Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Chemistry

Boston, MA
Jan 07, 2022
Req #82
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Xenon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XENE) – a biopharmaceutical company with operations in Vancouver, BC, Canada and Boston, MA, USA – is committed to delivering innovative medicines to provide a brighter future for patients suffering from neurological disorders. 

At Xenon, we are advancing an exciting pipeline of neurology-focused therapies, with a particular emphasis on novel treatments for both adult and pediatric patients with epilepsy. XEN496 is currently being evaluated in the Phase 3 “EPIK” clinical trial in young patients with KCNQ2-DEE, a rare and severe form of childhood epilepsy. Late-stage development plans are also underway for our XEN1101 program, building upon the compelling data from the Phase 2b “X-TOLE” study in adult patients with focal epilepsy. We are also proud of the leading-edge science coming out of our discovery labs, with many early-stage research programs underway. In addition to Xenon’s proprietary programs, we have ongoing collaborations with our valued pharmaceutical partners. With a healthy balance sheet to support our growth plans, we continue to build a fully-integrated, premier neuroscience company with strong discovery, development, and commercial operations.

Our employees are smart, passionate, dedicated, and driven by their incredibly important work to discover, develop, and deliver new medicines for patients in need. Building and maintaining a respectful, collaborative, inclusive, and productive culture is a priority for us.  We are looking for great people who thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment to join our team during this transformative time for Xenon.

We are seeking a Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist to join our team. The Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Chemistry will contribute to Xenon’s drug discovery programs by applying extensive synthetic and medicinal chemistry skills. This individual will possess expertise in hypothesis driven medicinal chemistry techniques to solve complex problems as well as novel technologies for synthetic targets. The Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Chemistry has experience leading chemistry project teams, developing effective chemistry strategies and working in a team environment by engaging with cross-functional scientists to advance programs to the clinic. The individual has a proven track record of presenting results at both internal and external meetings in a clear and precise manner.

This position reports to the Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry and will be located in Boston, MA, USA location.


  • Lead, manage, and support projects through a high level of medicinal, synthetic, and scale-up chemistry acumen.
  • Develop effective chemistry strategies that yield high-quality chemical leads and development track candidates (DTCs).
  • Prepare and present project updates/challenges to senior and executive management.
  • Coordinate patent submissions, often as primary author. Ensure appropriate IP strategies are developed and implemented.
  • Provide strategic input and recommendations to the chemistry management team.
  • Stay abreast of current scientific literature and propose utilization of new technologies/strategies, where appropriate.
  • Where applicable, manage relationships and productivity through external partners and/or CROs.
  • International travel may be required.
  • Recruit, lead, direct, develop, coach and evaluate direct reports, if any, in accordance with the Company’s Human Resource policies and practices.
  • Act in accordance with Company policies, including, for example, the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and ensure policies are understood and followed by direct reports, if any.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • PhD with 12+ years of experience or equivalent in the pharmaceutical Industry with a clear track record of advancement of discovery projects to clinical candidates.
  • Demonstrated leadership/supervisory prowess.
  • Familiarity with current approaches for drug discovery programs associated with, for example, medicinal chemistry, synthetic chemistry, drug metabolism, data analysis and modeling disciplines.
  • Proven ability to build cross-functional teams, both internally and with external CRO partners, to effectively advance research projects.
  • History of accomplishments that contribute significantly to the advancement of projects and development track candidates.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and initiative.
  • Recognized as a leading authority in field of medicinal chemistry.