Director, Medicinal Chemistry

La Jolla, California
Compensation commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits effective on start date.
Feb 12, 2021
Apr 13, 2021
Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

POSITION TITLE:   Director, Medicinal Chemistry


Calibr is a translational research institute located in La Jolla, California, now a part of Scripps Research. Calibr was founded on the principle that the creation of new medicines can be accelerated by pairing world-class biomedical research with state-of-the-art drug discovery and development capabilities. Leveraging the unique scientific framework of Scripps Research, Calibr is shaping a new paradigm for advancing nonprofit biomedical research to impact patients while re-investing in further innovative research.


Calibr, a division of Scripps Research (Calibr) is seeking a talented Director to lead medicinal chemists within a dynamic, interdisciplinary team of scientists working as a team to develop new therapeutic approaches to unmet medical needs through early stage translational research.


  • Implement knowledge/expertise within a lab group/project team to successfully execute major parts of a project including a complement of technical and logistical/strategic activities. Examples may include:
  • Hit list analysis and hit to lead chemistry
  • Lead optimization program up to IND-enabling studies, including structure-based drug design
  • Participate in decision-making processes within the project team by actively engaging in scientific and technical discussions
  • Serve as a medicinal chemistry team leader across multiple programs
  • Communicates (both in writing and verbally) project status, issues, schedule and accomplishments to various management and stakeholder groups in an effective manner, as needed
  • Critically evaluates project data while rigorously driving data-driven Go/No-go decisions, including the identification of resource constraints and bottlenecks
  • Promotes an overall group culture of agility, pro-action, collaboration, and innovation
  • Mentors and develops individual talent capable of taking on future leadership roles


  • Ph.D. in a related scientific field required.
  • 10+ years of relevant experience, including at least 3 years of experience managing a team of scientists.
  • Strong skills and proven track record in area of medicinal chemistry.
  • Demonstration of highly successful project execution across disease areas using in-house and/or CRO resources leading to preclinical candidates for further clinical development.
  • A track record of delivering clinical candidates, highly motivated, creative, and devoted to project goals.
  • Impeccable attention to detail, and excellent ability to perform hands on experiments, research/design/organize projects and maintain detailed documentation.
  • Able to contribute in a meaningful way to scientific discourse.
  • Possess effective verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to navigate and be successful in a fast-paced, highly matrixed work environment.
  • Able to provide leadership on a cross-functional team.
  • Self-motivated, ability to exercise sound judgment and operate with a high degree of independence regarding routine and non-routine assignments.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks.

Directs the appropriate use of FTE and budgetary resources to support project and institute goals. Able to think in terms of global long-term project goals as well as day-to-day lab goals/activities. Develops long-term plans and sets priorities within constraints of project goals/timelines. Independently designs, executes, interprets and reports results of work. Additionally, oversees consistency and accuracy of results and documentation. Expected to solve the majority of problems that arise with little supervisory input. Ensures escalation of issues and risks that significantly affect timelines.

Will communicate with colleagues, CRO personnel, and management teams to lead projects effectively.

Addresses problems of increasing complexity relative to those faced by lower levels. Responsible for collection of team reports, organization of project status presentations, and delivery to key stakeholders. Responsible for driving project timelines and benchmarks for success. Works within project teams to assess risks, identify key issues, and develop solutions. Activities are to be carried out efficiently in a scientifically rigorous manner.

Will supervise various lab personnel. May have oversight of CRO relationship working to ensure goals and timelines are met accordingly.

The above statements describe the level of work performed and expected in general terms.  The statements are not intended to list all the responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of employees so classified, and the content herein is subject to change due to the business needs of TSRI, with or without notice.   Furthermore, nothing in this job description shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any way the employment-at-will status of TSRI staff.

The Scripps Research Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status.