Associate Director/Associate Principal Scientist, Biology



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2022

Company Overview

Atomwise is a technology-enabled pharmaceutical company leveraging the power of AI to revolutionize small molecule drug discovery. The Atomwise team invented the use of deep learning for structure-based drug design; this technology underpins Atomwise’s best-in-class AI discovery engine, which is differentiated by its ability to find and optimize novel chemical matter. Atomwise has extensively validated its discovery engine, delivering success in over 185 projects to-date including a wide-variety of protein types and numerous “hard-to-drug” targets. Atomwise is building a wholly-owned pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates, with three programs in lead-optimization and over 30 programs in discovery. The company has raised over $174 million from leading venture capital firms to advance its mission to make better medicines, faster.

To support its mission, further its progress in enterprise building and leverage its robust discovery engine, Atomwise is building biology and pharmacology capabilities to fully leverage its small molecule AI expertise to advance molecules for clinical development. You will work closely with Atomwise interdisciplinary teams to provide guidance on pharmacology strategy, clinical indications of interest, and other aspects of drug development.

Role Summary

Atomwise is recruiting an experienced scientific leader to drive the transition of the organization’s internal drug discovery portfolio into early-stage and late-stage development programs with a goal to design and oversee preclinical studies that will allow the robust evaluation of lead molecules and development candidates. You will provide strategic and technical leadership to the teams supporting drug discovery projects from target discovery through IND-enabling studies.

This role requires excellent communication skills, in-depth knowledge of preclinical pharmacology (biochemical and cellular assays, target engagement, PKPD relationships) and ability to design translational studies to support future clinical activities. You will work effectively with an interdisciplinary team of computational and medicinal chemists, biologists, cheminformaticians, software engineers, CROs, and program managers to define, build, and optimize our massive, diverse portfolio of preclinical programs.

Key Responsibilities
  • Lead and collaborate with project teams to design, implement, and analyze in vitro pharmacology studies to support Atomwise preclinical programs.
  • Participate in the evaluation and selection of new Atomwise targets/indications and develop in vitro pharmacology criteria for continued advancement of lead molecules and development candidates.
  • Direct the execution of quantitative pathway- and disease-relevant assays across diverse target classes and therapeutic areas through CRO partners.
  • Contribute proactively to the discovery, preclinical pharmacology, and translational development plans, including defining key milestones and decision points and timelines, identifying risks and mitigation strategies, study planning and execution, selection of therapeutic indications, and IND filings.
  • Communicate progress to internal stakeholders, KOLs, and participate in business presentations with external partners and investors.
Required Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in pharmacology, cell biology, immunology or a related scientific discipline plus 8-12 years of relevant industry experience.
  • Extensive experience building quantitative in vitro pharmacology assays and criteria in a drug discovery setting and advancing small molecule candidates through preclinical development to IND filings.
  • Experience developing collaborations with medicinal chemistry and pharmacokinetics partners to build effective critical paths and select high quality development candidates.
  • Demonstrated success in the management of CROs, including evaluation/selection, setting up processes, and quality control.
  • Demonstrated track record of clear communication, working with a multidisciplinary team, mentoring, and developing talent.
  • Expertise with in vitro pharmacology studies to support preclinical development in oncology or inflammation is preferred.
Compensation & benefits
  • Competitive salary, commensurate with experience
  • Stock compensation plan – you’ll be an Atomwise co-owner
  • Platinum health, dental, and vision benefits for you and your dependents
  • 401(k) retirement plan with generous company match (up to 4%)
  • Flexible paid time off (PTO), 13 paid holidays, and wellness breaks for employees to spend time with their loved ones and recharge
  • Health Savings and Flexible Spending Account options to help save money on healthcare, daycare, and commuting
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Pet Insurance
  • Funding for professional development and conference attendance
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Generous paid parental leave
  • High performance culture
  • Great colleagues

Atomwise is an equal opportunity employer and strives to foster an inclusive workplace. Our mission is to develop better medicines faster, and we know that we need a diverse team to develop medicines that serve diverse populations. Accordingly, Atomwise does not make any employment decisions (including but not limited to, hiring, compensation, and promotions) on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristics protected by applicable federal, state, and local law.

We strongly encourage people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to apply.

*Pay range for this role is between $164,400- $170,000*