Director of Medicinal Chemistry

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

San Diego, CA

Job posting number: #7101960 (Ref:spd-1663908)

Posted: June 8, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Sanford Burnham Prebys is a preeminent, independent biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding human biology and disease, and advancing scientific discoveries to profoundly impact human health.   

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding human biology and disease and translating discoveries into innovative treatments to improve health. The Institute’s track record of pioneering research spans more than 40 years and has produced breakthrough discoveries in cancer, neuroscience, immunology and childhood diseases. The expertise of SBP faculty and leaders in both biological sciences and drug discovery is supported by a strong culture of collaboration and a network of academic, industry, and clinical collaborations that extend worldwide. The Institute is also committed to educating and empowering the next generation of scientific leaders through its accredited Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, thus ensuring that SBP’s legacy of impactful research continues.

The Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics (Prebys Center) at SBP is seeking a highly motivated medicinal chemist with significant drug discovery experience for the position of Director, Medicinal Chemistry. This position, reporting to the Executive Director, Medicinal Chemistry, will be responsible for advancing multiple drug discovery programs from hit identification and validation through to lead optimization and eventual external partnership.

The Director will also work closely with the Executive Director on all medicinal chemistry-related activities, both scientific and fiscal, to advance the drug discovery portfolio. The position requires collaboration with academic, government, and industrial partners to secure grants and contracts and advance joint scientific objectives. The Director will have daily interactions with Prebys Center scientists involved in assay development, high-throughput screening, cell biology, cheminformatics, and project management. Strong leadership, collaboration, communication, and team building skills are essential for success in the role.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead a medicinal chemistry group within the Prebys Center, including financial management, mentoring, and professional development of team members.
  • Plan, coordinate, and participate in the execution of the scientific activities associated with multiple small-molecule drug/probe discovery projects, including hit validation, hit-to-lead and lead optimization, and serve as the single point of accountability for the project team on project-related decisions.
  • Collaborate with Prebys Center team leaders and scientists, and other investigators to advance projects as well as Center-wide initiatives.
  • Provide expertise on selecting compounds for hit-to-lead and lead optimization and direct efforts to improve the properties of lead molecules.
  • Participate in formulating short-, medium- and long-range capital equipment and resource allocation strategies to ensure appropriate balance of cutting-edge, in-house capabilities and expertise, operational effectiveness and CRO-directed outsourcing to drive projects through to in vivo active leads and, in partnership with others, through preclinical development to IND ready clinical candidates
  • Participate as a member of the Prebys Center management team to establish priorities, regularly review and refine objectives, and champion specific projects and goals.
  • Actively engage in academic outreach activities, identifying potential new areas of scientific impact and sources of collaborations, partnerships and funding
  • Spearhead and / or collaborate on grant submissions, patent applications, scientific reports and publications. Participate in revenue generation activities.
  • Work closely with Institute faculty to inform them of the drug discovery process and possibilities, enable new approaches and identify appropriate funding mechanisms to support the work
  • Develop and maintain a strong working relationship with Institute business development and legal staff to develop and execute a patenting strategy that cost effectively ensures SBP’s intellectual property on Prebys Center translational projects is identified, appropriately recorded and protected

Required Experience

  • Ph.D. in chemistry or a related field, and a minimum of seven years’ experience in drug discovery research; or an equivalent combination of education (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree), training, and experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been attained
  • Proven track record driving projects from hit identification and validation through to leads (chemical probes) and clinical candidates in academic and/or industry settings
  • At least 5 years of demonstrated success as a project leader for a medicinal chemistry team involving collaboration with pharmacologists, biologists, biochemists, automation specialists performing high-throughput and high-content screening, informaticists, and/or clinician scientists

Knowledge, Skills and/or Abilities

  • Leadership competency to develop and implement strategic plans and tenacity to work through challenges
  • Experience managing people both internally and externally, with the ability to set goals and drive progress through hands-on leadership
  • Inspire high performance in team members
  • Must have excellent scientific judgment and analytical skills, problem-solving skills, creativity, and ability to lead decision making processes for go/no-go decisions
  • Must have excellent communications skills, including the ability to produce concise and informative written and oral presentations and communicate professionally across a broad sphere of influence including internal stakeholders (faculty, SBP management team, and cross-functional teams) as well as key stakeholders and decision makers in biotech/pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and other external influencers
  • Self-reflective and willing to solicit feedback on personal effectiveness within the organization
  • Embodiment of the Institute’s core values of commitment, collaboration, communication, community and compassion

The scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute are making research breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience, immunology, and children's disease. We are also at the forefront of finding solutions for health threats such as COVID-19, where we are working to identify drugs that may help millions of people. During our more than 40 year history, we have established an NCI-designated Cancer Center, designed one of the most sophisticated drug discovery centers in the nonprofit world, and created global collaborations that are leading to preventions, treatments and cures to improve human health.  

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute is an Equal Opportunity employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability – committed to the hiring, advancement and fair treatment of all individuals. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected status as designated by federal, state or local law. For additional information about your rights as an applicant, click HERE. 





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More Info

Job posting number:#7101960 (Ref:spd-1663908)
Application Deadline:Open Until Filled
Employer Location:Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
La Jolla,California
United States
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