Job Description  Senior Scientist/Principal Scientist



The Drug Discovery team at Mirati is responsible for the invention, optimization and characterization of quality small molecules as clinical candidates for Mirati research programs. The Senior Scientist/Principal Scientist will be responsible for medicinal chemistry strategy, compound design, synthesis and compound progression activities enabling advancement of oncology drug discovery programs.   Key efforts will be directed at the invention, preparation, and characterization of compounds as potential new targeted anticancer drug candidates; the advancement of compounds through hit-to-lead, lead optimization and candidate selection activities, and initiation of new projects by identifying viable starting points for chemistry activities. Experience with structure-based drug design and optimizing lead compounds within a drug discovery program is desired.


  • Lead a drug discovery project from early stage through candidate selection
  • Drive medicinal chemistry and lead optimization strategies as a key member of drug discovery teams
  • Optimize compound delivery and synthetic efficiency, primarily utilizing FTE and fee-for-service based CROs. Maintain effective communication with CROs (email; teleconferences; web meetings), visiting key CROs as necessary. Contribute to building a productive, internal Mirati chemistry lab
  • Contribute novel IP as a key member of drug discovery teams
  • Coordinate compound progression activities with outside partners and CROs
  • Maintain corporate database; prepare and deliver internal presentations, patent applications and external publications as driven by the project and corporate strategies


  • MS/BS with 4-6 years of experience (Senior Scientist) or 6-8 years of experience (Principal) or Ph.D. with 3+ years of experience (Principal) in a relevant chemistry discipline in a laboratory environment with synthetic organic chemistry and drug discovery background
  • Relevant experience in a synthetic/medicinal chemistry laboratory, with pharmaceutical or biotech industry experience preferred
  • A proven track record of experience and expertise in synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Demonstrated experience in advancing lead compounds through preclinical discovery stages to candidate selection preferred
  • Strong understanding of key components and processes of drug discovery
  • Experience with Fragment-based drug discovery, Structure-based drug discovery, fundamentals of cheminformatics, and Property-based drug design preferred
  • Demonstration of outstanding communication skills through internal and external presentations and publications