Head of Computational Chemistry
VastBiome is an engineering-first drug discovery company mapping out the most comprehensive, clinically annotated, gut metabolite knowledgebase and microbial sourced chemical library to build best-in-class therapeutics for immunological and neurodegenerative disorders. We are building a high throughput AI discovery platform powering microbe-derived therapeutics from sample collection to drug programs. Core to our approach is annotating the microbial biosynthetic gene cluster (BGCs) network, groups of co-located genes that produce specialized metabolites (bioactives) with possible therapeutic effect. These BGCs unlock access to a virtually limitless, naturally occurring chemical space to use as starting points for drug discovery. We are venture backed, have multiple biopharma collaborations, and are actively recruiting for one of the largest microbiome-cancer longitudinal studies in the world.
WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR
VastBiome is developing new knowledge and technologies in metabolic engineering to generate new important biologically active molecules such as natural products and pharmaceuticals. We are seeking to bring on an intellectually curious and creative mind that can think outside the box and is motivated to solve some of medicine learning’s most challenging unmet needs.
The successful individual will be the first hire to build and lead VastBiome’s chemistry efforts for our therapeutic programs. They will lead the design, analysis, coordination, execution and troubleshooting of experimental and protocol efforts conducted internally and by our CRO partners, providing chemical context to our platform and biology team building out our discovery engine, VBx1.
You will take a leadership role in the efforts to build VastBiome’s drug programs from discovery to clinical trials. With the help and guidance from a well-established team of scientists and engineers, you will bring expertise in cheminformatics, data science, molecular modeling, and library design into VastBiome’s core technology stack. Join us in our mission to unlock the massive potential of the human microbiome to transform health outcomes.
- You’re a scrappy, ‘roll up your sleeves’ kind of person
- You care deeply about making a difference in the world
- You are comfortable working on a distributed team and desire a job with high level of personal agency
- You get the job done
- You communicate effectively and in a respectful manner
- Lead the strategy and execution across all library creation activities to establish and advance drug pipeline to clinical trials
- Apply structure-based and ligand-based drug design methodology to drive project initiation and progression
- Design and optimize drug candidates using advanced computational techniques such as protein modeling, molecular docking based on x-ray or homology models, ligand-based design, library design, diversity analysis, conformational analysis and pharmacophore modeling
- Identify and implement new computational chemistry and molecular modeling methods and apply them in our drug discovery and development process
- Make key intellectual contributions to the direction of our in-house research programs
- Work as the first hire to be part of the leadership team to establish and grow the vision for a portfolio of drug programs
- Establish partnering strategies to leverage external knowledge and capabilities
- Coordinate with the platform team providing guidance on incorporating a contextual (biological and chemical associations) layer to power the discovery engine
- Responsible for management of resourcing and budget planning for all needs related to library design and creation
- Communicate progress to internal stakeholders, BoD, SAB, KOLs, and participate in business presentations with customers and investors.
- PhD. in computational chemistry or chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, or a related scientific field with a computational focus
- 10+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a strong track record of scientific innovation and success in delivering clinical candidates
- In-depth knowledge of the drug R&D process with expertise in the application of ADME/PK, pharmacology and computational chemistry
- A leader with effective organizational, interpersonal, communication and managerial skills who motivates and inspires others with their excitement for achieving the scientific vision
- Demonstrated track record of applying in silico techniques to drive drug discovery projects or impacting hit finding activities in drug discovery
- A comprehensive understanding of data mining and visualization, ligand and structure-based design, conformational analysis, and pharmacophore optimization
- Demonstrated understanding of all aspects of modern drug discovery including medicinal chemistry, DMPK principles and multi-parameter optimization
- Extensive experience with scientific software such as Schrödinger, MOE, Pipeline Pilot, Spotfire, Discovery Studio, etc. Programming experience is a plus.
- Demonstrated experience in complex problem solving through in-depth analysis of data
- Experience in translational research from target to lead discovery
- Proven record of innovative thinking to propose and champion new ideas and solve problems
- Comfortable working across a number of disease areas and able to shift gears quickly
- Must be open to change and the unknown with a creative and resourceful nature; a self-starter, proactive and results-oriented with high performance standards
- Competitive salary
- Stock options
- 401K plan
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance 100% covered
- Flexible vacation policy
- Apple equipment
- Science/tech talks and happy hours