Head of Medicinal Chemistry
Vertex Pharmaceuticals - San Diego, CA

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Reporting to the Vice President of Research and Site Head, the Head of Medicinal Chemistry will be responsible for the chemistry leadership and general management of a staff of approximately 40. The successful applicant will be responsible for medicinal chemistry to deliver pre-clinical and clinical candidates on all Vertex’s San Diego-based research projects. The Medicinal Chemistry department is primarily comprised of synthetic and analytical chemistry. The department works in collaboration with biology, high-throughput screening, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, and computational chemistry, to deliver clinical candidates.

Leadership of the Medicinal Chemistry team will include all intellectual, managerial and administrative coordination of the group, including construction and management of spending budgets (internal, external and capital) and effective execution of hiring plans.

Position Qualifications:

Possessing a Ph.D. in medicinal or synthetic chemistry, the Head of Medicinal Chemistry will most likely be currently leading a chemistry or drug discovery group in a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.
(a) Have a minimum of 10 years experience, as a member of a successful multidisciplinary R&D team in pharmaceutical drug discovery, with a demonstrated track record in the chemical design and synthesis, as well as biological characterization of drug candidates.
(b) Have experience in successfully leading and managing a mid-size (minimally 15 scientists) group conducting drug discovery research, including leadership of strategic planning of chemical patent protection, construction and management of spending budgets for researchers.
(c) Possess an expert knowledge in the modern methods of synthetic and medicinal chemistry with proven ability to successfully and simultaneously conduct medicinal chemistry on multiple projects.
(d) Possess a strong knowledge of computational chemistry methods and understanding of the target-based taxonomy of drug candidates as well as a solid working knowledge of biophysical methods such as: X-ray crystallography, macromolecular NMR, high-throughput screening as applied to
drug discovery, and preferably how scale-up chemistry and formulations development are expedited for development candidates
(e) Command a solid grasp of cellular /molecular biology, biochemistry, disease pharmacology, mechanisms of drug metabolism and molecular toxicology, pharmaco-kinetic and pharmaco-dynamic sciences, and the evaluation of formulations for the in vivo evaluation of drug candidates.

The Head of Medicinal Chemistry will be a dynamic and innovative scientist, with a well-developed sense of self-awareness, leadership and independence. Further, he or she will be an inspirational communicator, in written and verbal formats, with the demonstrated ability to instill vision for department, and collaborate effectively with counterparts in diverse domains such as biology, pharmacology, computational sciences and biophysics. As a vital part of Vertex’ research management team, he or she will play a critical role in enabling the discovery goals of the research site.

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals aims to cure patients with previously incurable diseases. The biotechnology company uses an integrated,...