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Associate Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, TTD, Early Oncology

Location Waltham, Massachusetts, United States Job ID R-204595 Date posted 09/07/2024

Associate Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, TTD, Early Oncology

Location: Waltham, MA, US

Do you want to be at the cutting edge of innovation that will lead to state-of-the-art therapies for cancer? At AstraZeneca, we turn ideas into life changing medicines. Our pioneering oncology pipeline enabled by transformative technologies drives us forward. Working here means being ambitious, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality for the patients.  

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven, integrated biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is to make a meaningful difference to patient health through great medicines that bring benefit for patients and add new value for society. We discover, develop, manufacture and market prescription medicines for important areas of healthcare, which include some of the world’s most serious illnesses: cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. We are driven by a shared goal to make a positive impact on the lives of patients with these serious diseases. Oncology is a core therapy area and growth platform at AstraZeneca and our vision is to deliver life-changing medicines that improve outcomes for patients most in need.

This Opportunity

The newly hired Associate Principal Scientist will actively contribute and influence/lead programs involving small molecule ligand discovery in tumor targeted delivery (TTD) chemistry group. This role is part of an important strategy to deliver highly specific therapeutics including, but not limited to, small molecule, peptide and antibody drug/prodrug conjugates with various targeting modalities to treat cancer. For this purpose, small molecule discovery strategies will be deployed (i.e., structure-based drug design, LipE/FQ-directed hit-to-lead optimization as well as driving & following up on HTS/fragment-based/DEL screening efforts). There will be opportunity to work closely with computational chemists and structure biologists. The job posting is for our group at Boston/Waltham location.  

Core Accountabilities:

  • Design and develop synthesis strategies for rapid access to small molecule targets (a strong organic synthesis background is essential)

  • Influence the medicinal chemistry strategy for the discovery of novel, differentiated small molecule candidates for tumor targeted delivery by incorporating optimal structural, pharmacological, physicochemical, metabolic, and safety considerations

  • Demonstrate strategic thinking and problem solving skills to drive small molecule discovery programs

  • Communicate progress with the TTD leadership on regular basis (presentations, reports, etc)   

  • Prioritize deliverables and projects in fast paced environment

  • Analyze and interpret complex data to drive SAR and advance programs

  • Demonstrate creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills to overcome challenges all while building/strengthening IP   

  • Closely collaborate with project team members and leverage CRO resources to meet timelines  

  • Regularly attend, present and actively participate in group meetings as well as write project update reports    

  • Participate in writing and submission of patent applications, peer-reviewed articles, and abstracts for scientific conferences 

  • Exhibit leadership and team-player qualities

  • Ensure that appropriate safety, health & environment (SHE) practices are followed

  • Devise and implement medicinal chemistry strategies that will enable discovery of novel, differentiated small molecule candidates for tumor targeted delivery programs

  • Design and execute synthetic strategies for rapid access to small molecule targets (a strong organic synthesis background is essential) 

  • Effectively plan and prioritize tasks, leveraging CRO resources to efficiently deliver target compounds  

  • Analyze structural, pharmacological, physicochemical and ADMET data to derive SAR and design new targets that advance projects

  • Identify critical issues and demonstrate creative problem solving ability to overcome obstacles

  • Work independently and as a team player who demonstrates leadership behaviors and collaborates closely with colleagues from diverse drug discovery functions

  • Present updates to TTD leadership and prepare written progress reports

  • Participate in writing and submission of patent applications, peer-reviewed articles, and abstracts for scientific conferences 

  • Work safely in accordance with safety, health & environment (SHE) best practices

Essential Requirements:

  • Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) focused on synthetic organic chemistry or medicinal chemistry with 3+ years of experience in biotech and/or pharmaceutical industry setting

  • OR M.Sc. degree focused in synthetic organic chemistry with 8+ years of experience), and a strong track record of scientific innovation and success documented through peer-reviewed publications and patents

  • Subject matter expert in organic synthesis and methodology, with general knowledge of the mechanisms of chemical reactivity and awareness of latest scientific literature.

  • Experience in small molecule drug discovery with track record of excellence in achieving program milestones   

  • Strong work ethic and adherence to safe practices in the laboratory

Site Location

Our Waltham, Massachusetts facility develops life changing small-molecule research in North America, with innovative laboratories at the Gatehouse Park Bio Hub, just west of the city center. Our BioHub facility, is a bold new R&D initiative, which fosters life science discoveries and the exchange of ideas. Here, we play host to some of the most cutting-edge technology and lab spaces, all designed to inspire collaboration and cross-functional science. We believe employees benefit from being challenged and inspired at work. We are dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and collaboration. With a shuttle bus to and from Alewife station, the location provides you the ability to work in the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant research centers.

Our Waltham site offers a variety of amenities help keep our employees happy and engaged. This includes a fitness center, employee healthcare clinic, electric vehicle charging stations, full-service cafeteria and copy center. This is where you’ll find newly-designed, activity-based work spaces to suit a variety of working styles while increasing collaboration between teams and the greater research community.

As AstraZeneca continues to put patients at the forefront of our mission, we are excited for our move to Kendall Square/Cambridge in 2026.Find out more information here: Kendall Square Press Release

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca, we are dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. A place where employees are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash their entrepreneurial spirit. There is no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients, and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration. Always committed to lifelong learning, growth, and development.

So, what is next?

A place built on courage, curiosity, and collaboration – we make bold decisions driven by patient outcomes. Empowered to lead at every level, free to ask questions and take calculated risks that write the next chapter for our pipeline. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and passionate about the possibilities, then we are keen to hear from you!

When we put unexpected teams in the same room, we unleash bold thinking with the power to inspire life-changing medicines. In-person working gives us the platform to connect, work at pace and challenge perceptions. That’s why we work, on average, a minimum of three days per week from the office. But that doesn’t mean we’re not flexible. We balance the expectation of being in the office while respecting individual flexibility. Join us in our unique and ambitious world.”

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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