Senior Research Associate, Cancer Biology (In Vivo)

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).

We are searching for an in vivo pharmacology Senior Research Associate to join the Cancer Biology team. We are seeking an experienced and highly motivated individual with strong interpersonal skills to work hands on conducting in vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo studies to support our expanding pipeline of oncology therapeutics. A key responsibility of this position will be to provide in vivo dosing support, and to test various in vivo model systems to evaluate both the efficacy and mechanism of action of novel small molecule.


  • Conduct in vivo antitumor efficacy, MTD and PK/PD studies in xenograft and syngeneic models
  • Independently collect biological samples from mice (tumor, tissues, serum)
  • Conduct assays that support in vivo studies (e.g., Westerns, qPCR, cytokine analysis)
  • Conduct standard in vivo procedures including dosing all routes, tissue necropsy, tumor inoculation, and tumor measurements
  • The candidate should understand and contribute to IACUC protocol and amendments; perform in vivo experiments to IACUC guidelines
  • Maintain experimental records in tumor tracking system, Electronic Notebook, analyze data, and prepare study reports
  • Perform limited in vitro work including standard cell culture for tumor inoculations
  • Work independently and as a team member to conduct in vivo laboratory studies
  • Collaborate effectively across multifunctional teams
  • Remain flexible while supporting multiple teams, including preparing and presenting data in project team meetings
  • Additional duties and responsibilities as required


  • BS in biology, pharmacology, or related scientific field and 2-4 years in vivo pharmacology drug discovery experience
  • Have experience with oncology tumor models; xenograft and syngeneic models
  • Drug administration by multiple routes including PO, SC, IP, IV
  • Experience with tolerability, PK/PD, single agent, and combination efficacy studies to support compound screening
  • Experience with qPCR, FACS analysis, and Western blotting are a plus but not required
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency with commonly used data analysis programs such as Excel and Prism strongly preferred
  • Excellent organizational skills, and oral and written communication skills to impact teams using clear communication

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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