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Director Chemical Biology and Peptide Macrocycles

Eli Lilly and Company
Pasadena, California
Start date
Apr 30, 2024

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Science/R&D, Biology
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time
Biotech Beach, Best Places to Work

Job Details

At Lilly, we unite caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We are a global healthcare leader headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our employees around the world work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. We give our best effort to our work, and we put people first. We’re looking for people who are determined to make life better for people around the world.

Organization Overview:

At Lilly, we serve an extraordinary purpose. For more than 140 years, we have worked tirelessly to discover medicines that make life better. These discoveries start in Lilly Research Laboratories, where our scientists work to create new medicines that will help solve our world’s greatest health challenges.

Protomer Technologies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly, a startup within Lilly, that focuses on chemical biology, molecular switches and peptidic macrocycles platforms. This position is focused on deep technology development in chemical biology, specifically peptides and macrocycles with a particular focus on peptide libraries, and oral macrocyclic peptides.  

Protomer team engages in disease-relevant biological systems in order to test preclinical and clinical pipeline of innovative medicines. The candidate is expected to help develop strategy, direction and manage scientific group milestones and objectives based on an ambitious long-term strategic plan which the candidate helps to develop.

The ideal candidate is a significant contributor and leading a highly integrated, agile, and collaborative team effort and expected to manage the scientific portfolio, the business supporting the portfolio, and mentoring of junior scientists within the oral macrocycles group at Protomer. Ideal candidate is expected to have demonstrated success in similar roles with proven track record of leading both scientific rationale, planning and execution leading to success in making medicines.

This individual will also be expected to be able to independently lead projects, help shape the team and strategy of the group, contribute significantly to prioritization of the team objectives and interact with and create and nurture the cross-functional relationships within Lilly, including in groups of Discovery Chemistry Research and Technology (DCRT), Medicines Innovation Hub (MIH) and across Lilly Research Labs (LRL) interacting with various therapeutic areas such diabetes and obesity, neuroscience, immunology and oncology.


  • Lead group in efforts in oral macrocycles.
  • Initiate and lead new oral macrocycles projects, can formulate strategy and execute on the strategy organizing team efforts for deep technical development and to accelerate from target to hit identification and lead optimization towards candidate declaration.
  • Shared accountability on development and execution of biochemistry strategy to support portfolio, as well as individual projects at Protomer
  • In partnership with other resource owners, responsible of resourcing decisions in chemistry across portfolio projects at Protomer.
  • Balance science and the business of science by delivering the small and large molecule portfolio through responsible planning, execution, and completion of projects.    
  • Work on and lead (both directionally and operationally) molecule engineering efforts from lead identification to lead optimization all the way to phase 1b and beyond.
  • Take on dedicated molecular engineering efforts towards targets of high conviction and utilize speed and prioritization to advance synthetic efforts both at Protomer and through collaboration with the rest of LRL.
  • Learn about and enhance the platform technology efforts at Protomer.
  • Inspire people to collaborate in inventing great medicines by removing barriers, committing to high quality scientific hypotheses, and accelerating where possible.
  • Keep safety as a top priority at all times, striving toward a proactive safety culture.
  • Be an advocate for diversity and inclusion in our recruiting, retaining and developing scientists, with a commitment to coaching and development of scientists.

Basic Requirements:

  • PhD  or post doctoral degree in chemistry or synthetic chemistry or peptide chemistry or related field with significant of successful drug discovery and development experience
  • Deep knowledge as well as mastery of the latest developments in oral macrocycles and macrocyclic peptides
  • Understand the challenges and has the ability to initiate and lead new oral macrocycles projects, can formulate strategy and execute on the strategy organizing team efforts for deep technical development and to accelerate from target to hit identification and lead optimization towards candidate declaration.
  • Significant knowledge in oral macrocycles, based on library-based screening technologies including at least one of OBOC, solution-phase, AS/MS, mRNA display or related peptide library screening technologies
  • Proven track record of either library-base screening or lead optimization efforts, and ideally both in oral macrocycles
  • Must have demonstrated leadership in development of new medicines, ideally have worked on peptide efforts in both library-based screening technologies and design of strategies for hit identification and lead optimization.
  • Familiarity with state of the art in computational and structural efforts for hit identification and lead optimization in macrocyclic peptides
  • Must have deep scientific expertise and demonstrated ability to lead a team of scientists from within therapeutic/functional areas with a proven track record of delivering candidate molecules into clinical testing.
  • Must be an excellent team player, strong attention to detail, strong problem-solving skills, a high level of learning agility, with the ability to lead within a globally matrixed organization and across functions.
  • Must have developed molecules from conceptual stage all the way to putting them into the clinic and demonstrated track record of success in drug development.
  • Experience and demonstrated success in developing novel drugs, peptides or proteins that have been successful in the clinic is required.

