Process Chemist

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California
Apr 13, 2018
May 13, 2018
Field of specialization
Organic, Pharmaceutical
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Process Chemist




Job Category: Fulltime Temporary


Exempt Overtime Eligible: Exempt


Benefits Eligible: Benefit Based


Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.


Job Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented individual with a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry to join our pharmaceutical chemistry team in the Caltech chemistry department. Chemists at Caltech have developed a proprietary platform technology for creating small molecules to treat patients with unmet medical needs. The technology allows unprecedented structural tailoring of small molecules and will enable the development of molecules with better target receptor docking and other desirable properties. This project is driven by a collaboration with a drug development start-up and a highly respected medical school's translational oncology group. The oncology group will provide their proprietary knowledge of unknown oncologic dependencies and experimental expertise and the start-up will provide operational support and access to deep in-silico and drug development expertise. As the project progresses there may be an opportunity to become involved in the external start-up, where there are additional non-salary compensation incentives.


The major focus of the staff scientist will be to develop scalable processes necessary for synthesis of compounds utilizing our novel chemistry platform. As a technology leader, you will design and execute synthetic and process chemistry related experiments, as well as manage external CROs to enable scalable processes for the production of our lead products.


Job Duties

- Effectively conduct research projects within R&D, including proper planning, resource allocation, control, and completion.

- Conduct outstanding research utilizing all techniques associated with chemical synthesis in a modern laboratory, including the synthesis, purification, and characterization of chemical compounds on medium (3-5g) and large (10g +) scale.

- Develop novel chemical processes for synthesis of drug compounds while establishing a route using good manufacturing practices (GMP).

- Maintain detailed, accurate, legible records of all experiments sufficient to enable GMP synthesis of large batches from contract research organizations (CROs).

- Write reports and Standard Operating Procedures for internal and external use.

- Facilitate technology transfer to external partners.

- Maintain all instruments and equipment in excellent condition, keep all work areas neat and clean, and follow all safety procedures without exception.

- Supervise, coach, and train junior scientists for appropriate skills to advance our technology.

- Remain current with chemistry literature and technology and champion the implementation of new technology.

- Collaborate and prepare internal research reports, invention disclosures, and technical presentations.

- Collaborate and assist in the authorship of patents.

- Other duties as assigned.


Basic Qualifications

- Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, or related field.

- 5+ years of industrial or post-doctoral experience in organic chemistry and process chemistry.

- Proven track record of contributing to innovative projects, including peer-reviewed publications.

- High level of creativity and productivity with strong synthetic chemistry problem solving and analytical skills.

- Excellent scientific expertise in organic synthesis and conversant with the current literature.

- Demonstrated ability to meet timelines and goals to achieve project delivery milestones.

- Excellent communication skills and ability to present rationale, key data, issues, and accomplishments of chemistry efforts to other members of the team and external collaborators.

- Experience in the management of external resources (CROs).

- Strong team orientation with highly collaborative approach to problem solving and openness to diverse points of view.

- Hands-on, resourceful, and results-oriented.

- Proven team player with outstanding communication and networking skills.

- Enjoy working in an exciting small team environment and be able to work under deadlines.

- Ability to prioritize responsibilities and multi-task.

- Hardworking and ability to deliver results under tight deadlines.

- Ability to work and communicate well internally and externally.

- Motivated, self-directed, and work well with little oversight.

- Flexible; able to work on several projects simultaneously.

- Ability to lift up to 40 pounds.


Preferred Qualifications

- More than 3 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working in process R&D.

- A minimum of 5 publications and patents demonstrating proficiency in synthetic chemistry or drug discovery.

- Proven experience in multigram scale candidate delivery.

- Organometallic catalysis experience.

- Deep knowledge of process chemistry, including purification and separation.

- Ability to generate cost of goods models, including the ability and experience in sourcing feedstocks.

- Ability to communicate with process engineers, both internally and externally.

- Ability to manage external CRO's for the development of chemical synthesis technology not developed in-house.

- Ability to carry out process chemistry relevant experiments, for example, DOE experiments with respect to catalysis technology.

- A strong understanding of organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and chemical engineering principles.

- Demonstrated practical ability to develop synthetic processes for natural/unnatural products and secondary metabolites produced in fermentation processes.

- Independent problem solving skills, with the ability to think and develop deductive reasoning to apply to the design and synthesis of biologically active natural products.

- Exceptional data reporting, multitasking skills, and the ability to function effectively within a dynamic interdisciplinary environment.


Required Documents

- Resume/CV

- Cover Letter

- List of three references


Optional Documents


- Three letters of recommendation


To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:


We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Copyright ©2017 Inc. All rights reserved.