Vertex Pharmaceuticals

In Vitro Assay Scientific Leader 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 

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is seeking an In Vitro Assay Scientific Leader (Associate Director / Director) to lead the MedChem assay profiling and screening group. The Vertex team plays a vital role in generating weekly medicinal chemistry and primary screening assays that support selection of leads and clinical candidates. The team is mostly responsible for biologically complex and challenging disease-relevant phenotypic and target-based assay platforms. These assays require merging strong scientific skills in human cell and target biology, a high level of attention to detail with traditional high throughput processes and both scientific and operational leadership. Efforts span execution of small molecule and non-small molecule drug discovery projects and you would be expected work cross functionally to apply creative solutions, adapt and conceive new technology platforms to assay design and drive implementation in support of Vertex’s drug discovery efforts.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Support multiple lead optimization and early research projects in parallel by effectively executing both small molecule and non-small molecule assays. This includes conceiving, designing and implementing assays to support MedChem and/or primary screening assays and advancing key insights in assay or compound design that can impact project goals.
  • Drive the industrialization of complex assays from limited bench level applications to robust drug discovery formats.
  • Apply scientific leadership and strong troubleshooting skills that clearly identify key scientific questions that then form the basis for executable plans.
  • Manage an experienced and tenured research staff with all incumbent supervisory responsibilities, while inspiring scientific innovation to drive performance
  • Communicate company objectives to team and lead execution in a clear and efficient manner to meet timelines.
  • Derive widespread peer respect through scientific leadership and the display of high ethical standards

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Doctorate of Science (Ph.D.) in Biology, or related discipline and 10+ years productive and relevant post-doctoral employment experience in a drug discovery environment or Master of Science (MS) in Biology, or related discipline, and 12+ years productive and meaningful experience in a drug discovery environment.
  • Strong in vitro assay expertise. This includes utilizing of automation, complex data sets and various assay detection methodologies.
  • Established expertise in cell biology methodologies using primary cells or stem cells
  • Successful track record leading a multi-disciplinary scientific team engaged in difficult projects and communicating and advancing pharmacological insights that impact the direction of pre-clinical drug discovery projects. This includes demonstrated ability to lead/ supervise and a passion to encourage scientific innovation to multi-disciplinary teams and individuals
  • Ability to navigate and be successful in a fast-paced, highly–matrixed and collaborative, cross functional work environment

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