Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Research Scientist I, Computational Chemistry at Vertex

San Diego, CA
Apr 24, 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 highly motivated computational chemist to join Vertex’s research site in San Diego, California. You will apply computational methods, including structure- and ligand-based drug design, high-throughput virtual screening, molecular dynamics, QSAR models and machine learning techniques to address challenging problems in drug discovery with a focus on designing and optimizing individual molecules and libraries for specific protein targets. Your primary goal will be to advance Vertex' drug discovery projects and actively contribute to our global organization.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Advance structure- or ligand-based drug discovery by introducing computational chemistry methodologies to effectively utilize structural information, molecular modeling techniques, in silico prediction models, chemical library design and data mining.
  • Effectively collaborate with medicinal chemists and structural biologists by providing guidance and support in areas of drug discovery, molecular modeling and informatics.
  • Develop strategies to enhance drug design capabilities, identify quality chemical leads for new protein targets and develop high quality candidates for clinical development.
  • Regularly present research to colleagues in project teams and Computational Chemistry.
  • Minimum Qualifications:
  • PhD in Computational Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Structural Biology or related discipline
  • 2 years of relevant experience in drug discovery
  • Demonstrated strong track record of research accomplishment in computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry or structural biology with three or more scientific publications or conference presentations.
  • Solid understanding of medicinal chemistry as it applies to hit finding and lead optimization. Understanding of molecular and ADMET properties and protein-ligand interactions and experience using an integrated molecular modeling software platform to perform docking, conformational analysis, pharmacophore derivation, shape overlay, and quantum-mechanics calculations.
  • Effective communication skills and enthusiasm for working in interdisciplinary teams that include medicinal chemists, biologists, structural biologists and scientists from DMPK.
  • Preferred Qualifications:
  • Ability to interpret and communicate structural information to medicinal chemists, and proactively suggest ideas for potency, selectivity and ADMET improvements within the design cycle.
  • Highly desire familiarity with Machine Learning techniques, Statistics, Multiple Parameter Optimization methods, Molecular Dynamics, Bioinformatics and homology modeling approaches as well as experience with scripting or programming languages like Python.

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