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Vice President, Cancer Biology

Atlas Venture
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Feb 7, 2023

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Vice President, Cancer Biology at Ikena Oncology

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).

Role Description

The Vice President/Sr Vice President, Cancer Biology will report to Chief Scientific Officer and play a critical role in the long term growth of Ikena as the company advances programs in the clinic and further builds discovery programs in the targeted oncology space. This newly created role will lead cancer biology research in support of Ikena's existing and future pipeline, and foster close collaborations with other functions including chemistry, ADME/PK, toxicology, translational science, and clinical research.

Position Responsibilities

Leverage and expand knowledge of current and emerging oncology clinical landscape to inform new target selection as well as the translational and clinical strategies for existing programs.

Work with senior leadership to develop, refine, and implement the overall targeted oncology research strategy with a specific focus on selection of development candidates (DC).

Manage Molecular & Cellular Biology and in vivo Pharmacology groups; provide scientific input, operational support, and mentorship.

Partner with translational science and clinical research to devise research strategies that define clinical paths, pre- and post-DC selection.

Collaborate effectively and align with other functions (chemistry, biochemistry/biophysics, structural biology, ADME/PK, toxicology, translational science, and clinical) on overall project strategies.

Balance internal and external biology resources to support new targets, active discovery programs, and translational research.

Develop a science-driven, goal-oriented culture that values innovation, teamwork, transparency, accountability, empowerment, and agility (i.e., living Ikena's core values).

Communicate effectively with leadership and external partners.

Contribute to the assessment of potential new discovery targets (key scientific questions, potential lead optimization path, translational/clinical potential, competitive landscape).


Broad oncology expertise, with a strong understanding of fundamental cancer biology and insight into the current and emerging oncology clinical landscape

D. or M.D./Ph.D. in cancer biology or related biological science

15+ years of relevant industry experience in oncology positions of increasing responsibility

Demonstrated leadership with a passion for mentorship

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