Job Opportunity

Senior Scientist, Computational Chemistry

Location: San Diego, CA, US
Department: Drug Discovery
Employment Type: Full Time
Reference Number: 2121594

Job Description Summary

The Drug Discovery team at Mirati is responsible for the invention, optimization, and characterization of small molecules as clinical candidates for the Mirati research portfolio. Mirati is seeking an extraordinary computational chemist to join the Drug Discovery team at the Senior Scientist level.

Your Responsibilities

  • Leverage computer-aided drug design (CADD) techniques to drive design efforts for ~100 internal and external chemists across multiple projects spanning hit identification, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization.
  • Generate hypothesis-based designs to advance discovery projects towards the discovery of clinical drug candidates.
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive understanding of project structure-activity relationships (SAR).
  • Apply the knowledge gained from both positive and negative results to the current interpretation of project SAR and leverage that understanding in the next design cycle.
  • Use virtual screening tools to identify novel chemical matter for early projects.
  • Establish intellectual property to expand the Mirati IP Portfolio
  • Effectively communicate, collaborate and form strong working interactions with internal and external project team members from multiple disciplines, including: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry/biophysics, structural biology, informatics, DMPK, toxicology, legal/IP, project management, CMC, and early development.
  • Triage and enable new drug discovery projects.
  • Maintain a current knowledge of the computational chemistry and broader drug discovery scientific literature.
  • Identify and - where appropriate - implement novel computational chemistry algorithms and technologies.
  • Teach your coworkers the underlying details of computational chemistry to help guide them in their decision-making process.
  • Advance the Mirati Research Portfolio and company value through presentation/publication of project results in scientific meetings and peer-reviewed literature as guided by Mirati publication policies.

What is Required

  • PhD in Computational Chemistry or related field or BS/MS with 10/8 years of relevant experience.
  • Role will be based at Company HQ site in San Diego and requires COVID-19 vaccination or weekly negative COVID-19 test results.
  • A track record of using CADD techniques to drive drug discovery programs.
  • Demonstration of problem-solving skills, scientific creativity, and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Strong background in structure-based drug design (SBDD), including an excellent understanding of and experience in the interpretation of x-ray crystal structures.
  • In-depth understanding of small molecule conformations, ligand-protein interactions, and protein motion.
  • Broad experience in CADD methodologies, including: virtual screening, pharmacophore modeling, machine learning, sequence analysis, homology modeling, molecular dynamics, and quantum mechanical techniques.
  • Experience of molecular modeling in a drug discovery setting.
  • Working knowledge of modern medicinal chemistry and the drug discovery process.
  • Basic understanding of synthetic organic chemistry.
  • Expertise across a broad set of molecular modeling and computational chemistry software, such as: MOE, OpenEye, Schrödinger, Psi4, GAMESS, CCDC, NAMD, Gromacs, OpenMM, StarDrop, and Vortex.
  • Scripting skills (Python preferred), including the application of chemically-intelligent API's such as OEChem, RDKit, and ChemAxon.
  • Comfortable working on the Linux command line.
  • Adept at collecting, mining and analyzing complex chemical and biological data sets.
  • Ability to work pro-actively and independently.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

About Mirati Therapeutics

Mirati Therapeutics is a late-stage biotechnology company whose mission is to discover, design and deliver breakthrough therapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer and their loved ones. The company is relentlessly focused on bringing forward therapies that address areas of high unmet need, including lung cancer, and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics targeting the genetic and immunological drivers of cancer. Mirati is using its scientific expertise to develop novel solutions in two registration-enabling programs: adagrasib (MRTX849), an investigational small molecule, potent and selective KRASG12C inhibitor, as monotherapy and in combination with other agents, and sitravatinib, an investigational spectrum-selective inhibitor of receptor tyrosine kinases in combination with checkpoint inhibitor therapies. Mirati is also advancing its differentiated preclinical portfolio, including MRTX1133, an investigational KRASG12D inhibitor, and other oncology discovery programs. Unified for patients, Mirati's vision is to unlock the science behind the promise of a life beyond cancer.

For more information about Mirati Therapeutics, visit us at or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Why Join?

At Mirati, we have an unapologetic and relentless focus on our mission to transform the lives of patients with cancer and their loved ones. Patients and their families motivate us to work smarter, faster and better. We are driven by the knowledge that our efforts can one-day deliver life-saving therapies for the people who need us most. Urgency, open-mindedness, accountability and collaboration ground our work. These shared values are central to who we are, what we do and how we do it.

Our people fuel our success. They are fearless and passionate in their daily pursuit of our mission. We are committed to continuing to create a company and experience that attracts and keeps the best people. When you want your days to count and the work you do to matter, discovering and delivering potentially life-changing therapies is more than a job, it's the chance to be part of something bigger.

We believe diverse professional experiences and an inclusive culture can drive better outcomes for patients. We want employees to be authentic and use their perspectives to contribute to our mission in a meaningful way.

Mirati cultivates an environment where:

  • An entrepreneurial attitude is encouraged
  • Our people are empowered to speak up, embrace the gray and achieve solutions
  • Diverse experiences are an important of part making the best decisions
  • We laugh and have fun as a work family

No matter the role, we are unified by our passion for helping patients, and are inspired by a single vision - to unlock the science behind the promise of a life beyond cancer. Together, we own Mirati's success.

Learn more at

Mirati is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) - we celebrate diverse experiences without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender identity or expression, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law.

Notice to Third Party Agencies: Please note that Mirati Therapeutics Inc. does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies.