Principal Scientist Medicinal Chemistry

Pleased to meet you, we are Galapagos.


We are seeking a highly accomplished and creative Principal Scientist in Medicinal Chemistry to contribute to our drug discovery efforts and development of novel medicines. The successful candidate will be a key scientific contributor and leader, overseeing projects and teams to drive scientific excellence and innovation, reporting to the Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry.

Your role

  • Lead Medicinal Chemistry Projects: Take ownership of medicinal chemistry projects, employing expert knowledge to optimize physicochemical properties, develop structure-activity relationships, and drive the design of novel molecules, ultimately leading to the identification of clinical candidates. Formulate hypotheses, design and synthesize novel compounds to engage disease-modifying targets, and contribute decisively to drug discovery programs from hit ID to lead generation and optimization and clinical candidate nomination.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Work collaboratively in a cross-functional matrix leadership role, building strong relationships with peers within project teams to support the advancement of compounds towards clinical candidate selection. Collaborate across disciplines with biologists, structural biologists, computational chemists, pharmacologists, and other experts to leverage state-of-the-art techniques.
  • Team Leadership and Mentorship: Provide scientific leadership to medicinal chemistry team members, mentoring and coaching on SAR analysis, compound design, and synthetic route optimization. Lead and develop colleagues to promote personal growth and create new scientific capabilities. Promote a culture of safety and adhere to EH&S guidelines.
  • Project Management: Plan, execute, interpret, and optimize structure-activity relationship campaigns, with a focus on the design of high-impact small molecules. Manage project-specific resources, both internal and external, and support the preparation of project-specific documents for patent filing.
  • Communication and Presentation: Present and actively participate in project and departmental research meetings. Author technical documents, patent applications, and scientific manuscripts, as well as prepare and present at scientific conferences.


Who are you?

  • Ph.D. in organic and/or medicinal chemistry, with 8+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry.
  • Proven track record of delivering high-impact contributions to Medicinal Chemistry projects and demonstrated project leadership skills.
  • Expert knowledge of medicinal chemistry concepts and drug design tools required for pharmaceutical drug discovery, including structure-based drug design. Strong problem-solving skills for developing creative, innovative solutions, and meeting project objectives. Experience with chemistry platforms and methodologies used in the discovery and development of special modalities (Targeted Protein Degraders, molecular glues, DEL, PPI, covalent binders) will be highly valued.
  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals and a history of presenting research findings at scientific conferences.
  • Excellent communication skills for presenting program strategy, issues, mitigation plans, and milestones to governance committees and senior leadership.
  • Demonstrated influence, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills, including the ability to succeed within a matrix environment.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with fluency in English.


What’s in it for you?

You will be part of a fast growing and amazing company. As ‘make-it-happener’ you will get all the support you need to make your job successful. At Galapagos we aim to recruit the best people, who stand out among their peers, with integrity and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. Our employees are the strength behind Galapagos, a highly motivated team, eager to maintain Galapagos’ leading position and achieve breakthroughs in pharmaceutical research. Galapagos offers a competitive remuneration package and a dynamic work environment.

We are Galapagos: together we can make it happen…!

Company profile

Pleased to meet you, we are Galapagos, a dynamic growing Biotech company with offices across Europe and in the US, headquartered in Mechelen, Belgium.

We’re in the business of changing lives. In our quest to discover and develop life-improving medicines, we go where no one has ever gone before. In every challenge we face, we see new opportunities. We pioneer for patients. We need thought leaders and rapid thinkers, entrepreneurs in spirit and status quo-fighters. Collaborative innovators and perseverant idealists. We need the best-in-class. In other words, we need you: The ‘make-it-happener’.

Principal Scientist Medicinal Chemistry

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