Associate Director/Medicinal Chemist

Chemistry · Waltham, Massachusetts
Department Chemistry
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

Do you have the passion to join a group whose mission is to pioneer the discovery of a new class of medicines to treat diseases unaddressed by today’s therapies?  Does it excite you to be a part of a company with a focus on cancer and genetically validated targets in other disease areas with unmet medical need?  If yes, you may be a great fit to join Arrakis on our path to bring powerful new therapies to millions of patients.  

Your Impact at Arrakis

The mission of Arrakis Therapeutics is to extend small molecule medicines into new realms of biology by discovering and developing compounds that selectively target RNA (“rSM”). By targeting distinct RNA structure/function relationships, Arrakis is generating drug candidates with novel mechanisms of action for molecular targets that are challenging to drug in disease areas with high unmet medical need.  

We are seeking an experienced medicinal chemistry leader (Associate Director) to join our fast-paced multidisciplinary rSM drug discovery team.  The ideal candidate will have an opportunity to impact our mission by contributing to the development of a state-of-the-art Medicinal Chemistry capability at Arrakis, ensuring the timely delivery of high-quality scientific milestones for the projects, including clinical development candidates.

The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a collaborative, fast-paced small biotech environment, leveraging a high degree of integrity, creativity and innovation.


  • Provide leadership to projects by serving as project chemistry leader and project co-leader, when needed.  Communicate project progress, issues and challenges and lead scientific discussions at various meetings.
  • In the project chemistry leader role, craft strategy for project chemistry plan, design specific molecules, lead in-house and external chemistry team at CRO to execute the chemistry
  • In the project co-leader role, work with biology counterpart and team members to set project goals, define specific plans and allocate resources to execute such plans
  • Supervise up to 2 direct reports, provide coaching and leadership to facilitate effective solutions for direct reports, projects and the functional area.
  • Lead by example by sharing best practices within the Medicinal Chemistry function and ensuring optimal use of resources
  • Foster a positive and collaborative work environment across research functions.
  • Contribute to Arrakis’s scientific publications and patent applications


  • PhD in organic chemistry, with cutting edge knowledge on modern synthetic organic chemistry
  • 8+ years small molecule drug discovery experience in industry setting
  • Proven track record of delivering clinical drug candidates by leading a chemistry team and/or a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team.
  • Strong expertise in medicinal chemistry from early phase through lead optimization and development candidate selection.
  • Experience with overseeing chemistry execution at CRO teams, especially in troubleshooting and enhancing CRO performance and productivity
  • Broad understanding of the drug discovery and development process.
  • Fluency in working within a multi-disciplinary team to devise experiments that illuminate critical problems.
  • Strong record of peer-reviewed publications and external presentations.
  • Flexibility to accommodate changes in project priorities and/or scientific directions. 
  • Excellent oral communication, presentation and writing skills.
  • Flexibility of working on bench chemistry.

Interested in learning more about Arrakis?  Click on the links below!


Arrakis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, military service, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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  • Location
    Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience