Associate Director – Organic / Medicinal Chemists Back to Careers

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Based in San Diego, CA, Escient Pharmaceuticals is a start-up biotech company strategically focused on unleashing the therapeutic potential of specific orphan GPCRs, including a novel family of Mas-Related G-Protein Receptors (Mrgprs), for a broad range of therapeutic indications. We will initially pursue drugs for neuro-immuno-inflammatory and autoreactive diseases. Our diverse team at Escient shares a passion for discovering and developing therapies for underserved patients that will positively change the course of their health and well-being.  In addition, we share a passion for creating a unique and highly sought-after culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, and freedom to brainstorm and share your thoughts and ideas at even the highest level. 

Escient is looking for an experienced medicinal chemist with well-developed leadership skills and a proven track record of advancing compounds into the clinic. This critical role will be responsible for managing medicinal chemistry efforts for a platform of orphan GPCRs: delivering tools, leads, and clinical candidates. The Associate Director will be heavily involved in shaping, and implementing against, our strategic plan and will be instrumental in building the high-performance, collaborative, inter-disciplinary team needed to advance our novel drugs to patients. The ideal candidate will capable of successfully overseeing the activities of both the internal medicinal chemistry team as well as CRO partners.

RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

  • Bring extensive medicinal experience to bear in order to solve chemistry challenges and advance drugs to the clinic across multiple programs and receptors;
  • Facilitate the identification of tools to de-orphan novel targets and advance Escient’s understanding of emerging biology;
  • Provide strategic and tactical input in the advancement of drug discovery programs;
  • Lead, supervise and mentor a high-performance, dynamic team of PhD and MS level chemists;
  • Work collaboratively and communicate effectively with chemists, biologist, in vivo pharmacologists, and DMPK/ADMET to identify high-quality clinical candidates;
  • Remain up to date with chemistry and scientific literature and provide intellectual input to aid in the department’s success; and
  • Aid in fostering a culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, and freedom to brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas.

QUALIFICATIONS include the following:

  • PhD in organic chemistry with 10+ years of medicinal chemistry experience; or an MS in organic chemistry with 15+ years of medicinal chemistry experience;
  • An excellent knowledge of the field of medicinal chemistry, including synthetic methods and trends within the drug discovery field;
  • High ethical standards, excellent judgment, and personal/professional integrity; and proven discretion in handling proprietary information;
  • Possesses creativity, adaptability, tenacity, a sense of urgency and roll-up your sleeves, hands-on orientation;
  • Alignment with the company’s culture;
  • Core Competencies:
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, hands-on research and development environment;
    • Effective at planning, organizing, and prioritizing;
    • Able to handle multiple tasks and deliver high quality results under tight timelines;
    • High attention to detail and accuracy;
    • Effective troubleshooting and problem-solving skills;
    • Flexible and adaptable to change;
    • Adept at building strong relationships and collaborating with colleagues at all levels;
    • Effective team player and strong individual contributor;
    • Highly collaborative, self-motivated, and team-oriented; and
    • Excellent communicator in both oral and written form.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee will regularly be required to use his/her hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and telephone keypad or to write, as well as talk and hear. The employee will regularly be required to sit, stand, walk, talk and hear; use hands to handle or feel; see computer screens and read printouts; and reach with arms and hands. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to focus. The employees need to be able to stand for long periods of time in a laboratory setting including in front of a hood and at the bench. As well, they may occasionally be required to lift up to 50 pounds.

If you thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and are in search of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team focused on discovering and developing therapies that will positively change the course of the health and well-being of underserved patients, we encourage you to apply.  Escient Pharmaceuticals offers a positive and exciting work environment with competitive pay structures and benefits.  Escient is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position please email your cover letter and CV to