Scientist/Senior Scientist, Clinical Biomarker

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).

The translational research group at Ikena is seeking a highly motivated translational scientist with a strong experience in biomarker discovery and development. This individual will mostly contribute from the bench but is also expected to work effectively with the Ikena clinical team and leverage external CRO resources to implement biomarker assays and support clinical trials.


  • Identify patient selection and pharmacodynamics biomarker candidates with potential clinical utility by closely working with the discovery team
  • Validate biomarkers, including assay optimization and identification of ideal platforms for clinical implementation
  • Work with internal and external in vivo pharmacology to evaluate and validate pharmacodynamics biomarkers in tumor or surrogate tissues
  • Explore and evaluate new biomarker techniques and methods with clinical utility
  • Support clinical assay development, qualification, and validation through CROs
  • Working with clinical development colleagues, support clinical CRO management for implementation of biomarker testing in the clinic
  • Analyze biomarker data from clinical trials
  • Present biomarker proposals and data to the scientific teams/community
  • Additional duties and responsibilities as required


  • BS/MS with > 8 years biopharma industry experience in oncology biomarker discovery and development
  • Experience in various biomarker techniques including qPCR, ELISA, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemistry
  • Hands on experience in optimizing assay conditions and validating biomarkers for clinical utility
  • Tissue culture experience, including working with primary patient samples
  • Familiarity with various assay platforms frequently used in the clinic
  • Strong analytical, record keeping, and organizational skills
  • Strong communication skills and ability to collaborate cross functionally
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with CROs for assay transfer and troubleshooting

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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