Center for Cancer Research

To improve the lives of cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care.

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Senior Medicinal Chemist - Preclinical Development and Translation

Job Description:

Position is with:

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is grounded in an exceptionally strong discovery research program that leads to transformative clinical applications and patient care. One of our most important goals is to advance translational bench findings into clinical trials. To further strengthen this effort, the CCR is hiring two Senior Medicinal Chemists to serve as Project Leads to manage the preclinical development and translation of small molecules discovered from principal investigator-initiated high-throughput screening, computational and structural biology campaigns.

The Project Lead positions offer a unique opportunity to design and advance the strategy and execution of a portfolio of projects by planning and managing medicinal chemistry efforts. These projects will include potency optimization, DMPK/ADME and TOX studies primarily performed by contract research organizations (CROs). Project Leads will have the opportunity to lead medicinal chemistry efforts while working directly with CCR Principal Investigators, as well as be instrumental members of an oversight committee that provides status and resource allocation recommendations to CCR senior staff for projects in their portfolio.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Design and execute development strategies for small molecules from lead generation into clinical candidates
  • Initiate, manage and interpret data generated from CROs
  • Design new chemical entities to improve potency, selectivity, and activity in preclinical animal models including DMPK/ADME TOX
  • Present data and make project recommendations to CCR senior staff

Qualifications and Job Details:

  • Degree Required: Ph.D. or equivalent
  • Location: Frederick, Maryland
  • Appointment Type: Government Position
  • Work Schedule: Full-time position
  • Citizenship: US Citizenship not required - (ie, permanent resident, visa)
  • Salary: Commensurate with experience


Qualifications: Candidates must have a Ph.D. in chemistry or related discipline with a strong background in small molecule synthesis/development/medicinal chemistry, at least five years of pharmaceutical industrial experience, experience working with CROs, and possess outstanding interpersonal and communication skills. Salary will be commensurate with experience and accomplishments. This position is not restricted to U.S. citizens. A full civil service package of benefits (including health insurance, life insurance, and retirement) is available.

About the NCI Center for Cancer Research:

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is home to nearly 250 basic and clinical research groups located on two campuses just outside of Washington, D.C. CCR is part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and makes up the largest component of the research effort at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Centrally supported by long-term funding and a culture of complete intellectual freedom, CCR scientists are able to pursue the most important and challenging problems in cancer research. We collaborate with academic and commercial partners and advocacy groups across the world in efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and HIV/AIDS. The CCR research portfolio covers the full spectrum of biological and biomedical research. Our work ranges from basic to translational and clinical, and our clinical trials are conducted in the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest hospital dedicated to clinical research that offers a robust infrastructure to support CCR’s patients on an estimated 250 open studies. The success of CCR is grounded in an exceptionally strong discovery research program that provides the foundation for the seamless translation of insights from bench to bedside. Read more about CCR, the benefits of working at CCR and hear from our staff on their CCR experiences.

Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland but retains a “small town” feel, surrounded by mountain views with a vibrant Main Street community. The city offers outstanding schools, a balanced and thriving economy and a highly educated workforce.

How to Apply:

  • CV/Resume
  • Three References
  • Cover Letter

Additional Application Information:

Please send a cover letter including a career synopsis (1-3 pages), curriculum vitae and bibliography, and names and contact information of three references in one .PDF file to Patricia Beard by email at

Applications must be received on or before January 15, 2021 for consideration.

Contact Name: Patricia Beard

Contact Email:

For questions contact: Joel Schneider,

HHS, NIH, and NCI are Equal Opportunity Employers