Computational Chemist

IND Computational Chemist/Adjunct Professor Series*

The Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is seeking a computational/theoretical chemist to join the IND’s drug discovery programs in Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and others. The director of the IND is Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner.

The successful candidate will work with the drug discovery team as a computational chemist to identify and validate cellular high-throughput screening hits. For molecules in the lead optimization phase, the candidate should be able to influence and accelerate creative molecular design using modern computational tools and approaches.

He or she will possess an expert-level understanding of medicinal chemistry principles, including the optimization of properties favorable for a CNS therapeutic. He or she is expected to work closely with medicinal chemists at the IND and with our drug discovery partners at Daiichi Sankyo. The candidate should have excellent communication skills and work well in a team environment.


  • PhD in Chemistry with experience in the design of small molecule drug candidates.
  • A strong track record of creative problem solving and scientific achievement.
  • A high level of expertise with quantum mechanical and other computational techniques to understand the conformational and stereoelectronic properties of small molecules.
  • A strong interest in conformational analysis and the ability to provide examples of how insights into conformation can lead to improved biological activity.
  • Proficiency with force field-based molecular dynamics methods to study the role of structure and conformational mobility of proteins for the purpose of drug design.
  • An understanding of the physical chemistry of ligand design and binding thermodynamics with experience docking small molecules with associated proteins.
  • Applicants should possess excellent leadership, organizational, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated superb command of oral and written English.

This is a full-time position with excellent benefits. Salary is dependent upon experience.

Interested applicants should submit curriculum vitae with a list of publications, cover letter, a research summary (4-page max. including figures), and contact information for three professional references.

Please apply online at