variant bio

Variant Bio

Scientific Advisory Board Member, VP of Computational Genetics & VP of Therapeutic Discovery

August 24, 2022

Strong SAB addition to Variant Bio secured two additional searches for LifeSci

Variant Bio is a private biotech company that offers a genomic platform for drug development companies to further their research and discover therapeutic methods that can improve patients’ lifespan. LifeSci Search partnered with Variant Bio as they sought to bring aboard a few new team members from multifaceted backgrounds to maintain their growing network of partners; a Scientific Advisory Board Member, VP of Computational Genetics and lastly, what was targeted at the time as a VP of Therapeutic Discovery.

The Approach

To kick off the SAB search, LifeSci targeted candidates with a SAB background with expertise in genetics. Variant Bio was in process of raising their Series A when LifeSci Search launched the search, and we completed the process before their Series A fundraise completed as targeted. We discovered and introduced Rob Scott, MD, retired CMO, Head of Development at AbbVie. In addition to three decades of global pharmaceutical leadership experience, Rob also had extensive Board of Director experience, he currently supports six other early to public stage companies. Additionally, he’s worked as a Scientific Advisory Board Member in the past and understands how to help navigate the needs of a growing board. Seen as a true thought leader in the industry, Rob Scott was an exceptional addition to Variant Bio.

Following the placement of Rob Scott onto the SAB, we launched the VP of Computational Genetics search. They desired someone with an extensive background in biology & disease control and who was local to them or willing to relocate. We introduced Laura Yerges-Armstrong, Senior Director, Head of Statistical Genetics & Genomic Data Sciences at GSK, who happily relocated for the role. Laura came to Variant Bio with a great background balanced between academia and practical work focused in Statistical and Genomic Data Science. Her hyper-specialized skillset and PhD background made her the perfect fit for Variant Bio’s approach to modern genomics.

Finally, we launched the VP of Therapeutic Discovery search targeting candidates with vast experience in leading drug discovery in all stages and introduced David Powell, VP of Medicinal Chemistry and Scientific Innovation from Chinook Therapeutics. David’s experience was built on over fifteen years working on translating scientific insights into novel therapies. His prior work as a Director of Chemistry led him to work on many different therapeutic applications, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and HIV to name a few. This multifaceted background made him the perfect candidate for Variant Bio, which needed someone who could work across therapeutic targets and at multiple stages of drug discovery. Due to David’s strong background, he was ultimately given the job title of VP Therapeutic Discovery.

The Outcome

We completed our first search in less than three months by placing their new Scientific Advisory Board Member, Rob Scott, MD. Continuing to support Variant Bio’s growth, we introduced and placed Laura Yerges-Armstrong  as VP of Computational Genetics and David Powell as VP of Therapeutic Discovery each in only 4 months.

Search Data

Scientific Advisory Board Member

Candidates Formally Presented: 8
Time to Hire 3 months

VP Computational Genetics

Candidates Formally Presented: 10
Time to Hire 5 months

VP Therapeutic Discovery

Candidates Formally Presented: 9
Time to Hire 2 months


Rob Scott, MD | SAB


  • CMO, Head of Development at AbbVie
  • VP, Global Development TA Head, Head Development Design Center at Amgen
  • Currenlty serving on several biopharmaceutical Boards

Laura Yerges-Armstrong | VP of Computational Genetics


  • Senior Director, Head of Statistical Genetics & Genomic Data Sciences at GSK
  • Assistant Professor at University of Maryland, Baltimore

David Powell | VP of Therapeutic Discovery


  • Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry & Scientific Innovation at Chinook Therapeutics
  • Director of Chemistry at Inception Sciences, Inc
  • Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Merck

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