Principal Scientist, Computational Chemistry

San Diego, CA, United States
Oct 12, 2019
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Mirati is seeking a computational chemist with a track record of using computer-aided drug design (CADD) techniques to drive drug discovery programs. Your job is to design molecules that will advance Mirati projects towards the discovery of clinical drug candidates. Your molecular designs are hypothesis-driven. You apply the knowledge gained from both positive and negative results to the current interpretation of project structure-activity relationships (SAR) and leverage that understanding in the next design cycle. You approach current and emerging CADD methodologies with a critical assessment of their advantages and limitations in order to choose the best tool for the computational task at hand. In order to accomplish this, you have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. You form strong working interactions with project scientists across discovery including pharmacologists, biochemists, structural biologists, and medicinal chemists. In addition, you are comfortable communicating and presenting your work to members of multi-disciplinary project teams and can teach your coworkers the underlying details of computational chemistry to help guide them in their decision-making process.

Day-to-Day Duties:
  • The candidate will be responsible for utilizing computer-aided drug design techniques to drive design efforts for >50 internal and external chemists across multiple projects spanning hit identification, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization.
    • Develop and maintain comprehensive understanding of project SAR
    • Generate hypothesis-based designs to advance discovery projects
    • Use virtual screening tools to identify novel chemical matter for early projects
    • Establish intellectual property to expand the Mirati IP Portfolio
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with internal and external project team members from multiple disciplines including medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry/biophysics, structural biology, informatics, DMPK, toxicology, legal/IP, project management, CMC, and early development
  • Help establish and maintain a robust cheminformatics engine for internal compounds and associated data as well as for compounds and data from external collaborators
  • Triage and enable new drug discovery projects
  • Maintain a current knowledge of the computational chemistry and broader drug discovery scientific literature. Identify and - where appropriate - implement novel computational chemistry algorithms and technologies.
  • Advance the Mirati Research Portfolio and company value through presentation/publication of project results in scientific meetings and peer-reviewed literature as guided by Mirati publication policies

What would a successful candidate look like?
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills, scientific creativity, and the ability to think logically and critically
  • Strong background in structure-based drug design including excellent understanding of and experience in the interpretation of x-ray crystal structures. In-depth understanding of small molecule conformations, ligand-protein interactions, and protein motion
  • Broad experience in computer-aided drug design methodologies including virtual screening, pharmacophore modeling, machine learning, sequence analysis, homology modeling, molecular dynamics, and quantum mechanical techniques
  • Experience molecular modeling in a drug discovery setting. Working knowledge of modern medicinal chemistry and the drug discovery process. Basic understanding of synthetic organic chemistry
  • Expert user across a broad set of molecular modeling and computational chemistry software such as MOE, OpenEye, Schrödinger, Psi4, GAMESS, CCDC, NAMD, OpenMM, StarDrop, and Vortex
  • Scripting skills (Python preferred) including the application of chemically-intelligent API's such as OEChem, RDKit, and ChemAxon; basic database scripting; comfortable working on the Linux command line
  • Experience with cloud-based informatics systems such as CDD Vault, ScienceCloud, and Dotmatics
  • Adept at collecting, mining and analyzing complex chemical and biological data sets
  • Ability to work pro-actively and independently
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • BS/MS/PhD with 18/15/3 years of experience, respectively, and experience in a pharma or biotech environment

Mirati is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) - we celebrate diverse experiences and welcome applicants that meet the minimum requirements. All applicants must be legally authorized to work in the US without sponsorship.

This role is NOT open to agencies- please no emails or phone calls.