Investigator, Medicinal Chemistry

Job description

Site Name: USA - Pennsylvania - Upper Providence
Posted Date: Aug 19 2020

We are currently looking for highly motivated organic chemists to join our Medicinal Chemistry team in suburban Philadelphia. Our group partners with program teams across GSK’s research units to deliver high quality small molecules, from hit generation through late stage lead optimization.  The successful applicant will become fluent in these areas of medicinal chemistry while working as part of a highly productive team to design and synthesize developable drug molecules.  Medicinal Chemistry plays a key role in developing and evolving increasingly efficient strategies to accelerate the critical stages of hit identification and hit-to-lead chemistry, which in turn will transition higher quality molecules into lead optimization. 

A successful candidate has a basic expertise in synthetic chemistry and modern synthetic methods with the agility to learn methods relevant to the department.  The role will challenge the successful applicant to implement workflows in medicinal chemistry, data analytics and visualization, compound design and high throughput chemistry.  The successful applicant will work closely with the DNA-Encoded Library Technologies (ELT) group in Cambridge to support GSK’s small molecule portfolio, and investment that was publicly disclosed in 2018 with an exclusive multi-year collaboration with 23andMe (website) to give GSK access to novel genetically-associated targets with a greater likelihood to translate to human disease, ultimately allowing GSK to bring therapies to patients so they can do more, feel better, and live longer. 

Basic qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Synthetic Methodology Development, Synthetic Organic Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry
  • Experience in synthetic chemistry; knowledgeable in the application of new synthetic methodology and execution of multi-step syntheses and demonstrated problem-solving abilities

Preferred qualifications (in addition to basic qualifications)


  • Postdoctoral experience and/or 1-5 years industrial experience
  • Knowledge of contemporary synthetic methodologies (including but not limited to catalysis, biocatalysis, photoredox, and electrochemistry) as applied in the context of high-throughput experimentation and/or parallel synthesis technologies
  • Demonstrated implementation of high throughput experimentation and automation methods
  • Data analytics or cheminformatics experience as applied to experimental arrays
  • Familiarity of encoded library synthesis methods
  • Highly organized with strong attention to detail and a focus on quality results
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong record of peer-reviewed publications, patents, and/or presentations

Values and Expectations

  • Proactive and self-motivated
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • High learning agility with curiosity to learn and adopt new technologies
  • Track record of working effectively in a team environment
  • Self-aware; seeks ways to improve personal and scientific skills
  • An ability to work and communicate with other scientific disciplines to drive results.

Key responsibilities may include

  • Work effectively with collaborators in DNA-Encoded Library Technologies (ELT), Computational Chemistry, and Molecular Biology to evolve a platform to accelerate hit identification and hit-to-lead chemistry to accelerate timelines to candidate selection
  • Seek out technologies, including academic collaborations, that fundamentally challenge library synthesis paradigms and result in simplified processes
  • Independently author peer reviewed scientific papers, internal / external presentations and technical reports. 
  • Represent the team to present research internally to stakeholders and management.
  • Maintain a safe working environment.
  • Maintain accurate records as required by GlaxoSmithKline policies and ensure that GSK Intellectual Property is protected.


GlaxoSmithKline is a world leading research-based pharmaceutical company that combines both individual talent and technical resources to create a platform for the delivery of strong growth in a rapidly changing healthcare market. GlaxoSmithKline is recognized internationally for its innovative approach to drug discovery and development.  Our success is built on the collaboration of multi-disciplinary teams of scientists sharing their ideas and expertise. We are seeking proactive chemists to join us in our mission to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer.

Why You

Success in GSK thrives on strong interpersonal skills and practical chemistry skills combined with a curious, inquisitive nature and a passion for science.  You are equally passionate about developing yourself, developing new scientific methodologies, pushing the limits of innovation, and learning something new every day. You are an excellent team player, able to work with others either in the lab or in the office as well as within cross-functional teams. You are independent and able to plan and execute your own workload and deliver results.  Your science is conducted with integrity, safety, and the highest standards.  You pride yourself in your chemistry and enjoy science as much as we do.

Where We Are

GSK’s US R&D Hub is located in Upper Providence, PA in the Philadelphia suburbs.  Just 35 miles from Philadelphia International Airport, the Upper Providence site is home to over 3,000 of our R&D staff.  With the concentration of such a large number of scientists you will find a culture that inspires innovation and collaboration, emphasizes professional development, and maintains a strong focus on the patients that are at the end of everything we do.  GSK enjoys the proximity to renowned educational and medical research institutions in Philadelphia, recently dubbed “Cellicon Valley” for the emergence in the medical research and biotech sector with the city and surrounding areas.  Recognized in 2019 by National Geographic as one of America’s Top Cities, Philadelphia offers a revolutionary opportunity for you to live, work, and play within a short commute from GSK.

For further information on DNA-Encoded Libraries, see the following references:

Clark et al.  Design, Synthesis and Selection of DNA-Encoded Small-Molecule Libraries.  Nat. Chem. Biol.  2009, 5, 647-654.

Arico-Muendel.  From haystack to needle: finding value with DNA encoded library technology at GSK.  MedChemComm 2016, 7, 1898-1909. DOI:10.1039/c6md00341A

Machutta & Kollmann et al. Prioritizing multiple therapeutic targets in parallel using automated DNA-encoded library screening. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 16081. DOI:10.1038/ncomms16081

Phelan et al. Open-Air Alkylation Reactions in Photoredox-Catalyzed DNA-Encoded Library Synthesis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 8, 3723-3732. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b00669

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