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Staff Scientist in computational medicinal chemistry

Center for Drug Design, University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Closing date
Jan 19, 2024

Job Details

One Staff Scientist Position in Computational Medicinal Chemistry– Center for Drug Design at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

A hard-money Staff Scientist position in Computational Medicinal Chemistry is immediately available at the Center for Drug Design (CDD), College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota. This Staff Scientist will be directly under the supervision of the co-Director of the CDD, with the overall goal of advancing key CDD projects in drug discovery, by providing center-wide medicinal chemistry support. The main duties will be the design and discovery of novel small molecule drugs for multidisciplinary projects entailing medicinal chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics. The success of this position will require expertise in synthetic medicinal chemistry and drug design, using standard molecular modeling tools and synthetic chemistry skills, and the ability to work in a highly collaborative team environment. The successful candidate is expected to work largely independently with minimal supervision.

Information about CDD is available on the CDD website:

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

Organic synthesis (50%)

  • Design and execute multi-step synthetic routes for the preparation of small molecule inhibitors.
  • Execute compound purification using in-house CombiFlash, prep-HPLC and other methods as necessary.
  • Fully characterize synthesized compounds using 1H and 13C NMR, mass spectrometry, and HPLC.
  • Prepare and submit samples for biological, biophysical and ADMET / PK studies.
  • Maintain research records.
  • Comply with research safety procedures and guidelines.

Cheminformatics and molecular modeling (40%)

  • Conduct molecular docking to aid in structure-based drug design.
  • Carry out virtual screenings using structure- or pharmacophore-based approaches.
  • Create and maintain a searchable in-house compound database.
  • Create compound structure data files suitable for high throughput docking.

Other duties (10%)

  • Equipment management.


  • This Staff Scientist will report to Dr. Zhengqiang (ZQ) Wang.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in multistep organic synthesis.
  • Acquired skills in molecular modeling, including user experience with one or more of the standard modeling program suites (Schrödinger, MOE, etc).
  • Proven record in productive scientific research.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At least 2-year postdoc experience in drug discovery research.
  • Proficiency with Linux at the command line level Demonstrated knowledge on protein-ligand molecular interactions.
  • Experience in machine learning, e.g. AlphaFold2, is a plus.
  • Proven ability to write project reports and manuscripts.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good at computer troubleshooting.

Working Conditions:

  • Half of the work for this position is performed in a synthetic chemistry wet lab. The other half will be computer-based. The position is 100% on site.

Interested candidates should submit a single PDF file consisting of a cover letter, CV, and names/info for three references to Dr. Zhengqiang (ZQ) Wang via email at The subject line should be: Staff Scientist



The Center for Drug Design (CDD) is a distinctive, cutting edge research facility in the Academic Health Center of the University of Minnesota. We are dedicated to: •Providing a research environment for leading scientists •Sharing unique strategies within the scientific community •Developing novel drug therapies •Vigorously pursuing an academic research agenda •Transferring scientific knowledge •Designing and developing new medicines to benefit people worldwide •Supporting the interaction of many disciplines and areas of study •Creating a focal point for research

Company info
312 Church St SE
Mail Code 1191
United States

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