(Senior) Director - Biology

Variant Bio

Variant Bio

Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Variant Bio is a Seattle-based biotech company entering a rapid growth stage having closed a $105mm Series B financing in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company was started because we believe that human genetics has the power to transform drug development. We are working towards developing therapies to improve global health by studying the genes of people who are outliers for medically relevant traits. To facilitate this, we have built proprietary genomics and phenotyping platforms that allow us to dramatically reduce the cost of genomic studies and identify genetically-validated targets for therapeutic development.

Our team of geneticists, medical researchers, biologists and drug hunters continue to advance multiple projects through internal target validation and lead optimization efforts in relentless pursuit of translating human genetic insights into life-saving therapies.

All of our studies are co-designed with local partners: community groups, academics, and hospitals around the world, and we built Variant Bio from the ground up with ethics at its foundation. We recognize the contribution of our partners through an industry leading benefit-sharing program that dedicates 4% of our revenue and equity value to support local healthcare, sustainable development, education, research, and capacity-building initiatives. Through the Affordable Medicines Pledge we acknowledge that the communities who contributed data that led to the discovery of these new drugs have an equal and reciprocal right to share in the benefits, both financial and social.

Variant Bio is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Job Description

We seek an exceptionally collaborative (Senior) Director with experience leading therapeutic programs from inception through lead optimization, with an emphasis on target identification, validation, and lead asset characterization. This role will be responsible for identifying and validating targets stemming from our innovative genetics pipeline, and leading early stage drug discovery efforts as part of a truly integrated R&D team. Since we are an actively growing start-up, we seek creative thinkers, agile learners and candidates with an unwavering willingness to do what is necessary to help build the company and mature a human-genetics-backed therapeutic pipeline. Our current disease areas of interest include kidney disease, fibrosis, and inflammation.


  • Lead therapeutic programs from inception through to the clinic, with a focus on early-stage target prioritization and experimental validation.
  • Build, manage and mentor a high-performing, lab-based team.
  • Expand our internal assay development capabilities in a way that complements existing and new programs.
  • Become a disease and biology subject matter expert in a variety of areas, ready to tackle new genetic findings in diverse areas.
  • Work together with internal computational geneticists to advance genetic findings.
  • Effectively communicate scientific results to internal and external audiences.
  • Contribute to scientific publications.


  • A Ph.D. in a biology discipline with 8-15 years of relevant experience in biotech or pharma is required.
  • Exceptional leadership capabilities, and the ability to grow and manage a high-performing team of scientists.
  • Proven track record in initiating and progressing novel therapeutic targets through validation and drug discovery. Well-rounded with regards to small molecule and biologic development.
  • Experience with a variety of assay platforms, and the ability to develop innovative and robust assays to support a drug development program.
  • Familiarity with a broad array of human and mouse translational models relevant to disease areas of interest.
  • Strong people skills and an ability & willingness to work on a multidisciplinary R&D team, interacting across biology, functional genomics, chemistry and PKDM.
  • Independent, creative, detail-oriented, and a critical thinker.
  • Compelled by the company’s mission of great science, a strong ethical stance, and benefit sharing.

What We Offer

  • Opportunity to be part of a startup entering a rapid growth phase grounded in ethics.
  • Competitive salary and equity packages as well as a 401(k) plan that includes an automatic 3% employer contribution.
  • Comprehensive benefits including medical, dental and vision with 100% of monthly employee premiums paid for by the company.
  • Flexible paid time off to help employees obtain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Company paid professional development opportunities to encourage career progression.
  • Orca Card provided by the company for work related transportation.
  • Centrally located Eastlake, Seattle location in a new Alexandria building with modern facilities, including a gym.

Anticipated annual base salary for this position is $185,000 - $250,000 plus up to 20-25% bonus and an options package, for total compensation of up to $220,000 - $312,500, plus equity options.

The annual salary range above is based on the responsibilities and qualifications listed above. Individual salary will depend on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.

Don't meet every single requirement but are excited to join the Variant Bio team? If your past experience doesn't align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may still be the right candidate for this or other roles.