Associate Director, Structural Biology

About Ikena
Ikena Oncology (NASDAQ: IKNA) is a clinical-stage, targeted oncology company that discovers and develops biomarker-driven therapies for cancer patients who need life-saving treatment, by understanding what drives their disease. Ikena is advancing five clinical, preclinical, and discovery programs and has a global strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Since inception, Ikena has raised over $300 million from leading life sciences investors and companies that include Atlas Venture, OrbiMed, BMS, Fidelity, Omega Funds, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Invus, Farallon Capital Management, BVF Partners, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Logos Capital, and HealthCor Management. Ikena priced its IPO in March 2021 and trades on the NASDAQ (Ticker: IKNA).

Ikena has an exciting new opportunity for an experienced and motivated person to lead our structural biology efforts in support of Ikena’s drug discovery programs as an Associate Director, Structural Biology. You will utilize your expertise in structural biology and integrate your insights into our drug discovery programs to better understand mechanisms of action and structural aspects of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, and to guide ligand design. You will provide leadership in structural biology by generating quality proteins and solving the structures of protein-small molecule complexes using appropriate methods (e. g. X-ray crystallography, NMR). You will utilize and build out external resources and capabilities necessary to drive structural biology efforts.


  • Design and enable structural biology strategies across a portfolio of discovery programs
  • Manage external resources to ensure delivery of high-quality protein structural information, efficient recombinant protein design, protein expression, protein purification, crystallization, data collection, and refinement
  • Collaborate with computational and medicinal chemistry on structure-guided design approaches and actively participate in driving optimization of chemical matter in a priority-driven environment
  • Partner with colleagues in biochemistry and biophysics, molecular and cell biology, and other functional groups to drive project progression
  • Lead the scientific, technical, and operational aspects of structural biology for drug discovery programs
  • Stay scientifically current, and implement new technologies to enhance structural biology capabilities
  • Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate effectively with cross-functional teams and senior management
  • Additional duties and responsibilities as required


  • A Ph.D. in structural biology or biophysics with 10+ years of experience in biotech/pharmaceutical settings
  • Demonstrated track record of success in structure-enabled drug discovery programs
  • Skilled in recombinant protein design, molecular cloning and mutagenesis, prokaryotic and eukaryotic protein expressions and purification, and protein crystallography
  • Working knowledge of medicinal chemistry, molecular and cell biology, biophysics, biochemistry, and bioassay development
  • Experience in identifying and managing structural biology CROs
  • Strong written and oral communication skills necessary to deliver scientific results and presentations clearly
  • A passion and sense of urgency for delivering structural insights that make a meaningful impact on discovery programs

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 challenges.

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