Job Description

Principal Scientist, Computational Chemistry

September 29, 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. Frontier Medicines’ proprietary platform uses chemoproteomics – an innovative approach to chemically interrogate proteins in living systems – to discover and pharmacologically target new binding pockets (or hotspots) on proteins for the purpose of making them accessible to therapeutic intervention. FierceBiotech named Frontier Medicines as one of 2019’s Fierce 15 biotechnology companies, which recognizes the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry.

Frontier Medicines is seeking a highly motivated individual to fill the position of Principal Scientist, Computational Chemistry. The successful candidate will play a leading role in developing medicinal chemistry optimization strategies for our most important drug discovery campaigns. He/she will be reviewing experimental results and develop SAR hypotheses for activity, selectivity and properties, and make suggestions to improve the profiles of our leading small molecule drug candidates. As a covalent drug discovery focused company, there is the opportunity for method development for this evolving field besides using the full arsenal of existing ligand- and structure based methods and insights from unbiased machine learning type algorithms. In addition, the candidate will have the opportunity to provide project leadership by driving strategies and experimental designs outside the area of core expertise, manage external resources in structural biology, CADD and informatics, and mentor junior scientists.

This role is key to Frontier Medicines’ success and an opportunity to join and work in a highly collaborative and energetic team in a startup environment with short communication lines across functions and departments, and rountine interactions with senior leaders. The position will report to the Head of Computational Chemistry and is located in South San Francisco.

Key Responsibilities

  • Design, execute, and analyze computational chemistry experiments utilizing ligand-based and structure-based drug design strategies, and ADMET predictions.
  • Play a leading role in design efforts with expert knowledge of project SAR, off-target selectivivty and, physiochemical and ADMET properties.
  • Contribute to project teams across all stages of a program, including: target selection, target validation, lead generation and lead optimization to enable delivery of novel drug candidates into clinical development.
  • Be curious, innovation driven, and willing to test out hypotheses and embark on novel method development.
  • Identify gaps in current in current methodologies, be able to implement new technologies in the field of computer aided drug design (CADD), and lead the internalization of promising approaches.
  • Effectively communicate with colleagues and stakeholders; create and present research updates and provide strategic input to team/company meetings.


  • Ph.D. in a computational chemistry or related discipline with at least 10 years of relevant experience in a biotech or pharma setting.
  • Expert level experience with a wide range of leading computional tools and approaches including ligand and structure-based techniques, ab initio methods, MD, FEP, QSAR and QSPR predictions/model development with application across all stages of a project from hit ID through to candidate nomination.
  • Expert knowledge with scripting languages (e.g. Python) is required.
  • The candidate should be driven, independent, experienced working in a cross-disciplinary team and thrive in a dynamic start-up environment.
  • Demonstrated track record of accomplishments, publications and conference presentations in computational chemistry and drug discovery.
  • Excellent writing and verbal skills are required.
  • Legally authorized to work in the US.

To apply, please send your resume to