Principal Scientist/Associate Director, Biochemistry

About Ikena
Ikena Oncology is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that discovers and develops patient-directed, 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. Ikena has entered into a global strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb and raised capital from top tier investors OrbiMed Advisors and Atlas Venture.

Role Description
Ikena Oncology is seeking a highly talented, diversely experienced, and motivated Biochemistry lead to join our Discovery Biology team. As the first dedicated biochemist, this individual will leverage their expertise to help drive the Ikena drug discovery engine and support our novel targeted small molecule programs.


  • Oversee and conduct biochemical efforts in-house and at CRO
  • Develop medium-to-high throughput plate-based biochemical assays to facilitate compound screening, characterize compounds, elucidate mechanism of action, and support medicinal chemistry efforts
  • Provide biochemistry/structural biology expertise to support Ikena’s small molecule discovery programs including targeted protein degradation
  • Design expression constructs for high quality protein production
  • Characterize purified proteins using a range of biochemical and biophysical techniques
  • Enzyme and/or binding kinetic analysis
  • Work closely with CROs to enable biochemistry efforts, including, protein expression and purification, assay development, high-throughput screening, mechanistic studies, and structural biology
  • Lead experimental design and assay development and the interpretation of results
  • Independently communicate results to cross-functional project teams and update senior management on overall project strategy and goals
  • Support the organization by maintaining a work environment focused on scientific integrity and fosters learning, open communication, and collaboration


  • Ph.D. with 8-10 years of hands-on experience, or MS with 10-15 years of hands-on experience in biochemistry. Industry laboratory experience preferred
  • Strong laboratory expertise pertaining to biochemistry and related biophysical sciences
  • Understanding and demonstrated performance in targeted protein degradation
  • Knowledge of computer software and Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, GraphPad and Prism)
  • Detail-oriented, with excellent organization and record-keeping skills
  • Capable of working both independently and in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to communicate results in written and verbal form

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

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