Institute Associate Scientist I - Medicinal Chemistry

Houston, Texas
May 04 2021
Organization Type
Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.

The IACS platform is focused on discovering and developing the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, driven by the needs we see in our patients. The team aligns world-class drug discovery and development research with the science and clinical care for which MD Anderson is known. We work in a fast-paced, milestone-driven environment with a focus on team science and interdisciplinary research. Our unique approach has created a biotech-like engine within the walls of the nation's leading cancer center to bring life-saving medicines to our patients more quickly and effectively. This model already has achieved results, with multiple programs currently in clinical and late-stage preclinical development.

The Associate I, Medicinal Chemistry will be responsible for the preparation of novel organic molecules to advance the discovery and development of novel small molecule oncology agents.

The ideal candidate will have Bachelor's degree in Chemistry with strong grounding in organic chemistry, and several months of organic chemistry laboratory experience.


1. Under direct supervision, conduct laboratory experiments to synthetize novel small molecules and support target validation and lead optimization activities within drug discovery projects.
2. Execute standard synthetic chemistry manipulations.
3. Set up and execute a variety of organic chemistry reactions, including those with air sensitive and hygroscopic reagents, to synthesize compounds.
4. Efficiently execute multistep synthesis, and productively synthesize analogs. Perform scale-up operations.
5. Efficiently plan ahead for requirements and smooth execution of multistep synthesis, efficiently manage weekly workload and assignment deadlines.
6. Perform purification of intermediates and final products utilizing techniques such as HPLC, flash chromatography and other related methods.
7. Characterize compounds using analytical instrumentation such as HPLC, LCMS, and NMR.
8. Interact closely with other medicinal chemists and scientists of different disciplines within the drug-discovery project team.
9. Employ safe laboratory practices.
10. Maintain research records and laboratory notes.


Required: Bachelor's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, enzymology, pharmacology, chemistry or related field.

Preferred: Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or related field.


Required: No experience.

Preferred: Must have strong grounding in organic chemistry, and practical experience in an organic chemistry lab. Demonstrated ability to synthesize diverse small molecules. Ideal candidates will have several months of organic chemistry laboratory experience. Qualified individuals will be able to set up and execute of organic reactions, as well as the purification, characterization and identification of products. Excellent problem solving capabilities and ability to work efficiently within a team

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.