Director, Target Discovery and Validation

Biology (200) · Vancouver, British Columbia
Department Biology (200)
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor



Chinook Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for kidney diseases. Chinook’s product candidates are being investigated in rare, severe chronic kidney disorders with opportunities for well-defined clinical pathways. Chinook’s lead program is atrasentan, a phase 3 endothelin receptor antagonist for the treatment of IgA nephropathy and other proteinuric glomerular diseases. BION-1301, an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody is being evaluated in a phase 1/2 trial for IgA nephropathy. In addition, Chinook is advancing CHK-336, an oral small molecule LDHA inhibitor for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria, as well as research programs for other rare, severe chronic kidney diseases.


Chinook is building its pipeline by leveraging insights in kidney single cell RNA sequencing, human-derived organoids, and new translational models, to discover and develop therapeutics with differentiating mechanisms of action against key kidney disease pathways. Chinook trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol KDNY and has locations in Vancouver, BC, Seattle, WA and Oakland, CA.


Chinook’s research team is seeking a motivated, collaborative, and experienced preclinical drug discovery biologist to lead our Target Discovery and Validation team. The successful candidate will contribute to the scientific and strategic leadership of Chinook’s drug discovery efforts by leading a team focused on target selection and validation. Candidates should have a strong and proven track record of identifying, selecting, and validating new targets for drug discovery programs with an ability to quickly define and reach go/no-go decision points. Experience in kidney disease biology is preferred but demonstrated success of target selection and validation in other therapeutic areas would be considered. The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership and communication skills, will be able to guide overall strategy, and will propose innovative solutions to biological questions. The position will be based in Vancouver, BC but could suit a candidate open to frequent travel to Vancouver. This position will be integrated in a multidisciplinary drug discovery team of in vitro biologists, medicinal chemists, DMPK scientists, computational biologists, and in vivo pharmacologists.

Responsibilities include:

  • Lead team efforts focused on target selection and target validation, and support program advancement to lead identification stage
  • In collaboration with research leadership, make key contributions to the overall Chinook scientific strategy to create precision medicines for kidney diseases
  • Collaborate with program leads to define critical experimental path and guide rapid go/no-go decisions
  • Identify future areas of kidney disease research aligned with Chinook’s precision medicine vision
  • Make key contributions to the identification and scientific assessment of business development opportunities to further build Chinook’s pipeline
  • Mentor and develop team members
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of a positive team-focused company culture


Education, Experience, and Skills:


  • Ph.D. in biological discipline with a minimum of 10 years of industry drug discovery experience
  • A proven track record of successful target selection, target validation, and project leadership in a pharmaceutical or biotechnology environment with preferred experience in small molecules or biologics
  • Strong team management and leadership skills with experience supervising and mentoring multiple direct reports and a proven ability to develop team members  
  • Experience presenting to stakeholders with tangible outcomes such as influencing decision-making and program strategy
  • Experience providing scientific assessments of business development opportunities as a member of due diligence teams
  • Successful publication record in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations
  • A proven track record of collaborating effectively with cross-functional teams in a drug discovery environment
  • Experience in kidney disease biology is a strong asset but not required
  • A strong team player and scientific leader with a passion for science and drug discovery
  • Positive attitude and high personal and ethical standards

Chinook is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we prohibit discrimination or harassment of any kind.  We are committed to fostering an environment where ALL people are welcome and supported.  We respect and value different experiences and viewpoints.  We act respectfully toward one another and embrace diversity of people and ideas. Having a diverse workforce made up of team members who bring a wide variety of skills, abilities, experiences, and perspectives is essential to our success. Creativity and innovation flourish in an environment of openness, inclusion, and mutual respect.

Thank You

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  • Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Department
    Biology (200)
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor