Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry

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
The Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry will report to the Senior Vice President of Discovery and will be responsible for driving medicinal chemistry efforts in a fast-paced small molecule discovery research team. The successful candidate will utilize their scientific and organizational leadership to advance small molecule drug discovery projects from program initiation to selection of development candidates.


  • Discover and advance novel small molecule drugs into clinical development
  • Provide strategic, scientific, and managerial leadership to medicinal chemistry team
  • Define, implement, and execute on medicinal chemistry strategies
  • Serve as chemistry lead (directly and/or indirectly) for discovery programs
  • Collaborate with IP team to create and execute strategy to establish, protect and expand intellectual property
  • Plan for and prioritize internal and external medicinal chemistry resources to achieve project goals
  • Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate effectively with cross-functional teams
  • Lead multidisciplinary drug discovery project teams in a fast-paced, results-driven biotech environment


  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry with 10+ years of drug discovery experience in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry
  • A strong track record of success in delivering clinical candidates
  • Broad background in all aspects of drug discovery, with working knowledge of structural biology, ADME/PK, in vitro assays, and in vivo pharmacology
  • Experience in targeted protein degradation is desirable
  • Oncology drug discovery experience preferred
  • Experience in managing chemistry CRO activities
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, communication, and managerial skills that motivate and inspire others to achieve corporate scientific objectives
  • A passion and sense of urgency for delivering important new therapies to patients is essential

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.

Application Form

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