Associate Director, Lead Discovery

Our small molecule client in Watertown, MA is growing and looking to add an Associate Director, Biochemistry/Biophysics to their Lead Discovery team!  They are advancing the field of targeted protein degradation, accessing the body’s innate protein recycling machinery to degrade rather than inhibit dysregulated, disease-causing proteins. This role will play a critical part in leading a small team and the identification of ligands to novel and proprietary E3 ligases, and the progression of these binders to degraders through the development and execution of quantitative ternary complex studies.  Other responsibilities include but not limited to: 

  • As a key member of the lead discovery team, build and lead hit-finding and drug discovery cascades to identify and fully characterize small molecule ligands and progress to targeted protein degraders.
  • Directly contribute to the strategy for bringing novel E3 ligase and oncology/immunology targets to the portfolio.
  • In collaboration with chemistry, biology, and platform teams, characterize quantitatively binary and ternary complex formation and establish SAR to rapidly drive the hit-to-lead process.
  • Grow a small group to specifically ligand E3 ligases and progress to degrader molecules for key company targets,
  • Develop and conduct cell-free biochemical and biophysical assays to support hit finding, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization campaigns.
  • Deliver data, contribute to critical data evaluation, and provide discipline leadership to project teams.
  • Augment our toolbox of biochemical/biophysical assay and characterization techniques to address the specific needs of targeted protein degradation drug discovery.


  • PhD in Biochemistry, Bioengineering or related discipline AND 8+ years of experience biotech/pharma industry with a track record of hit-finding, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization to delivering small molecule development candidates.
  • Experience in a wide array of biochemical and biophysical assay development and delivery, such as SPR, ITC, DSF, MST, FP, TR-FRET, ALPHAScreen, enzymatic assays, structural biology, etc. Fragment-based and DEL screening a plus.
  • General knowledge of signaling pathways, protein homeostasis, and regulation of gene expression in a diverse disease context.
  • Strong experience in collaborating and directing out-sourced CRO activities.
  • Experience with protein biochemistry, purification, and analytical techniques, intracellular protein quantitation by Western blot, MSD, and mass spectrometry is highly desirable.
  • Experience managing small teams.