Research Scientists – Organic / Medicinal Chemists (Scientist II / Scientist III) 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 neurology, immunology-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. 

Of immediate need to Escient are highly motivated and talented Organic / Medicinal Chemists, at the Scientist II / Scientist III levels, to join our discovery research chemistry group. Our ideal candidate must be comfortable with, and thrive in, a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment which necessitates a hands-on approach at all levels.

RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

  • Perform hands-on SAR design, synthesis, and characterization of novel bioactive molecules based on the interpretation of in vitro and/or in vivo experimental data;
  • Identify lead compounds with desirable properties from activity and selectivity data, DMPK characteristics, and physiochemical properties;
  • Apply drug design principles and integrate with other experimental data;
  • Work collaboratively with chemists (both internally and externally) to solve synthetic challenges;
  • Remain up to date with literature and provide intellectual input to aid in the department’s success;
  • Participate in laboratory maintenance, instrument and inventory upkeep, and supply ordering;
  • Communicate effectively within project teams and beyond in order to progress toward goals in a multidisciplinary setting;
  • Work cross-functionally with biology, DMPK, and toxicologists to identify novel drugs;
  • Aid in fostering a culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, freedom to brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas; and
  • Perform other related duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS include the following:

  • Ph.D. in Organic / Medicinal Chemistry with 3-10 years’ experience within a life science company or a Master’s degree in Organic / Medicinal Chemistry with 8+ years of industry experience;
  • Demonstrated record of success in Organic or Medicinal Chemistry research as evidenced by publications and/or patents;
  • A broad knowledge base of modern organic chemistry and synthetic methods: heterocyclic chemistry, metal-catalyzed reactions, and multi-step synthesis;
  • Expertise and proficiency in modern synthetic chemistry techniques and analyses including synthesis, purification, and spectroscopic characterization of novel compounds (NMR, LC-MS, HPLC, etc.);
  • Ability to clearly organize, present, and discuss Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry topics;
  • Experience using design tools and structure-based drug design and chemical database searching;
  • Exceptional computer skills;
  • High ethical standards, excellent judgment, personal/professional integrity and proven discretion in handling proprietary information;
  • Possess creativity, adaptability, tenacity, a sense of urgency, and roll-up your sleeves, hands-on orientation;
  • Alignment with the company’s culture; and
  • 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 employee needs 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, s/he 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