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Scientific Sr. Director – Peptide Discovery Team (San Diego, CA)

Eli Lilly and Company
San Diego, California
Start date
May 15, 2024

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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.

This is a technical leadership position (Scientific Sr. Director – Group Leader) in the Peptide Discovery Team within Biotechnology Discovery Research in San Diego. The individual will lead a team of scientists that utilize multiple peptide discovery platforms (e.g. diverse peptide libraries, including phage display and in vitro translated peptide libraries) to identify functionally active peptides for a given biological target of interest. These hit/lead peptides will be further optimized for therapeutic applications including development of oral macrocyclic peptides, peptide drug conjugates, and peptide radionuclide conjugates.

In addition, the individual is expected to be an integral part of the collaborations with external partners in peptide discovery activities. The Group Leader will supervise scientists, propose strategies and future directions to meet broader portfolio goals, optimally manage resources, and effectively communicate progress to management and governance committees. Also, will interact cross-functionally within Biotechnology Discovery Research and across Discovery Chemistry, Genetic Medicines, Therapeutic Area Teams, Drug Disposition, Bioproduct Development and Regulatory Affairs.


  • Lead research efforts to discover hits and drug candidate compounds using multiple peptide discovery platforms and develop new methods and technologies to strengthen the platforms. Apply knowledge of molecular biology, genetic engineering, and chemistry to peptide discovery and optimization activities for a given biological target of interest.

  • Collaborate closely with experts in different fields, such as organic chemistry, computational science, and structural biology. Incorporate knowledge to improve peptide properties such as binding affinity to target or physicochemical properties.

  • In collaboration with peptide chemists, implement rational SAR strategies to improve pharmaceutical properties of therapeutic peptide leads.

  • Drug Hunting Focus: The candidate is expected to exhibit strong problem-solving abilities and be familiar with understanding and resolving issues that lie at the interface of peptide discovery, peptide engineering, pharmaceutical developability and formulation, and biology.

  • Leadership: In advancing the peptide discovery agenda (internally or through external collaborations), the group leader will be required to lead/co-lead multidisciplinary teams. Accordingly, strong communication and presentation skills in sharing research findings and team plans, and effective teamwork will be required.

Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or molecular biology with a strong focus on peptides.

  • 5+ years of experience in a biotechnology/pharmaceutical company with a demonstrated leadership in peptide discovery and a track record of advancing peptide-based therapeutics, from concept to clinical development.

  • 3+ years of supervisory experience in directing other scientists, including Ph.D. level scientists, in the design and execution of experiments.

Additional Skills and Preferences:

  • Experience using state of the art peptide discovery platforms as demonstrated by publications or patents.

  • Experience with biochemical and cell assay design and development to support peptide discovery efforts.

  • Extensive experience in triaging and validating peptide actives following selection campaigns using various display technologies.

  • Deep expertise in the use of non-coded amino acids to influence structure and activity.

  • Understanding of compound physical chemistry models, measurements, their relationships to ADME properties.

  • Appreciation of peptide formulation requirements and experience incorporating pharmaceutical developability assessment in peptide optimization.

  • Demonstrated ability to work cross-functionally, and excellent organizational, communication and presentation skills.

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. 

Company info
893 S Delaware St
United States

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