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Senior Scientist, Computational Medicinal Chemist, Oncology

Location Waltham, Massachusetts, United States Job ID R-076723 Date posted 05/21/2020

Senior Scientist, Computational Medicinal Chemist, Oncology Chemistry

Waltham, MA

As a Computational Medicinal Chemist inAstraZeneca Oncology R&D in Boston you’ll play an important role in advancing new oncology drug projects to make a positive impact on patients’ lives. This is a hands-on discovery research position within a world-leading global medicinal chemistry group with a history of delivery and innovation. At AstraZeneca we work together across global boundaries to make an impact and find answers to challenges. We do this with the upmost integrity even in the most difficult situations because we are committed to doing the right thing. We continuously forge partnerships that help pursue world-class medicines in new ways, combining our people’s exceptional skills with those of people from all over the globe.

We are a global, innovation-driven, integrated biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is to make a meaningful difference to patient health through great medicines that bring benefit to patients and add value to 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.

In addition to our passion for the discovery of innovative new medicines, we understand the importance of flexibility in our work-life environment and we offer a wide variety of benefits, services and programs that provide our employees the resources they need to pursue not only their work goals but also their life goals.  We are dedicated to building strong research teams that embrace the diversity of talents of team members and allow the larger group to grow and learn together to accomplish our collective goal to improve human health.

Job Description

We are currently recruiting a computational chemist to join our multidisciplinary oncology team.  The successful candidate will support project teams from target identification through lead optimization and ultimately drug candidate selection.  The candidate is expected to be a motivated and independent researcher with experience and/or training in applying computational chemistry techniques to medicinal chemistry challenges.  The qualified candidate will be creative and detail-oriented with a passion for drug discovery.  The candidate will work collaboratively with medicinal chemists and project teams to design compounds with improved potency, selectivity, functional activity and/or ADMET properties. As an active member of design teams, the candidate will apply their computational chemistry skills and will use broad insight into other disciplines as a core part of their role.  Additionally, the candidate will be accountable for devising, championing or developing state of the art computational chemistry techniques that solve key problems for project and chemistry teams. 

Core Accountabilities:

  • Computational chemist who will work collaboratively to support oncology drug discovery programs through design of potential drugs and analysis of complex data sets.
  • Expertise with tools that enable structure-based drug design with such as docking and scoring, conformational analysis, virtual screening, homology modeling and/or molecular simulations.
  • Leverage cheminformatics and bioinformatics tools for database similarity searching, pharmacophore modeling, QSAR modeling, and identification/analysis of protein binding sites.
  • Work with small (MW < 600) and medium-sized (MW 700-1400) molecules and be familiar with key concepts influencing those spaces (e.g. rule-of-five and beyond rule-of-five)
  • Build and drive strategies to employ machine-learning/AI to the discipline of medicinal and/or synthetic chemistry
  • Drive improvements to projects and department through sharing best practices
  • Prepare summaries and presentations for project/chemistry teams.
  • Publish work in peer reviewed journals and present work both externally and internally.
  • Stay up-to-date with literature in computational and medicinal chemistry, oncology, and advances in broader modalities that influence oncology research.

Act in accordance with all AstraZeneca policies on personnel, safety/health/environment regulations, best laboratory practice, and Code of Conduct.

Essential Education and Experience:

  • Ph.D./Postdoc in computational chemistry, biophysics, physical organic chemistry or a related field (0-5 years pharmaceutical industry experience)
  • Excellent awareness of current developments in computational chemistry and ability to identify opportunities to advance the science in this field
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and a track record in publishing work in peer-reviewed journals
  • With industry experience, candidates should understand medicinal chemistry concepts and how/when/where to apply them
  • Ability to work well in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Strong programming/scripting capabilities (e.g., python, perl, OEChem toolkit, C++) will be helpful

  • Some experience with one or more of the following is desirable:
    • Machine learning methods for the improvement of physico-chemical and ADMET properties
    • Modeling medium-sized molecules (e.g. PROTACs) and/or protein-protein interactions
    • Molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations and/or Markov state model-based methods

Behaviors:

  • Leads by example with research integrity and work ethic
  • Is reliable, showing commitment to team goals and timelines
  • Shows respect for colleagues and passion for learning. Readily acquires new skills and techniques.
  • Proactively shares expertise and ideas, demonstrates flexibility and open-mindedness
  • Able to effectively work in a team and to communicate with colleagues at all levels. Is candid and honest in discussions
  • Has a 'can do’ attitude, maintains consistent work level and motivation despite negative results
  • Entrepreneurial – seeking out improved solutions to challenging problems
  • Next Steps – Apply today!
  • To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please complete the full application on our website at your earliest convenience – it is the only way that our Recruiter and Hiring Manager can know that you feel well qualified for this opportunity.  If you know someone who would be a great fit, please share this posting with them.


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 authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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