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Senior Medicinal Chemist for the Antiviral Program for Pandemics, Division of Preclinical Innovation

National Center of Advancing Translational Services
Rockville, Maryland
The current salary range is commensurate with experience and accomplishments
Closing date
Feb 11, 2022

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Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Job Description

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a major research component of NIH, seeks applications from exceptional candidates to fill the senior medicinal chemist for the Antiviral Program for Pandemics (APP) position within the Center’s Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI).

Core Responsibilities

The selected applicant will be responsible for the APP medicinal chemistry group, reporting on its activities to APP leadership, and will help lead the collaborative discovery of new direct-acting antiviral development candidates. This applicant will lead a group that includes project leads, chemistry team members and postdoctoral fellows in NCATS’ intramural laboratories, as well as a large group of dedicated chemists at a fully integrated contract research organization flexibly assigned to multiple hit-to-lead and lead optimization projects. The senior medicinal chemist will be responsible for managing the optimal allocation of resources across multiple projects at all stages of lead identification, lead optimization and candidate selection. Working with project management, the senior medicinal chemist will be responsible for ensuring that each project has an optimal trajectory toward Investigational New Drug (IND)–enabling studies. They will play a significant role in each project by managing the team leads and providing advice and guidance on medicinal chemistry strategy — including the interactions with such disciplines as biology, pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), crystallography and modeling, toxicology, and chemistry — and on manufacturing and control. The senior medicinal chemist will be responsible for presenting recommendations for project adoption and for go/no-go decisions to the APP NCATS leadership. They will be responsible for mentoring and developing new medicinal chemistry leaders. The selected applicant also will be responsible for representing NCATS’ drug discovery and development to other NIH Institutes and Centers and parties involved in APP — including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and NIH leadership — and to the public. The senior medicinal chemist will be responsible for developing and leading the implementation of a scientific vision and strategy for addressing crosscutting challenges to multiple target-based projects that require medicinal chemistry support for lead generation and lead optimization. They will work closely with NCATS leadership to oversee the medicinal chemistry team that works within a multidisciplinary team with biology, chemistry, DMPK, toxicology, structural biology and informatics expertise to identify preclinical drug development candidates active against novel targets and pathways associated with SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses of pandemic potential.


The selected candidate will possess a record of accomplishment and innovation in preclinical and translational processes and an outstanding record of scientific accomplishment in public- and/or private-sector research. Each applicant must possess a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree, as well as senior-level experience, leadership and nationally recognized accomplishment in the field of medicinal chemistry,

direct-acting antivirals and drug discovery. Experience in running antiviral or infectious disease programs is required, with particular strength in designing and synthesizing drugs that have entered clinical development. Candidates should demonstrate a clear pattern of success in setting, planning, implementing and analyzing research project or program objectives and priorities; the ability to manage financial and human resources in leading research projects or programs that involve extensive internal and external collaboration; the ability to communicate effectively with diverse scientific and lay audiences; and the ability to form collaborations with individuals working on antivirals.


The current salary range is commensurate with experience and accomplishments; a full civil service package of benefits — including retirement; health, life and long-term care insurance; Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent) — is available.

Equal Opportunity Employment

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers. Selection for this position will be based solely on merit with no discrimination for non-merit reasons, such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, age, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization. NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities and individuals with disabilities.

Standards of Conduct/Financial Disclosure NIH inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles. NIH employees are subject to federal governmentwide regulations and statutes, as well as agency-specific regulations described on the NIH Ethics Website. We encourage you to review this information. The position is subject to a background investigation and requires the incumbent to complete a public financial disclosure report prior to the effective date of the appointment.

Foreign Education

Applicants who have completed part or all their education outside of the United States must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is equivalent to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. We will accept only the completed foreign education evaluation. For more information on Foreign Education verification, visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services website. Verification must be received prior to the effective date of the appointment.

Reasonable Accommodation

NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

Please submit (via email) a cover letter describing their interest in the position, a curriculum vitae with a complete bibliography, and the names of and contact information for three references to from Dec. 13, 2021, to Jan. 12, 2022. Include your name and Application for Senior Medicinal Chemist Position in the subject line. Please submit questions about this position to Donald C. Lo, Ph.D., via email at



Review of applications will begin on Jan. 13, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled.

Do not include your birthdate or social security number on application materials


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