Director of Analytical Chemistry

Buellton, California
Oct 06, 2020
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time

Position Overview:

This role is responsible for creating and building a Chemistry division within the R&D department.  The Chemistry division produces data for breeding, seed production, and manufacturing research as well as develops lab to industrial scale separation technologies for manufacturing.  Principal targets include cannabinoids, terpenes, small aromatic compounds, pesticides, heavy metals, color, etc.  The Director of Analytical Chemistry will oversee the analytical systems (GC-FID/MS and HPLC) used to produce standard cannabinoid and terpene data to support breeding, seed production, and manufacturing QA.  Other research components may include 2D LC and GC/MS techniques to discover novel cannabinoids and aroma drivers in our oil products.  The director will create and implement analyte screening SOPs for those discoveries. 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions**):

Responsible for directing the activities of the Chemistry program within the Research & Development department. Undertakes long-term and short-term planning and supervision of projects that require interaction with Seed Production, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Cultivation, and Manufacturing units. Makes decisions on work programs and monitors project and program costs and performance. May conduct and collaborate with others on basic research relevant to long-term objectives and concerns. Collaborates on patent applications and manuscripts for publication. Develops strategies to ensure effective achievement of scientific/business objectives. Monitors and evaluates completion of tasks and projects. Develops budgets for capital expenditures, labor and contracts. Conducts briefing and technical meetings for top management.

The successful candidate is expected to conduct independent lab work and productively collaborate with other scientists and project teams. He or she should be able to think critically about complex problems and contribute to a team-work oriented environment to advance research projects.

Knowledge, Experience and Skills

  1. Comprehensive knowledge of flavor and fragrance chemistry
  2. Comprehensive knowledge of analytical techniques for plant natural products including:
  • Strong hands on instrumentation skills for evaluation and implementation of cutting edge mass spectrometry applications.
  • Hands on experience operating and analyzing data from Agilent TOF, qTOF, QQQ mass spectrometer(s) is highly desirable. Knowledge of other mass spectrometry platforms is a plus.
  • Experience with Mass Hunter, ChemStation or various other quantitative analysis software packages highly preferred.
  • Must be able to quickly assimilate and apply new knowledge and concepts.
  • Be comfortable and independent spending a majority of time doing bench-top science.
  • Ability to multi-task in an extremely dynamic environment while providing high-quality analytical support in a professional, pleasant, and tactful manner is a necessity.
  • Strong communication & interpersonal skills are essential for success in this collaborative role.
  • Operate and maintain general analytical instrumentation, such as HPLC, GC, spectrophotometers, etc., performing preventative maintenance and calibration.
  • Perform HPLC and GC stability indicating method development, validation and method transfers.
  • Prepare standard, reagent and sample preparations as required by the analytical method SOPs.
  • Maintain appropriate documentation (records and lab notebooks), as required, in compliance with laboratory SOPs, company policies and procedures.
  • Review and evaluate analytical data, write reports, and ensure compliance with methods, procedures, and standards is maintained.
  • Evaluate and implement specific QA/QC criteria and have the ability to determine appropriate application and associated decision in regards to QA/QC validation and/or acceptance.
  • Hands on experience with HPLC and mass spectrometry troubleshooting.
  • Hands on experience conducting method transfer both as the originating and receiving group
  • Experience evaluating analytical data and drawing meaningful conclusions
  • Perform other related duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Specific Duties:

  1. Create and maintain pipelines for cannabinoid discovery and quantification from fresh frozen and dried plant material.
  2. Create and maintain pipelines for flavor/fragrance natural product discovery and quantification from fresh frozen and dried plant material
  3. Integrate analysis pipelines with the breeding, seed production, manufacturing
  4. Remediation protocols for pesticides, heavy metals, and color.

Supervision Received:

This role reports to the Chief Scientific Officer through weekly meetings and quarterly performance evaluations.

Supervision Exercised:

This role will independently develop methods as well as hire qualified technicians to implement them.

Qualifications & Skills:


Education: PhD or MS in Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Organic Chemistry

Experience:  3 years as an Associate Scientific Director or 5 years experience as a Senior Scientist at a chemicals, fragrance, petroleum, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology company or 3 years directing R&D at a Cannabis testing company

-Knowledgeable in Natural Products Chemistry

-Be an expert resource in state-of-the-art natural product analytical methods

-Lab and industrial scale separation technologies for plant natural products


-Experience testing Cannabis for cannabinoids and terpenes by HPLC and