Associate Director, Discovery Pharmacology and In Vivo Biology

Job Overview
Ikena Oncology, an emerging leader in cancer and cancer immunotherapy and is dedicated to bringing next generation therapies to patients suffering from cancer. We are seeking a highly talented, motivated in vivo pharmacology/cancer biology leader with a desire to translate basic research into new medicines. This individual would join an innovative, scientifically rigorous and fast paced team focused on developing breakthrough biomarker-driven cancer therapies. The successful candidate will bring a sense of urgency and commitment to help Ikena Oncology reach its potential and deliver novel patient-directed therapeutics to patients.


  • Experimental design and implementation of oncology in vivo pharmacology studies that address the key questions that are critical to advancing the Ikena Oncology drug discovery pipeline
  • Lead and mentor a group of high functioning scientists responsible for developing and executing in vivo strategies using a wide range of animal models including syngeneic, GEMM, CDX, and PDX tumor models
  • Contribute to the research strategy and goals of studies for Ikena Oncology’s early and advanced programs including acting as project leader for multi-disciplinary drug discovery teams
  • Work closely with colleagues in Translational Research and Early Clinical Development to establish biomarker and indication selection strategies
  • Help build Ikena’s scientific reputation in the outside community by presenting at scientific meetings and publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Identify optimal animal models and work closely with CROs to facilitate project advancement in parallel with internal studies
  • Contribute to development of pre-clinical packages for IND submissions
  • Author, review and finalize study reports and preclinical IND sections
  • Champion innovation and drive biomarker discovery and novel target identification by proactively reviewing literature and other advancements in disease area biology
  • Contribute effectively to patent filings


  • PhD in relevant field of biomedical research with 8+ years of in vivo pharmacology drug discovery experience or Master’s with 12+ years. Industry experience required
  • Demonstrated success as an in vivo pharmacologist for oncology research and development projects, with a proven track record of good experimental design, hands-on implementation of animal studies, in-depth data analysis and interpretation based on strong scientific rationale
  • Experience in project leadership, driving strategy and timelines
  • Talent and passion for coaching and developing scientific staff
  • Strong track record in oncology or immunology and deep knowledge of multiple fields of biology
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills as demonstrated by publication and presentation record

Personal attributes: team oriented, goal-driven, organized, highly collaborative, open-minded, data-driven, creative, persistent in the face of obstacles and uncertainty, flexible, self-aware of strengths and weaknesses, objective in the evaluation of data and strongly optimistic about overcoming obstacles.

Application Form

Our supportive work environment fosters creative thinking and freedom of expression.