Principal Research Associate, Natural Products Chemistry

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Commensurate with experience + bonus, stock options and other perks
Oct 16, 2020
Nov 15, 2020
Field of specialization
Biochemical, Organic
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Job Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated Bachelor’s or Master’s-level chemist to join our Natural Products team with a primary focus on analysis, purification, and characterization of target compounds from fungal fermentation cultures.  As such, applicants should have experience and demonstrated success with all aspects of laboratory techniques related to isolation and purification of small and medium-sized molecules.  Importantly, the successful candidate will be able to design custom purification strategies for new fermentation extracts.  An additional aspect of the role will be collaboration across diverse scientific functions (e.g. Biochemistry, Microbiology, Synthetic Biology) to manage receipt of crude samples and delivery of fractionated and fully-purified samples to support multiple programs in parallel to deliver effective solutions to advance our Discovery efforts.

Job Responsibilities

  • Purify crude extracts to enriched fractions and single compounds via multi-step normal/reverse phase chromatographic techniques.
  • Design purification strategies customized to components of crude extracts.
  • Analyze and characterize purified compounds by LC-MS/MS, NMR, and other analytical techniques.
  • Collaborate with other functions to manage pipeline of incoming and processed fermentation experiments.
  • Share inventory management responsibilities with the team to ensure common consumables (e.g. vials, cartridges, chemicals, and solvents) are continuously in stock.
  • Follow all safety and operational laboratory SOPs.
  • Document experiments and data in laboratory notebooks in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Prepare and present experimental results at R&D meetings.

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, or closely related field with a minimum of 6 years (for Master’s) or 8 years (for Bachelor’s) of industry experience.
  • Experience in isolation and purification of low and medium molecular weight organic molecules (e.g. up to 1 kD), including use of normal-phase (e.g. flash chromatography) and reverse-phase chromatographic separation techniques.
  • Hands-on experience with Agilent or Waters analytical and preparative mass-directed LC-MS purification systems.   
  • Ability to develop and optimize separation conditions for high recovery and purity at microgram to gram-scale for NMR characterization and bioassay screening.
  • Experience with modern spectroscopic characterization techniques (e.g. NMR, MS, UV-Vis).
  • Excellent written, organizational (e.g. time management) and documentation skills with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in teams and to give/receive constructive feedback.
  • Facility with effective communication with colleagues and managers.
  • Strong understanding and familiarity with laboratory methods and safety protocols.
  • The successful candidate should be a quick learner, self-starter, enjoy working in a fast-paced dynamic team environment, and be motivated to develop and apply new technologies to advance the projects efficiently.