Senior Scientist Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry

Beerse (Ville), Turnhout (BE)
Sep 13, 2017
Nov 12, 2017
Field of specialization
Medicinal / Clinical, Pharmaceutical
Job Type
Full time

Janssen Research & Development seeks to bring innovative and effective treatments in five therapeutic areas: neuroscience, cardiovascular diseases and metabolism, infectious diseases, immunology and oncology. In these areas, Janssen aims to address and solve unmet medical needs through the development of small and large molecules, as well as vaccines. The Janssen campus in Beerse (Belgium) is the largest R&D center for small molecules globally, with cutting-edge research facilities in which hundreds of the world’s top researchers work together. It has a successful track record of over sixty years of drug discovery and development, and is one of the most important innovation engines of the Janssen group worldwide.



The Neuroscience (NS) Medicinal Chemistry department in Europe, which includes a satellite research site in Toledo (Spain), is focused on developing innovative small molecule therapeutics to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In this endeavor, the chemistry teams work closely with colleagues from the NS Biology team and with several internal and external partners to progress the most innovative science and gain access to the latest state-of-the-art technologies and expertise. To support its research in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, the NS Medicinal Chemistry department is seeking to recruit new scientists into medicinal chemistry research positions in Beerse.




The work of the NS Medicinal Chemistry team involves the design and synthesis of novel compounds as potential drug candidates, as part of Hit Generation, Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization programs. The work will involve designing and executing challenging multi-step organic synthesis, compound purification and structure determination, maintaining state-of-the art scientific knowledge as well as originating and defending novel ideas in new and on-going projects. The position will also offer the opportunity to examine and interpret pharmacological data as part of building Structure-Activity Relationships (SAR) and to optimize drug-like properties towards identifying high quality drug candidates. Additional responsibilities will include presenting project results at various project meetings and portfolio stage gate reviews, contributing towards the development of new research projects collaborating with other scientific disciplines in the broader discovery organization and working with external chemistry partners.


  • Independently plan and execute multi-step synthesis of complex target molecules adhering to Janssen’s high standards for compound quality, data integrity and health & safety.
  • Contribute to the design of new drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease, based on the critical interpretation of pharmacological, pharmacokinetic and safety data.
  • Present progress at project meetings and when necessary to stage gate reviews and governance committees.
  • Interact effectively with other discovery partners and play a prominent role in contributing to the scientific decision making process to meet project goals.
  • Where appropriate, contribute to establishing and prosecuting high impact collaborations with external partners, covering both synthetic and medicinal chemistry projects.
  • Train and supervise more junior staff where applicable.



  • Ph.D. degree in Synthetic Organic Chemistry with broad knowledge of the field. Demonstrated experience in complex organic chemistry, especially multi-step synthesis.
  • 2-5 Years of medicinal chemistry experience in an industrial setting.
  • Track record in progression of projects through the various stages of drug discovery.
  • Publication track record in high impact journals, and recommendation by reputed academic and/or industrial supervisors.
  • Fluent in English.


  • A passion for hands-on science and delivering high quality results in the lab.
  • Enthusiastic scientist with can-do mentality that can proactively connect to the Medicinal Chemistry team and other relevant departments, fostering discussion and knowledge exchange.
  • Good communication, organizing, and planning skills and the ability to take leadership for and drive decision making in a research project.
  • Ability to develop and deliver a presentation on technical data with strong business impact.
  • Creative mind that is able to see things from different perspectives and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. Ability to introduce best practices from previous work experiences into the new team.
  • Desire for continuous learning and the ability to identify, evaluate and implement emerging areas of science.