to an organization or group related to a protected group.We comply with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All applicants must have authorization to work for Atara Bio in the United States.

Keywords: Atara Biotherapeutics, Thousand Oaks , Director, Information Technology, Other , Thousand Oaks, California

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