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Scientist/Senior Scientist, DMPK

Research | 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 first marketed drug, 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.


We are seeking a Scientist or Senior Scientist in the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic (DMPK) department. The qualified candidate will be a critical member of the group and work closely with our established team performing various in vitro metabolism assays, metabolite identification studies, and bioanalytical work to screen chemical entities for new drug candidates. This is an exceptional opportunity to work with a core discovery group within a successful biopharmaceutical company and bring drugs from ideas to the clinic.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform various in vitro metabolism studies to address specific DMPK questions in drug discovery
  • Develop analytical methods using a mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) to separate and detect small molecules
  • Prepare and analyze plasma samples and standard curves to quantitate small molecules from pharmacokinetic studies
  • Prepare and deliver scientific presentations and reports to communicate research results within and outside the DMPK department
  • Influence discovery decisions and contribute significantly to corporate goals and project milestones
  • Maintain a command of relevant scientific literature, research method sections of DMPK publications and evaluate implications for internal projects
  • Assume responsibility for maintaining laboratory equipment, facilitate their use by other scientists, and maintain clear, detailed, and up-to-date experimental records
  • Conduct other duties as assigned

Position Requirements & Experience:

  • Doctorate degree in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or related fieldwith at least two years of relevant research experience in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry for the Scientist level (and least 5 years of experience for the Senior Scientist level)
  •  A track record of accomplishments (including literature publications) demonstrating technical proficiency, independent thinking and scientific creativity
  •  Hands-on, relevant DMPK lab experience working with a mass spectrometer 
  • Experience performing metabolic stability, CYP inhibition, and metabolite ID studies in liver subcellular fractions, preparing and analyzing samples from biological matrices using a mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) as the primary analytical tool, and with sample preparation and bioanalysis of preclinical in vitro and in vivo ADME and pharmacokinetic studies
  • Strong consideration will be given to candidates proficient in using and troubleshooting a LC-MS/MS (Sciex instrumentation is a plus)
  • Demonstrated technical proficiency, scientific creativity, problem solving ability, and capable of independently planning and executing experiments while proactively seeking out senior personnel to discuss potential solutions to problems 
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills are essential in this collaborative work environment 
  • Highly motivated and able to work in a fast-paced environment with a desire to learn and tackle new challenges 
  • 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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