Scientific Program Officer


MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association)



A scientific program officer (SPO) is an experienced professional with the ability to work for a dynamic, fast-paced organization. The SPO directs a portfolio of mechanistic and translational research awards in neuromuscular disease areas including the muscular dystrophies; motor neuron diseases; and neuromuscular junction disorders, inherited peripheral nerve disorders; congenital, metabolic, and inflammatory myopathies, and channelopathies. This person will identify and address key research needs and initiate and implement high-impact research and scientific opportunities in neuromuscular diseases and demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of MDA’s research activities for patients, families, donors, and the professional communities MDA serves. Additionally, this person will provide leadership for MDA through interactions with federal agencies, international neuromuscular disease partners, drug development groups and pharma, as well as with patient-advocacy groups and other neuromuscular disease stakeholders while meeting core standards of excellence. The SPO reports to the senior vice president - chief research officer and works closely with MDA’s Advocacy, Health Care Services, Medical Education and Healthcare Partnership teams to further leverage MDA’s clinical and research programs and infrastructure to accelerate therapy development for neuromuscular diseases.


  • Doctoral degree (with focus in neuromuscular diseases or related basic, translational or drug development science) and 5+ years of experience in research or health care fields.
  • Ability to think broadly across scientific disciplines.
  • Highly collaborative and strong consensus builder.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to represent MDA within the neuromuscular scientific community, including at national and international scientific meetings and with other stakeholders including families.
  • Comfort with public speaking and demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to a wide array of audiences including the lay public, policymakers, members of Congress and Congressional staff.
  • Knowledge of regulatory practices as they pertain to therapeutic development and industry.
  • Excellent project-management skills.
  • Motivated by mission-driven organization whose aim is ultimately to save lives.