Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Director, Chemical Biology

San Diego, CA
Oct 07, 2019
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Vertex is seeking a proven scientific leader in Chemical Biology for our San Diego research facility. You will report to the head of chemistry and will be a member of the chemistry leadership team.  This will include leading a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to design and synthesize compounds that can probe novel drug binding sites and elucidate the chemical features required for activity without the constraints of developing a drug candidate. If you have a proven track record in Chemical Biology as demonstrated by peer reviewed publications and influence in the field, we would welcome the opportunity to consider you for this newly created leadership role with us.
Key Responsibilities:


  • Integrate team activities with drug research projects and clearly articulate and communicate key questions that chemistry can help answer.
  • Develop knowledge of and make recommendations about future applications of chemistry to tackle new types of targets, such as DNA or RNA.
  • Stay fluent with recent developments in the Chemical Biology field including advances in tagging proteins (preferably in live cells), biochemical and/or biophysical assay development and the rapidly evolving field of protein degradation.
  • Minimum Qualifications




  • PhD in Chemistry or Biology and 10+ years of experience; 3-5 years’ experience leading a small or mid-sized group preferably in an industrial setting
  • Demonstrated contributions in target and drug binding site identification and validation
  • Expertise in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology and broad understanding of drug discovery
  • Expertise in biochemical and/or biophysical tools to evaluate small molecule drug binding to target protein
  • Experience in the application of genetic and/or computational methods to study pathways and identify targets
  • Expertise in chemistry, especially as it relates to probe design and/ or tissue targeting
  • Proven experience developing and mentoring group members
  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in target and drug binding site validation and/or identification
  • Experience in planning, project leadership, laboratory and budget management
  • Shown ability to champion and advance creative concepts
  • Ability to manage complexity and ambiguity in a highly matrixed work environment
  • Ability to identify and lead collaborations in chemical biology field
  • A desire to be part of a highly innovative and dynamic company aimed at transforming the lives of people with serious diseases, their families and society


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