Staff Scientist - Optides Program

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center & Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Job Location
Seattle, WA
Job Description

Cures Start Here. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch's pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation's first and largest cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women's Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Careers Start Here.

A highly qualified and motivated candidate is sought to join the Optides Program (Project Violet) in the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research. This program is focused on the discovery and development of novel knottin-based therapeutic peptides for pediatric cancers and other devastating diseases. This position will lead the medicinal chemistry effort to create unique Peptide Drug Conjugates (PDCs) to deliver chemical warheads to the site of action along with optimizing the pharmacokinetic properties of the Optides. The candidate will join an ongoing NIH-funded program focused on developing PDCs for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors and other cancers.

The candidate is expected to utilize cutting-edge chemistry techniques to design and synthesize novel peptide conjugates, as well as the characterization of the physiochemical properties of both free and conjugated Optides. The position requires a strong background in protein chemistry, bioconjugation and analytical techniques. The chemistry will include highly potent/toxic chemotherapeutic agents and incorporation of radiolabeled tracers. Key goals are to design and execute on the synthesis of highly potent chemotherapeutic PDCs, develop novel means of improving pharmacokinetic properties while maintaining efficacy, and establish critical acceptance criteria for development and progression of optimized PDCs. The position will require contribution with a high degree of independence as a senior member as well as mentorship of junior team members. The candidate will act as the medicinal chemistry expert on a multidisciplinary team to develop effective anti-cancer therapeutics.

To be considered the successful candidate must have:
- A PhD in chemistry or related field with 8+ years of post-graduate research experience
- Expertise in the synthesis of highly potent chemotherapeutic compounds. Experience with conjugation techniques is highly desired
- Experience with medical chemistry optimization of therapeutic candidates is desired
- Training/experience in the use of radioactivity
- Experience with solid phase and/or peptide/peptidomimetic chemistry techniques is highly desired
- Well-organized with strong attention to detail

If interested, please apply online at

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