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Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Chemistry

Status: Archived
LocationSan Diego, California
How to Apply

Zentalis Pharmaceuticals is a San Diego based pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancer. In the six years since our inception, we have successfully cleared four INDs with the FDA.  We believe our deep pipeline of oncology therapeutics has the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients with various types of cancer. 



Zentalis is seeking highly motivated Principal Scientists and Senior Principal Scientists to join our drug development team. The qualified candidate will work closely with other scientists to support the company’s drug discovery and development efforts. Preferred candidates will have extensive synthetic chemistry experience and have a track record of successes in reaction optimization and discovery, and small molecule multi-step syntheses.



  • Develop and execute synthetic routes to pharmaceutical drug candidates in a development laboratory; work on milligram to decagram scales
  • Overcome challenging synthetic problems by troubleshooting or developing innovative and practical chemistry solutions
  • Execute lab experiments to optimize reactions, including streamline workup procedures, isolations, and reducing cycle times
  • Open to applying modern synthetic methodology, including asymmetric catalysis, homogenous and heterogenous catalysis, flow chemistry, photochemistry, electrochemistry, green chemistry, and high through-put experimentation to improve reaction sequences
  • Understand the goal and strategy of the project and positively and proactively contribute to project success
  • Able to employ analytical techniques to guide experimental design and quality control
  • Work effectively in a multi-disciplinary environment that requires close collaboration with scientists with different expertise and experience; exhibit flexibility and adaptability as projects and goals often shift, and to organize and prioritize workload to meet deadlines
  • Communicate effectively both in oral and written form, including preparing short reports and delivering internal and external presentations in a timely manner; including for CROs and other collaborators; communicate data clearly and drive discussions to effective and actionable conclusions
  • Maintain a clean and safe laboratory environment and adhere to all safety procedures and policies
  • Manage chemistry CROs
  • Mentor and advise junior team members



  • Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry with 4-8+ years industrial experience in synthetic development
  • Demonstrated expertise in multi-step synthesis, reaction optimization, mechanisms, and synthetic route development
  • Strong knowledge of techniques related to purification and characterization of organic compounds (NMR, MS, HPLC, etc)
  • Able to work independently and apply experience and knowledge to solve difficult synthetic challenges and provide useful guidance to other chemists on the project team
  • Demonstrates high level of accuracy and effectiveness with oral and written communication
  • Proven track record of innovative project contributions including peer-reviewed publications, patents, and/or conferences; demonstrate high level of accuracy and effectiveness with oral and written communication
  • Shown an ability to multi-task/prioritize and time management of daily activities
  • Excellent ability to work in a goal and team-oriented setting
  • Experience managing chemistry CROs is desired
  • Experience mentoring and advising junior team members is desired
  • Experience with processes development and scaleups is desired
  • Experience with high-throughput experimentation, flow chemistry, photochemistry, asymmetric catalysis is desired
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