Job Description

Executive / Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry

November 2, 2020

Frontier Medicines, located in South San Francisco, CA, is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that is pioneering breakthrough technologies to drug the “undruggable” proteome. A majority of the human proteome has not been addressable with small molecule drugs. Frontier’s platform, based on proprietary chemoproteomic technologies, covalent fragment-based drug discovery, novel protein degradation approaches, and sophisticated machine learning algorithms, makes drugging the “undruggable” proteome finally feasible – enabling a paradigm shift in drug discovery. Our therapeutic programs are focused on some of the most important and difficult targets in human disease, starting with cancer. We intend to change the lives of patients for the better.

FierceBiotech named Frontier Medicines as one of 2019’s Fierce 15 biotechnology companies. This is FierceBiotech’s 17th annual Fierce 15 selection, which recognizes the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry. Also in 2019, C&EN named Frontier Medicines one of its 10 start-ups to watch.

Frontier Medicines is seeking a highly motivated individual for a newly created Executive/Senior Director role in Medicinal Chemistry. The successful candidate will lead a team of internal and external medicinal chemists to optimize and advance novel compounds into clinical development. As a member of project teams and potential project team leader, you will oversee development of compounds for potency, DMPK, and pharmacology. The position will report to the Vice President of Chemistry and will be located in South San Francisco.

Key Responsibilities

  • Discover and advance novel small molecule drugs into clinical development
  • Build and lead a team of world-class medicinal chemists.
  • Apply organic and medicinal chemistry skills in the design and synthesis of novel small molecules as potential drug candidates.
  • Contribute to overall corporate medicinal chemistry strategy.
  • Assist in choosing new biological targets.
  • Guide biological testing, ADME characterization, and other lead profiling assays; proactively propose new strategies and new target molecules to improve key drug attributes.
  • Proactively help manage external chemistry efforts, providing synthetic expertise in a collaborative fashion.
  • Regularly summarize results and provide progress updates to the chemistry and cross-functional project teams.
  • Contribute to the writing of patent applications, study reports, and scientific publications.


  • Ph.D. in organic or medicinal chemistry with at least 12-15 years of relevant experience in a biotech or pharma setting.
  • Demonstrated success in delivering multiple novel agents into clinical development.
  • Extensive project leadership experience bringing teams through lead optimization and selection of development candidates.
  • Demonstrated track record of patents and publications in medicinal chemistry.
  • Intellectual fearlessness and strong innovative streak.
  • Ability to work with and manage multifunction teams.
  • Extensive working knowledge of modern medicinal chemistry and drug discovery techniques (e.g., fragment and structure-based drug design, computational chemistry, multi-parametric optimization of bioactivity/physicochemical/ADME properties).
  • Experience in the discovery of covalent drug molecules very highly preferred.
  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic; fast learner who can identify the core project challenges and expeditiously change course as required in a fast-paced organization.
  • Team player who will be able to collaborate effectively in a multi-disciplinary team environment.
  • A commitment to excellence, maintaining detailed records and having superb data organization skills.
  • Exceptional oral communication and writing skills.
  • Legally authorized to work in the US.

To apply, please send your resume to