Variant Bio is a Seattle-based biotechnology company leveraging the power of human genetic diversity to develop life-saving therapies. To achieve this goal, we are studying the genes of people who are outliers for medically relevant traits, then translating insights from this research into the discovery and development of new therapeutics. 

Variant Bio closed a $105mm Series B financing to support the rapid advancement of the company’s research and development work.  Our investors include Lux Capital, Alta Partners, General Catalyst, SoftBank Vision Fund, Cercano Management and Casdin Capital, among others.  Our growing team of geneticists, medical researchers, biologists, and drug hunters is working to advance multiple projects through target validation, lead optimization, and other discovery and development efforts in relentless pursuit of bringing life-saving therapies to patients.

Ethics is at the foundation of everything we do at Variant Bio. Our genomic research studies are co-designed with local partners around the world with input from communities. In addition, we are committed to sharing tangible benefits with research partners and communities through our unique Benefit-sharing Program and Affordable Medicines Pledge.

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 DMPK. 
  • Independent, creative, detail-oriented, and a critical thinker. 
  • Compelled by the company’s mission of great science, a strong ethical stance, and benefit sharing.

Compensation & Perks

  • Opportunity to be part of an early-stage startup in a rapid growth phase.
  • Competitive salary and equity package.
  • Comprehensive benefits including medical, dental, vision, short and long term disability, and life insurance.
  • 401(k) plan that includes an automatic 3% employer contribution.
  • Flexible paid time off.
  • Choice of public transportation (Orca Card) provided by the company or subsidized parking.
  • Central Eastlake location in a brand new Alexandria building with modern facilities.

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.

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