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Medicinal Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellow

National Center of Advancing Translational Services
Rockville, Maryland
Depends on experience
Closing date
Jul 7, 2022

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Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time


NCATS, a major research component of NIH, seeks applications from qualified candidates to fill a postdoctoral medicinal chemistry position in the Early Translation Branch (ETB) within its Division of Preclinical Innovation. Based on their area of expertise, the selected candidate will join one of the ETB’s multidisciplinary teams that consist of scientists who are well versed in assay biology, high-throughput screening, informatics and medicinal chemistry. Team members work closely with biology and disease experts on multiple projects, tackling a range of translational science challenges.

The ETB’s research goals include creating assay and discovery technologies to develop new chemical probes against understudied targets/phenotypes that validate new therapeutic approaches to cure or ameliorate diseases. The selected candidates will work in a highly creative medicinal chemistry environment and will design, synthesize and optimize potential probe molecules against a variety of targets, pathways and phenotypes. They will develop small molecules, leading to proof-of-concept studies that validate the therapeutic approach.

Core Responsibilities

The selected candidate should be well trained in the methods and concepts of organic chemistry with experience in organic synthesis (purification and analysis of reaction products, methodology development, design of novel analogs, design and testing of synthetic routes to novel compounds by proposing and reducing to practice multistep syntheses). Furthermore, experience in standard spectroscopic and purification methods, including nuclear magnetic resonance (routine pulse techniques for structure determination), and standard or automated liquid chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography methods is required.

The selected candidate will keep accurate and complete records of all scientific experiments, according to established procedures, and ensure that these records and raw data are properly retained. The candidate will be expected to draft technical reports, manuscripts and patent applications and will present work to internal and external collaborators as needed. The selected candidate also will work under the mentorship of a chemistry team leader and be exposed to cutting-edge quantitative high-throughput screening, assay biology, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and disease-relevant biological models. They should have strong communication skills, which are necessary for working in a cross-disciplinary team environment.

An understanding of and previous experience or exposure to structure–activity relationship studies and absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion optimization is desirable but not necessary.


Applicant should have (or expect to receive) a Ph.D. in organic chemistry (i.e., synthesis, methodology development or medicinal chemistry) and have less than 10 years of postdoctoral experience in medicinal chemistry (academia, government or industry). Exceptional candidates completing their doctorate or postdoctoral training will be considered. Master’s degree candidates with extensive experience in industry also are encouraged to apply. Experience in proposing and reducing to practice multistep syntheses and in standard spectroscopic and purification methods is required. Experience in hit-to-lead or lead optimization is highly desirable. Candidate should be an independent thinker and team player able to work in a highly interactive, fast-paced environment.


Annual stipends are provided commensurate with experience based on the NIH Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award and Visiting Fellow scale; medical insurance coverage will be provided. The fellow also may take part in Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences courses at NIH. The position is renewable for up to five years.

How to Apply

Please submit, in PDF format, a cover letter that includes a research summary and describes your interest in the position, a current curriculum vitae with a complete bibliography, and the names of and contact information for two to three references, including your current supervisor, to ETB Team at sends e-mail).

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Learn more about intramural research at NCATS.

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