Medicinal Synthetic Chemist

Clearance Level
Silver Spring, Maryland
Onsite Workplace
Key Skills For Success

Drug Development

Medicinal Chemistry

Preclinical Research

REQ#: RQ160760
Public Trust: NACI (T1)
Requisition Type: Regular
Your Impact

Own your opportunity to work alongside federal civilian agencies. Make an impact by providing services that help the government ensure the well being of U.S. citizens.

Job Description
GDIT's Military Health team is seeking a Medicinal Synthetic Chemist to support WRAIR’s ET program. The mission of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Branch of Experimental Therapeutics (ET) is to discover and develop new therapeutic agents to protect military members from death, disease, and injury.The Branch is the nation’s primary developer of new drugs to prevent and/or treat malaria and leishmaniasis. Collectively, ET engages in drug discovery, drug efficacy and mechanism evaluation, and formal preclinical and clinical development for antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial compounds. WRAIR ET focuses on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics to combat or otherwise treat specific biological and/or environmental threats to the warfighter.  This is carried out through the integration of modern drug design and classical medicinal chemistry, and includes global surveillance of drug resistance, investigation of drug efficacy, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics through in vitro and in vivo testing. Additionally, they plan, coordinate, and execute basic and advanced research into the design, synthesis and development of novel chemical entities to inhibit, combat or otherwise treat specific biological and/or environmental threats to the warfighter.HOW YOU WILL MAKE AN IMPACT:Synthetic Chemistry tasks
  • Synthesize compounds of interest on milligram to gram scale in support of lead optimization program(s) in order to achieve required milestones.
  • Design routes of chemical synthesis for compounds directed toward specific therapeutic targets.
  • Purify organic compounds using a variety of techniques including chromatography, extraction, distillation, crystallization, trituration, etc.
  • Analyze and characterize organic compounds using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), LCMS, etc.
  • Effectively use SciFinder and other scientific data tools to identify relevant scientific literature precedence to support reaction planning and execution.
  • Interpret and clearly summarize experimental details in reports and presentations to communicate progress and results for internal and external purposes
  • Assist in the preparation of patent documents and peer reviewed scientific publications, as requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government
  • Register and submit compounds to the LIMS.
  • Meet on a weekly basis with key administrative and technical staff to receive performance tasks, report progress, and troubleshoot technical issues.
  • Produce effective reports and presentations to communicate experimental progress and results for internal and external purposes.
  • Maintain a safe, well-stocked, clean laboratory as well as complementary inventory in accordance with WRAIR technical and safety protocols
  • Prepare purchase orders as needed to support synthesis of new chemical entities and to maintain laboratory inventory.
  • Support any needed and/or requested laboratory activity, to include general upkeep, chemical storage and movement, and equipment/instrument usage and maintenance, as requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government.
  • Report all maintenance issues of both the laboratory and equipment to the proper WRAIR facilities or medical maintenance personnel according to WRAIR protocols.
  • Serve as point of contact for crucial instrumentation in the department, as requested by the Government.
  • Coordinate hazardous waste pickup and disposal for the laboratories, as requested by the Government.
  • Coordinate order receipt and tracking for the laboratories, as requested by the Government.
  • 6Ensure that the appropriate PPE is utilized, and be aware of and observe appropriate safety and occupational health rules and regulations and procedures developed by WRAIR staff. The contractor shall attend all training, including but not limited to safety training relative to this task and report any infractions of safety procedures to the facility Safety Officer.
Medicinal Chemistry tasks
  • Critically interpret experimental data and identify, develop and optimize new compounds/methods/techniques to influence the direction, progression, and rapid advancement of the project, when requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government.
  • Devise and implement medicinal chemistry strategies addressing critical project issues, when requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government.
  • Assist with the elucidation of structure activity relationships (SARs) using multi-parameter analysis, when requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government.
  • Design compounds for drug development projects based on chemical series’ SAR and/or literature precedence, when requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government.
  • Assist with the prioritization of compounds for in vitro and in vivo biological and/or ADME assessment, when requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government
  • Coordinate project activities with other disciplines, including biology and pharmacology, when requested by the Senior Medicinal Chemist or the Government
  • Register, submit, validate, and report compounds registered by the Department personnel in the LIMS.
  • Coauthor research proposals, solicitations, and other vehicles to solicit financial support to meet ET/WRAIR mission/portfolio needs
  • Education:  Ph.D. in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, or related discipline with experience working in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Required Experience:  3-5 years of drug development project management experience with medicinal chemistry expertise leading multiple projects from hit to lead stage to near pre-clinical development.
  • Working knowledge of organic and medicinal chemistry. Provide thorough understanding of pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, toxicology, drug design, use of in silico tools, ability to interpret in vivo results, drug discovery process, purification techniques, and ability to analyze target compound spectra obtained by analytical instruments to characterize compounds such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared spectrometry (IR), mass spectrometry (MS), and elemental analysis.
  • Able to use Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ChemDraw and should be familiar with SAR vision, Vortex, or some other suitable chemical mapping/analysis software programs.
  • Preferred Skills:  Experience working for a government agency, preferably DoD or pharmaceutical industry.
  • Chiral chromatography experience as well as extensive experience overseeing/troubleshooting HPLC methods is highly desirable.
  • Location: Onsite in Silver Spring, MD
  • Security Clearance Level: Must be a US citizen with the ability to obtain a favorable NACI T1 security investigation.
  • Challenging work that makes a real impact on the world around you  
  • Internal mobility team dedicated to helping you own your career 
  • 401K with company match 
  • Diverse, highly collaborative teams
  • Professional development, education assistance, certification and training opportunities
Work Requirements
Years of Experience

3 + years of related experience

* may vary based on technical training, certification(s), or degree


Travel Required

Less than 10%


U.S. Citizenship Required

About Our Work

We are GDIT. A global technology and professional services company that delivers consulting, technology and mission services to every major agency across the U.S. government, defense and intelligence community. Our 30,000 experts extract the power of technology to create immediate value and deliver solutions at the edge of innovation. We operate across 30 countries worldwide, offering leading capabilities in digital modernization, AI/ML, Cloud, Cyber and application development. Together with our clients, we strive to create a safer, smarter world by harnessing the power of deep expertise and advanced technology.

GDIT is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status, or any other protected class.