Additional Skills/Preferences:

  • Great understanding of computational and AI/machine learning techniques used for the development and engineering of oral macrocyclic peptide medicines
  • Candidate will understand the whole drug discovery process including lead generation and lead optimization and will partner with cross functional groups including other areas within Medicine Innovation Hub, therapeutic areas, ADME, nonclinical safety assessment and PK/PD.
  • Demonstrated deep expertise in drug development with a proven track record of success.
  • Demonstrated ability to make decisions in the midst of ambiguity, seeking appropriate level of information from Protomer leadership and enabling workforce to execute against Protomer strategic priorities.
  • Open, transparent and able to communicate equally well with employees, team members and cross-functional and/or senior leadership.
  • Promote external environment awareness across workforce, and identify and champion Best Practices and their internal dissemination.
  • Ability to think strategically, actively identifying gaps in competencies or capabilities within the organization and taking initiative to drive continuous improvement across Protomer.

Additional Information:

  • Some domestic and international travel is anticipated and expected.

Lilly currently anticipates that the base salary for this position could range from between $150,000 to $270,000 and will depend, in part, on the successful candidate’s qualifications for the role, including education and experience. Full-time equivalent employees also will be eligible for a company bonus (depending, in part, on company and individual performance). In addition, Lilly offers a comprehensive benefit program to eligible employees, including eligibility to participate in a company-sponsored 401(k); pension; vacation benefits; eligibility for medical, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits; flexible benefits (e.g., healthcare and/or dependent day care flexible spending accounts); life insurance and death benefits; certain time off and leave of absence benefits; and well-being benefits (e.g., employee assistance program, fitness benefits, and employee clubs and activities).  Of course, the compensation described above is subject to change and could be higher or lower than the range described above.  Further, Lilly reserves the right to amend, modify, or terminate its compensation and benefit programs in its sole discretion and Lilly’s compensation practices and guidelines will apply regarding the details of any promotion or transfer of Lilly employees. 

Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly USA, LLC and our wholly owned subsidiaries (collectively “Lilly”) are committed to help individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce and ensure equal opportunity to compete for jobs. If you require an accommodation to submit a resume for positions at Lilly, please email Lilly Human Resources ( ) for further assistance. Please note This email address is intended for use only to request an accommodation as part of the application process. Any other correspondence will not receive a response.

Lilly is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

Our employee resource groups (ERGs) offer strong support networks for their members and help our company develop talented individuals for future leadership roles. Our current groups include: Africa, Middle East, Central Asia Network, African American Network, Chinese Culture Network, Early Career Professionals, Japanese International Leadership Network (JILN), Lilly India Network, Organization of Latinos at Lilly, PRIDE (LGBTQ + Allies), Veterans Leadership Network, Women’s Network, Working and Living with Disabilities. Learn more about all of our groups.



Science has been our calling from the beginning. Colonel Eli Lilly founded the company in 1876 and charged employees to “take what you find here and make it better and better.” More than 147 years later, we remain committed to his vision through every aspect of our business and the people we serve, starting with discovering the best treatments for those who take our medicines and extending to health care professionals, employees and the communities in which we live. Moreover, you can also count on the team at Lilly to be incredibly civic-minded, supporting our communities through philanthropy, volunteerism, and a creative and innovative can-do spirit. 

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893 S Delaware St
United States

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