Senior Director / Executive Director, Biology | Zentalis

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Image result for Zentalis Pharmaceuticals logo

Senior Director / Executive Director, Biology

Zentalis Pharmaceuticals is a San Diego based pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancer. In the five years since our inception, we have successfully cleared three INDs with the FDA and expect to submit a fourth IND in the first half of 2020 and a fifth IND in 2021. We believe our deep pipeline of oncology therapeutics has the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients with various types of cancer.

The ideal candidate should have a deep knowledge of cancer drug discovery to identify promising clinical opportunities, develop disease-relevant assays and models, executing on drug discovery activities, perform sophisticated pharmacology assessment of drug action, and contribute scientifically to regulatory communications. The candidate should also be able to mentor project leaders and support cross-functional, or other collaborative activities necessary to advance oncology therapeutics to the clinic.


  • Senior role in Company’s research organization that ensures the delivery of a robust preclinical pipeline of high-value, novel oncology small molecule candidates from Target ID/Validation to IND submission.
  • Prioritizes projects and resources to ensure success from conception through IND enabling studies.
  • Devises and oversees the cell biology efforts for novel oncology therapeutic program(s).
  • Devises and executes cancer biology experiments to support projects from validation to clinical candidate selection.
  • Lead early stage research including the development and implementation of in vitro and in vivo assays.
  • Ensures timely delivery of incisive and actionable biology data that defines/refines drug discovery strategy.
  • Manages the work of multiple internal biologists and leverages CROs and academic collaborators effectively to drive program science forward.
  • Maintains high-functioning and synergistic cross-functional relationships across the Company’s discovery organization.
  • Communicates science and strategy effectively in a variety of internal and external settings.
  • Participates in competitive intelligence, as well as scientific and clinical knowledge management, to track advances in relevant therapeutic areas, by interacting with external experts, attending scientific meetings, and staying abreast of the literature.
  • Furthers the Company’s culture of scientific excellence and achievement as well as champions the career growth of a talented team of cancer biologists.


  • Minimum of Ph.D. in cancer biology or related discipline with 15+ years of cancer biology and drug discovery experience with a strong publication record.
  • Record of successfully managing medium size groups and working cooperatively in a matrix type organization
  • Extensive experience in oncology small molecule drug discovery.
  • Demonstrated success as a lead biologist advancing novel, first-in-class therapeutics through hit-finding and lead optimization to IND and clinical development.
  • Demonstrated application of expertise to discovery research through early clinical development in the area of oncology.
  • Familiarity with engaging and managing external efforts with contract research organizations and academic collaborators.
  • Very strong technical writing skills.
  • Working knowledge of mechanisms of drug metabolism and toxicology, drug delivery methods, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic sciences that support in vivo evaluation of drug candidates is desirable.
  • Ability to participate in laboratory as technical expert.
  • Responsible for directing the activities of cell biology group by providing technical and administrative leadership to drive drug discovery projects in close collaboration with others to reshape and extend the pipeline of oncology therapeutics.

Please submit resume / interest to:, or contact

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