Institute Group Leader Medicinal Chemistry

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Oct 8, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
The mission of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.

MD Anderson is known for providing cancer patients with exceptional care, which includes early access to innovative new treatments through clinical trials. The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) within the Therapeutics Discovery Division is a hybrid model that uniquely combines the drug discovery capabilities of the biopharmaceutical industry and the extensive knowledge of biology found in academia with the expertise of MD Anderson's top clinicians. IACS has the singular goal of rapidly developing novel, effective and safe therapeutics that improve patient health. IACS executes programs with the highest probability of clinical success in a rigorous, goal-oriented, data-driven manner.

The Institute Group Leader, Medicinal Chemistry, will be responsible for leading all aspects of the Medicinal Chemistry strategy across small molecule drug discovery programs, including identification and issues-driven optimization of lead series, and design and execution of preclinical studies towards advancing lead molecules into preclinical development. By liaising with members of cross-functional drug discovery teams, this individual will have a leadership role in the identification and optimization of the next generation of cancer therapeutics.


1. Lead multiple small molecule drug discovery programs, coordinate medicinal chemistry efforts and leverage resources in other functional areas to deliver suitable compounds as preclinical candidates.

2. Supervise and mentor members of the Medicinal Chemistry team.

3. Stay abreast of technical developments in synthetic and medicinal chemistry, and coordinate the application and development of innovative tools and methodologies to enable advancement of Institute projects.

4. Interact closely across functions with members of the biology, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology teams to influence design and execution of key pharmacology studies and overall strategy of drug discovery projects.

5. Secure the intellectual property rights for novel small molecules.

6. Participate in the R+D Portfolio Management team and influence strategy of IACS portfolio.

7. Resource projects in a flexible manner, including efficient use of outsourcing.

8. Work closely with medicinal chemists, computational chemists and other project team members in the design and optimization of compounds with improved potency, selectivity, and functional activity on their protein target, together with improved ADME properties.

9. Contribute to project teams through lab-based activities.

Required: PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.

Required: Seven years experience of relevant research experience in laboratory to include three years of supervisory or managerial experience. Successful completion of the LEADing Self Accelerate program may substitute for one year of required supervisory or management experience.

Preferred: Relevant industrial experience within the pharmaceutical or biotech industry, with a track record of contributions to at least one successful medicinal chemistry discovery, optimization and development project.

The ideal candidate will have a strong synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry background, a broad understanding of the drug discovery process and of the requirements to successfully develop new clinical agents. He/She will have demonstrated the ability to design small molecules to optimize multiple physical/pharmacological parameters simultaneously, a strong knowledge of medicinal chemistry and contemporary synthetic organic chemistry, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment of leadership and creative independent problem solving. He/she will be experienced at leading and mentoring medicinal chemistry teams, solving problems to advance projects toward the clinic and be well versed in harnessing the potential of computational chemistry methods to position programs towards success. Excellent communication, writing, and organizational skills are a must, with a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. The candidate will be familiar with oncology drug discovery and have some understanding of cancer biology. Ideally, he/she will also have experience designing drugs for CNS penetration.

Required: Must pass pre-employment skills test as required and administered by Human Resources.

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.

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