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Director of Medicinal Chemistry

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $83,300 - $221,800.

Application Window

Open date: March 30, 2023

Most recent review date: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Monday, Jul 31, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Director of Medicinal Chemistry


The Institute of Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics (IPN) at the University of California, Davis, is seeking a Director of Medicinal Chemistry to join our team. This position will be housed in the Department of Chemistry in the Professional Researcher series (Academic Federation) with rank and salary commensurate with experience.

Professional Research series: The Professional Researcher develops and oversees their own independent, creative, and high-quality research program equivalent to that required for the Professor series. The Professional Researcher takes major responsibility and leadership for their programs. Generally, the appointee is expected to secure funding as a Principal Investigator, but may be funded as a co-PI within a large center or collaborative program grant on which many independent investigators are working, as long as it is clear that the activities led by the professional researcher within the larger project constitute his/her own independent research program. Appointees do not have teaching responsibilities. University and Public Service are expected at the Associate/Full ranks (e.g. committee service, guest lecturing, public outreach, managing departmental facilities, involvement in government and/or professional society committees, etc.)

Responsibilities of the Director of Medicinal Chemistry:

· Work with the institute’s director and associate director to achieve the goals of the IPN and build a highly visible, world-class research program in neuropharmacology and CNS therapeutic development
· Serve as the leader of the medicinal chemistry team within the IPN
· Work with the Director of Pharmacology to identify lead candidates for a variety of indications
· Collaborate with IPN affiliated principal investigators and their trainees
· Oversee multiple concurrent research programs, both internal projects and collaborative projects with external academic and industrial partners
· Lead the synthetic chemistry programs for both internal projects and collaborative projects with pharmaceutical industry partners
· Manage the design, planning, and execution of synthetic strategies to access key target molecules
· Perform structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies as needed
· Utilize structure-based drug design when appropriate
· Evaluate pharmacological data to drive SAR
· Maintain equipment necessary to synthesize and characterize target compounds
· Work with the Director of Pharmacology to maintain a proprietary UC Davis compound library and associated databases
· Oversee the safety of IPN laboratories
· Supervision and mentoring of the staff and trainees within the IPN medicinal chemistry team
· Develop new research projects and play a major role in writing grant proposals proposals and securing funding from federal, state, private, and industrial sources
· Publish research results in high impact peer-reviewed journals
· Work with UC Davis Innovation Access and attorneys to file patents to protect UC Davis intellectual property
· Help initiate, evaluate, and implement IPN pilot grants
· Prepare reports and manage data rooms during diligence with potential industrial partners interested in licensing IPN technology
· Other activities may include managing project budgets, supervising employees, writing and submitting progress reports to funding agencies, presenting at conferences, participation in professional societies, and reviewing grants and manuscripts.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

· Ph.D. in chemistry, medicinal chemistry, or a related field
· Have a minimum of 5 years of postdoctoral or industry experience beyond the Ph.D.
· Outstanding background in synthetic chemistry with demonstrated aptitude for problem solving in medicinal chemistry
· Have a demonstrated track record of leading key aspects of drug development programs with a deep understanding of the underlying science.
· Demonstrated strong organizational skills
· Excellent written and oral communication skills
· An outstanding record of leadership or potential for leadership in research
· Evidence of research or creative activities of high quality, innovation, and significance

Preferred qualifications

· Industrial experience developing small molecule therapeutics
· Experience performing IND-enabling studies
· Expertise in the development of therapeutics for central nervous system disorders

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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Campus Information

UC Davis is a smoke and tobacco-free campus (

We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals’ with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. UC Davis celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of its community by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment demonstrated through a variety of resources and programs available to academics, staff, and students. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values of UC Davis that are embedded within our Principles of Community and are tied with how to best serve our student population. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can best be fully realized by members of our academic community who share our commitment to these values, which are included in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision, our strategic plan: “To Boldly Go,” our Principles of Community, the Office of Academic Affairs’ Mission Statement, and the UC Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. UC Davis is making important progress towards our goal of achieving federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a plethora of resources on their website, and the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) has outlined similar goals in their Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan.” There are a plethora of links available on the About Us webpage where you can learn more about our Administration, Diversity and Inclusion, Rankings, Locations, Native American Land Acknowledgement, Sustainability, Visiting UC Davis, UC Davis Health, and Campus Safety.

The university is consistently ranked among the top institutions in the world for campus sustainability practices by the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. UC Davis is focused on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and repeatedly shown its commitment to preserving a healthy and sustainable environment for generations to come.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs - With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment.(Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

Davis, CA