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Research Associate 3, Medicinal Chemistry

Chemistry | Berkeley, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Plexxikon, a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group, is a leader in the discovery and development of novel, small molecule pharmaceuticals. The company utilizes its proprietary discovery platform to successfully develop a portfolio of competitively differentiated clinical and preclinical stage compounds in a number of therapeutic areas. Plexxikon’s most advanced program, Zelboraf™ (vemurafenib) was the first precision medicine to be approved for the treatment of BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma.  Plexxikon's demonstrated capability in discovery and early development uniquely positions the company to develop multiple commercial franchises for different therapeutic indications, and to create significant value for Plexxikon, Daiichi Sankyo and its collaborators.  Plexxikon's novel discovery approach, combined with experienced management and scientific teams, a broad network of scientific and clinical experts, and partnerships supporting later stage development, have been key drivers of the company's success since it began operations in 2001.  Plexxikon is a small business with approximately 65 employees based in Berkeley, California.

The Research Associate 3, Medicinal Chemistry will be a critical member of the research team reporting directly to one of our Scientists. This is an exceptional opportunity to gain experience in a successful biopharmaceutical company and bring drugs from ideas to the clinic.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Multi-step synthesis, purification and characterization of small molecules for evaluation as potential drug candidates
  • Maintain various lab equipment
  • Maintain current knowledge of synthetic methodology through literature readings
  • Present progress at chemistry group and project team meetings
  • Document progress in electronic laboratory notebooks, suitable for publication and patent protection of all work
  • Record, report and present experimental findings in departmental and company-wide meetings, communicate results to multi-disciplinary teams, generate standard operating procedures, prepare formal technical reports and study summaries, support overall laboratory efforts
  • Maintain a command of relevant scientific literature, identify emerging research trends, evaluate implications for internal projects, and leverage those insights to inform experimental design
  • Other duties as assigned

Position Requirements & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with at least 5 years of hands-on, relevant lab experience (or Master’s degree in Chemistry with at least 2 years of experience)
  • Demonstrated experience executing multi-step organic syntheses 
  • Knowledge of modern spectroscopic (NMR, IR, MS, UV-VIS), analytical (HPLC/MS) and purification (flash chromatography, prep HPLC) methods is essential
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-pace, multi-disciplinary environment interacting with a diverse group of experts, comfortable with adjusting workloads based upon changing priorities and willing to take on new tasks, regardless of level or type of work, eager to be part of an organization to develop drugs for novel targets
  • Actively engaged in the thinking, creativity, rigor, experimentation, and collaborative approach to science, embracing the ideas and suggestions of others
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are essential in this collaborative work environment
  • Familiarity in pharmaceutical R&D desirable but not essential
  • Strong desire for a career in medicinal chemistry and to work in a dynamic company
  • Candidates must be authorized to work in the U.S.

Plexxikon is located in Berkeley, just off interstate 80.  We offer a chance to work with talented people in a collaborative environment and provide top-notch benefits including health insurance, generous time off and much more.  As an equal opportunity employer, Plexxikon is committed to a diverse workforce. Employment decisions regarding recruitment and selection will be made without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, genetic information or characteristic, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or other non-job related characteristics or other prohibited grounds specified in applicable federal, state and local laws. In order to ensure reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, applicants who require accommodation in the job application process may contact the careers email at for assistance.  For more information about equal employment opportunity protections, please view the ‘EEO is the Law’ poster.

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