Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Research Scientist, High Throughput Experimentation - Reaction Informatics

Boston, MA
Jun 19, 2019
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

We are seeking a creative scientist to join the Global Computational Chemistry group at Vertex and contribute to chemical reaction informatics.  The successful candidate will address data analysis, visualization and decision support needs for high throughput reaction screening and synthesis planning. We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in chemistry & cheminformatics, and experience working with large reaction datasets.
This position resides between medicinal and process chemistry and plays a key role in our continuing efforts to find novel, innovative treatments for serious human diseases.
The ideal candidate will be responsible for the visualization of high throughput reaction screening experiments for rapid analysis and will work with chemists in the design of these experiments. In addition the candidate will work with Scientific Computing to contribute to the design of software tools to access, search, visualize and analyze datasets from such experiments. A key goal of this effort is to use reaction screening datasets to implement (or develop) methods that will enable the identification of optimal conditions/reagents for reactions and also enable prospective recommendation of reaction conditions and reagents, using modern machine learning approaches.
In addition to high throughput reaction screens, the candidate will play a significant role in evaluating and applying synthesis planning tools. Given the active research on synthesis planning, the candidate will be responsible for investigating and benchmarking published approaches and commercial tools in this domain. Where relevant the candidate will perform research to develop novel methods to enhance our current capabilities.
These activities will be performed in collaboration with chemists in process and medicinal chemistry and automation engineers to enable effective discovery, development and optimization of reactions across projects. Strong collaboration and communication skills are therefore essential.



Minimum Qualifications




  • PhD (or equivalent) with 2 plus years’ experience in chemistry or biochemistry with a computational emphasis is required, or else a PhD or PhD equivalent in a cheminformatics or computational chemistry with a background in chemistry.
  • Solid understanding of computer representation of reactions & molecular descriptors and a background in statistics is required. Expertise in Python, R or other programming language is essential.
  • Experience with cheminformatics toolkits (e.g., OpenEye, RDKit) and packages (e.g., Schrodinger, MOE, KNIME) is expected.
  • Specific expertise in predictive modeling using statistical and machine learning methods is preferred. Experience in manipulating and analyzing large internal, public and commercial datasets and with visualization of complex data types is preferred.

The ideal candidate should have evidence of creative approaches to cheminformatics problems, especially in the area of chemical reactions via publications, presentations or software. 
Individuals with excellent communication skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively across our global research organization will be given preference. 
Additional experience in these areas would be an asset:

  • Familiarity with one or more chemistry ELN systems.
  • Knowledge of design of experiments (DoE) methodologies.
  • Prior experience in synthetic chemistry.
  • 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, Massachusetts, our corporate headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District, and our international headquarters is in London, United Kingdom. We currently employ approximately 2,500 people in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America with nearly two-thirds of our staff dedicated to research and development. 

    Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry’s top places to work by Science Magazine, The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal and the San Diego Business Journal. Our research and medicines have also received esteemed recognitions, including the Robert J. Beall Therapeutics Development Award, the French Prix Galien and the British Pharmacological Society awards. For additional information and the latest updates from the Company, please visit 

    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