Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Director, Computational Chemistry at Vertex Pharmaceuticals

San Diego, CA
Jan 03, 2019
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Company Information

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. We discovered and developed the first medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases. 

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development sites and offices around the world. For several consecutive years, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences. For additional information and the latest updates from the Company, please visit 

We are seeking a talented scientist with expertise in the area of protein modeling and cheminformatics to lead Vertex’s computational chemistry group at our early discovery research site in San Diego, California. You will be responsible for impacting all aspects of computational protein structure-function studies and small-molecule medicinal chemistry designs at the San Diego site and will collaborate across functions to impact the San Diego research portfolio. You will effectively communicate to our global computational chemistry group and San Diego research leadership team, having an impact on both Research and Development, which will be a key component to success in this role.

You will have experience in cryoEM structure analysis in the context of understanding dynamic motion and lead optimization and will interface between our protein sciences, medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry groups. Ultimately, the successful candidate will ensure effective interdepartmental and intradepartmental communication of standard methodologies of all in-silico methods/applications to drug discovery.

  • Guide and provide hands-on protein and small-molecule computational efforts at the San Diego, California drug discovery site to maximize the impact of computational efforts on projects in collaboration with researchers at the site
  • Serve as a computational science representative on cross site or external collaborations
  • Help to set strategy and manage research programs from ideation to go/ no go decision points
  • Work with the internal methods development group to develop and deploy relevant software tools to drug discovery teams; partner with external collaborators where internal gaps exist
  • Minimum Qualifications
  • A Ph.D. (or equivalent) in computational chemistry or a related discipline
  • 10+ years of pharmaceutical or biotech experience with a consistent track record of protein structure-function and small-molecule design contributions to drug discovery projects
  • Experience in applying molecular mechanics and dynamics methods to protein structure, ligand and fragment-based drug discovery using cryoEM and/or crystallographic derived data is an asset, particularly experience with integral membrane proteins and ion channels.
  • Familiarity with large scale data mining and data analysis particularly in the areas of ADME(t) and chemical reactions is expected
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

Vertex is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Vertex is an E-Verify Employer in the United States. Vertex will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law. Any applicant requiring an accommodation in connection with the hiring process and/or to perform the essential functions of the position for which the applicant has applied should make a request to the recruiter or hiring manager, or contact Talent Acquisition at