Director of Biology

  • Anywhere

About Us

Serna Bio is building the world’s first map of the druggable transcriptome, systematically opening up the universe of RNA biology to small-molecule drug modulation. Using our Discovery Platform, we are tackling the classically intractable targets, with an initial focus on Oncology and Rare Disease.

The current toolkit for developing drugs is focused almost entirely on protein targets. However, 85% of the approximate 3 billion base pairs in the human genome encodes for RNA but not protein. Our platform enables a novel approach to understanding RNA structure, function and binding sites in order to develop a new class of drugs. Targeting RNA in this way enables us to explore therapeutics for the many diseases with no known treatments.

Our mission is to develop a new class of drugs that will impact patient lives. We are a globally distributed, remote-first team headquartered in the United States. We are curious, nimble, breaking new ground and growing fast. Come make an impact with us and be part of our story.

The Role

REMOTE: US-based

We are looking for a Director of Biology to spearhead our programs and to take the lead on moving us towards DC selection, IND filing and clinical development. You will be a sole contributor working directly with the CEO and will have a chance to grow out a team as the company scales.

How You’ll Help

Working with the CEO, you will be a key contributor to Serna Bio’s Program successes, leading from target selection to DC selection and IND filing into early clinical development, taking proactive and detail-oriented ownership of each step including the further build and development of relevant screening cascades, management of CROs and collaboration with external parties.

In this high-impact role, you will sit at the intersection of R&D and clinical and will be a vital resource as Serna Bio scales. You will work cross-functionally with our R&D, Comp Bio and ChemAI teams. 

The successful candidate will receive an opportunity for career development that is as fast-paced as your ambition, all while gaining the opportunity to have a front-row seat at a dynamic and rapidly growing startup company, playing a key role in fundraising rounds.

We’re looking for an experienced, capable and growth-minded professional for a high-visibility, high-impact role.

Key deliverables include:

  • Lead internal target selection, and validation (including assay development, compound screening, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology including in vivo PK/PD/efficacy models as well as additional studies (including toxicity) required to declare a compelling clinical candidate. Further, play a central role in planning and executing IND studies as well as contributing significantly to IND preparation and filing.
  • Work with our AI/ML platform and Biologists to support efforts in Drug Discovery and Translational Biology, including demonstrating mechanisms of action then used to develop a biomarker and patient preselection strategy to aid clinical development.
  • Collaborate with internal and external partners, key opinion leaders, CROs, biotech companies, translational and development groups. 



  • PhD in Cell or Molecular Biology with over 10 years of biotech/pharma experience leading advancement of hit chemistry through DC selection, IND enabling studies and into clinical trials.
  • A strong understanding of both preclinical drug discovery and clinical translatability in oncology 
  • Successful track record running in vitro and in vivo biology/pharmacology functions to drive small molecule programs from target selection (hit chemistry) to clinical proof-of-concept
  • Breadth of experience across different types of targets and mechanisms of action: transcription factors, undruggable targets and major drivers in oncology. 
  • Expertise in oncology and ideally another therapeutic area (Autoimmune, rare disease, neuro)
  • Proven abilities in developing robust data packages that generate clinically-testable precision medicine hypotheses.
  • Team leadership and mentoring skills and a desire to grow out your own function.
  • Exceptional attention to detail 
  • Extensive experience assessing and managing multiple CROs, establishing screening cascades and moving programs rapidly from discovery to preclinical to clinical development  
  • Ability to productively work in a very fast-paced environment, ideally having worked in a small start-up company previously. 
  • Challenge-led. Interested in doing difficult work because of the difficulty. Led by data. Enough humility to be open to critique, enough confidence to be able to commit to action.

Work process

  • Ability to analyze, organize, summarize and articulate complex information and directions
  • Excellent verbal and written skills with a strong commitment to good documentation
  • Superb attention to detail
  • Highly organised and process-driven
  • The confidence and ability to exercise good judgment and decision-making in a variety of complex scenarios
  • Excellent prioritisation/multi-tasking, and time management skills.
  • Works with discretion, maturity and consistency.
  • Strong sense of initiative and ownership.

Please apply directly, or reach out to our Executive Search partners at Klein Hersh who are handling shortlisting.