Associate Principal Scientist- Chemistry Job

Date: Feb 13, 2019

Location: London, ENG, GB

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Requisition ID: CHE006381

MSD is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where MSD has codified its 125-year legacy. MSD’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.


MSD is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Our research division is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow and will take MSD’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases.


MSD is establishing a new state-of-the-art life early science & innovation sciences research facility in London. With a mission of turning breakthrough science into meaningful and impactful medicines, the research focus is cellular ageing and mechanisms of homeostasis and resilience, the basis of some of the most challenging diseases facing our ageing population.


Our opportunity to excel depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, skill, diversity and teamwork of people like you.  To this end, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork.  As part of our global team, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with talented and dedicated colleagues while developing and expanding your career.


We are currently recruiting an Associate Principal Scientist to join MSD’s chemistry team at the Crick Institute in London.  Here, you will participate in a vibrant culture connecting with leading academic and biotech research centers. Beyond local internal connections, the role will be expected to operate in a highly collaborative environment, partnering with peers at other locations in the United States. You will be able to supplement your research activities by taking advantage of the technologies and capabilities of this wider company network of sites.


The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary, highly collaborative discovery team to invent novel medicines.  In this role, he/she will be responsible for driving chemistry strategy and execution as well as for scientific mentoring and technical training of team members.  In addition, the incumbent will collaborate across disciplines and apply the best chemistry and techniques to enable clear decision making.  The candidate will design and synthesize high quality molecules in target validation, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization projects.   He/she will utilize innovative synthetic and medicinal chemistry problem solving skills coupled with analysis of diverse data sets to build structure-activity relationships.  Furthermore, he/she will help identify and validate new targets through chemistry and will be responsible for collaborative engagement with the external scientific community.  To accomplish the above, the successful candidate must have excellent interpersonal, collaboration and communication skills in addition to rigorous scientific thinking.



Role responsibilities:


  • Demonstrate excellence in theoretical and practical synthetic chemistry to design and synthesize complex target molecules for drug discovery programs with high levels of independence, problem solving and productivity. 

  • Integrate and analyze structure-activity relationships to iteratively improve physicochemical, ADMET and pharmacological properties, and deliver safe and efficacious molecules for innovative biological targets.

  • Influence project strategy using timely decision-making to ensure focus and delivery of key objectives.

  • Provide day to day technical guidance to a small team of medicinal chemists.

  • Demonstrate and promote the highest levels of excellence in medicinal and synthetic chemistry, with a personal commitment to extend and develop personal knowledge and expertise.

  • Participate in collaborations within global MSD and with academia to help ensure that the Chemistry group operates at the highest levels of scientific excellence in both medicinal and synthetic chemistry.

  • Contribute to the compiling and writing of chemical patent protection.

  • Share scientific knowledge/literature to resolve research problems within the project team.

  • Present own work at project and/or team meetings, or on behalf of others, when required.

  • Publish science in high quality journals and publications.

  • Give presentations on MSD projects both at internal science meetings and externally at conferences.

  • Maintain the highest levels of Health and Safety.




Education Requirements:


  • A Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry required.


Required Experience and Skills:


  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant industry experience in drug discovery.

  • Demonstrable expertise in the theoretical and practical aspects of synthetic chemistry with experience in synthesis, purification and analytical characterization including HPLC, MS, NMR, and biophysical methods.

  • A good knowledge of medicinal chemistry design principles, including structure-based drug design and the influence of physiochemical properties.

  • A good understanding of the related scientific disciplines that are pertinent to drug discovery and early development (e.g. pharmacology, ADME, formulation, large scale synthesis, drug safety/toxicology, IP).

  • A good knowledge of the latest innovations and technology in medicinal and synthetic chemistry.

  • Excellent communication, collaboration and team-working skills.

  • Dynamic personality with a passion for innovation and problem-solving.

  • The ability to thrive on increasing levels of responsibility.

  • Ability to influence the medicinal chemistry strategy on drug discovery programs.

  • The ability and desire to foster academic networks such that MSD remains an outward-looking organization that can exploit the world’s best scientific thinking.

  • The ability to work flexibly across the portfolio and adapt to new priorities/emerging data.


The following skills may be advantageous:


  • Experience in the use of computational tools, for example to delineate structure-activity relationships.

  • Experience of managing external collaborations or contractors.

  • Experience in training and mentoring team members in synthesis and drug discovery.

  • The ability to critically review scientific opportunities.

  • Knowledge of the technology and latest innovations in chemical biology.


Your role at MSD is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At MSD, we’re inventing for life.



MSD is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms / recruitment agencies for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at MSD via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of MSD.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by MSD as a result of the referral or through other means.

Job: Chemistry
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 5 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: MSD

Job Segment: Scientific, Medical, Organic Chemistry, Chemistry, Telecom, Engineering, Healthcare, Science, Technology

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