Principal Scientist – Peptide Chemistry – Peptide Synthesis

San Diego, CA
Jun 19, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Job Description

Are you looking for a patient-focused company that will inspire you and support your career? If so, be empowered to take charge of your future at Takeda.  Join us as a Principal Scientist, Peptide Chemist, Peptide Synthesis Chemistry in our San Diego, California office.

Here, everyone matters and you will be a vital contributor to our inspiring, bold mission. As a Principal Scientist, Peptide Chemist, Gastroenterology Chemistry working on the Gastroenterology team, you will be empowered to provide expert medicinal chemistry and peptide chemistry input in evaluation of external partnership opportunities.


• The Principal Scientist, Peptide Chemist, Gastroenterology Chemistry independently leads, inspires and motivates chemistry and interdisciplinary project teams.

• This individual demonstrates a deep understanding of medicinal chemistry and in particular peptide and conjugation chemistry principles, and their application within an integrated drug discovery environment.

• This incumbent is responsible for setting strategies, priorities and managing activities to deliver on objectives and milestones. 

• S/he collaborates with cross-functional partners to define and implement strategies for drug discovery programs from target validation to hit-to-tool/lead and/or lead optimization and to POM using internal, CRO and partner resources.

• S/he provides expert medicinal chemistry and peptide chemistry input in evaluation of external/partnership opportunities. Provides expert mentorship and proactively support the professional development of line reports and colleagues.


• Ability to formulate project level goals and strategy though collaboration with other members of the organization, and a thorough understanding drug discovery.

• Partners with cross-functional teams to generate data to supports the project goals & deliverables to drive key GNG decisions for drug discovery program from target validation to ePoC.

• Leads chemistry and peptide chemistry and/or cross-functional teams (in house and with partners) in defining and implementing strategies for hit identification, hit-to-tool optimization, lead optimization and delivery of candidate molecules.

• Defines and ensures chemistry goals are aligned and integrated with project team goals.

• Independently leads, inspires and motivates both chemistry teams and multidisciplinary project teams. Capable of multitasking, including leading one or more hit to tool/lead and/or lead optimization programs while maintaining lab presence.

• Conceives and applies an integrated chemistry strategy and appropriately prioritizes resources to optimally meet project goals.

• Maintains a deep understanding of peptide and conjugation chemistry technologies including and their application to systemic and oral peptide drug discovery. Expertise in modern peptide chemistry especially SPPS and NCL. Expertise with aqueous bioconjugation and non-aqueous conjugation chemistry. Familiarity with modern analytical techniques including ITC, ESI LC/MS, MALDI/TOF MS, fluorescence microscopy, fluorometry, NMR, CD, and UV/VIS spectrophotometry.

• Establishes customized in vitro and in vivo compound testing flow schemes to support programs at all stages.

• Effectively manages internal and external (CRO) chemists. Able to rapidly shift resources and reprioritize in response to data.

• Provides expert peptide and conjugation chemistry input in evaluation of external/partnership opportunities, including participating in diligence exercises.

• Demonstrates inter-disciplinary knowledge of drug discovery (in vitro/in vivo pharmacology, ADME, PK/PD/E, translational research & toxicology) and is able to use this knowledge to influence project strategy.

• Supports early stage programs through a detailed knowledge of state of the art biophysical and biochemical methods and their application to druggability assessment and small molecule hit identification and characterization.

• Maintains a current appreciation of the scientific literature and understanding of the state of the art in med chem., peptide and conjugation chemistry, analytical chemistry, GI-targeted drug delivery and related areas.

• Prepares and organizes data for presentation.  Presents written and oral reports to management. 

• Communicates research efforts to collaborators, corporate partners, or at scientific meetings.

• Publishes original research and review articles in scholarly journals in order to build the reputation of Takeda California and the medicinal chemistry group.

• Identifies opportunities to collaborate with partners (academic, biotech and CRO) to enhance in-house capabilities/projects. Leads and manages external collaborations effectively.

• Strong and effective manager of both junior and senior scientists, demonstrating exemplary behaviors and able to support and enhance career development of all line reports

• Embraces and fosters Takeda culture and displays exemplary behaviors consistent with Takeda’s core values and mission.


• Ph.D. in Organic/Medicinal/Peptide Chemistry with thesis, publication(s), postdoctoral experience, and a minimum of 8 years relevant scientific and technical experience including industry experience.

• Knowledgeable in all aspects of drug discovery from target discovery through to early clinical development.

• Proven track record in project leadership.

• Demonstrated expertise in hypothesis based medicinal and/or peptide chemistry. Proven track record of driving discovery programs to key pre-clinical G/NG decision points, including the successful identification of development candidates.

• Demonstrated ability to work in a dynamic multidisciplinary environment and matrix organization.

• Experience in late stage optimization and preclinical evaluation of small molecule and peptide drugs, including a detailed knowledge of the roles of DMPK, drug safety, CMC, formulation etc. Able to define and influence small molecule and peptide drug pre-clinical development strategy.

• Positive can-do attitude with excellent communication and collaboration skills and ability to work with cross-functional scientists. Ability to clearly and concisely conveys ideas and opinions.

• Highly motivated and flexible with ability to work in fast-paced environment. Ability to provide novel creative solutions to challenging problems.  Desire to learn and tackle new challenges and initiatives.

• Professionally represents the organization in collaborations, partnership discussions, and external relationships and conferences.

• Proven track record of scientific contributions in life science as evidenced by quality and quantity of publications/presentations/inventions and/or products and clinical candidates.

• Experience in effectively managing more junior personnel and able to identify and create personalized development opportunities for line reports.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


• Manual dexterity required to operate office equipment (i.e., computers, phones, etc.).   

• Carrying, handling and reaching for objects.

• Ability to stand and work in a laboratory environment


• Willingness to travel to various meetings or client sites, including overnight trips. Some international travel may be required.

• Requires approximately 5% travel.


• 401(k) with company match and Annual Retirement Contribution Plan

• Tuition reimbursement

• Company match of charitable contributions

• Health & Wellness programs including onsite flu shots and health screenings

• Generous time off for vacation and the option to purchase additional vacation days

• Community Outreach Programs


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