94080, South San Francisco
Dec 03, 2021
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

DISCIPLINE: Medicinal Chemistry 

JOB ID: #105

TITLE: Scientist

REPORTS TO: Head of Chemistry

FLSA STATUS: Full-Time/Exempt

About Initial Therapeutics

Initial Therapeutics is pursuing a bold and original mission: discovering and developing a new class of small molecule medicines designed to halt pathogenic protein formation in the earliest stages. Initial’s approach is unique and starkly differentiated from protein degradation and other interventions that recognize and tackle proteins only after they have been fully formed.

Initial Therapeutics was formed in 2020 and is currently operating in stealth mode in labs in South San Francisco, with a substantial (8- figure) Series A commitment. Initial is founded by world-renowned scientists who bring relevant expertise and proprietary technology to enable them to address high-confidence, heretofore difficult-to-drug targets in cancer and neurodegeneration. Screening of proprietary libraries is in progress.

Initial Therapeutics is founder-led and offers a dynamic start-up environment with a close-knit team of highly skilled, mission-driven professionals. We seek colleagues who are inspired to push the boundaries of small molecule discovery using novel approaches and who excel at identifying innovative solutions to challenging problems.

At Initial Therapeutics you’ll find a career where every day brings you adventures, challenges, and breakthroughs. Join a dynamic, diverse and growing team dedicated to developing transformative therapies that will revolutionize the future of cancer treatment and outcomes. Initial offers a competitive compensation and benefits package.

Position Summary and Scope

We are seeking a talented and highly motivated Scientist with a strong background in synthetic and/or medicinal chemistry to join our high energy and dynamic interdisciplinary team. The Scientist will be responsible for applying state-of-the-art medicinal and synthetic chemistry expertise in an external research environment to advance small molecule drug discovery programs toward the clinic. The Scientist will closely work with external collaborators, contract research organizations (CROs), and an internal team of multidisciplinary scientists. This is an excellent opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and learn drug discovery while working in a fast-paced, dynamic biotech start-up.  

Primary Responsibilities

  • Apply organic and medicinal chemistry skills to design and manage the synthesis of novel small molecules as potential drug candidates
  • Closely follow emerging results of biological testing, ADME characterization, and other lead profiling assays; proactively propose new strategies and new target molecules to improve key drug attributes
  • Proactively help manage external chemistry efforts, providing synthetic expertise in a collaborative fashion
  • Work with internal and external teams to design, plan, and produce DNA-encoded libraries
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team regarding program goals, experimental design, and compound management
  • Regularly summarize results and provide progress updates to the team
  • Contribute to the writing of patent applications and scientific publications


  • B.S. (5+ years), M.S. (3+ years), or Ph.D.(0+) degree in chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, or other relevant field
  • Excellent scientific expertise in organic chemistry and in-depth understanding of structural determination using NMR and MS, as well as knowledge of related purification methods
  • Ability to regularly troubleshoot scientific problems and provide practical and creative solutions
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with partnered CROs, external teams, colleagues, and scientific advisors
  • Highly organized, with excellent analytical skills and a keen attention to detail
  • Team player; comfortable and effective in a cross-collaborative research environment
  • Ability to work in a small startup environment and take on additional responsibilities as needed

Please submit resumes and cover letter to:

Please reference Job ID #105 when applying.

If you want to stand out, please provide a cover letter hilighting your relevant qualifications.