Research Associate, Medicinal Chemistry

Chemistry (300) · Vancouver, British Columbia
Department Chemistry (300)
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level



Chinook Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for patients with kidney diseases. We apply our proprietary research platform to discover and develop therapies with novel mechanisms of action in key kidney disease pathways. Our development focus is on rare, serious disorders with clear unmet medical needs and well-defined clinical development opportunities. Our lead program, atrasentan, is a potent and selective, small molecule inhibitor of the endothelin A receptor that is planned to move into a phase 3 registrational trial for IgA nephropathy and a phase 2 basket trial for glomerular diseases, in 2021. We are advancing BION-1301, an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody, in an ongoing phase 1b trial for IgA nephropathy, and CHK-336, an oral small molecule LDHA inhibitor for primary hyperoxaluria, towards trial initiation in 2021. Our pipeline also includes several additional preclinical programs at the validation and lead optimization stages, and we continue to actively evaluate business development opportunities around early and late-stage clinical assets in kidney disease. 


Chinook completed the third quarter of 2020 with over $290 million in operating capital and trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol, “KDNY.”  The company has locations in Vancouver, BC, Seattle, WA and Berkeley, CA.



Chinook Therapeutics has an opportunity for an energetic and collaborative medicinal chemist to support the design, synthesis, characterization and analysis of small-molecule therapeutic compounds. This is a great role for a highly motivated, independent chemist who is willing to learn and take on responsibilities associated with the drug discovery process.  The Research Associate will be able to work collaboratively in a team environment and effectively communicate her/his ideas both orally and in writing. This person will be working together with members of the chemistry department and individuals in biology/DMPK/pharmacology with the goal of developing precision therapies to help patients with kidney diseases.


Responsibilities Include:

  • Design, research, synthesize, purify, analyze and characterize small molecule compounds using modern, multi-step, synthetic organic chemistry techniques. 
  • Learn to design molecules with appropriate medicinal chemistry properties through a growing understanding and application using modern medicinal chemistry techniques, including physical chemical properties, molecular modelling and computational chemistry to design more potent analogs.
  • Become familiar with reviewing, analysing and utilizing biochemical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data.  Begin to apply these concepts, with coaching from senior team members, in order to design and synthesize more efficacious therapeutic analogs. 
  • Participate in interdisciplinary research and development projects working with chemists, biologists, pharmacologists and DMPK colleagues.
  • Learn to search, analyze, prepare and review patent applications.
  • Maintain a safe lab environment and work within defined safe laboratory practices. 


Education, Experience and Skills:

  • M.Sc. degree from a recognized university, specializing in small-molecule synthetic organic chemistry with methodology development or total synthesis experience. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply, although the ideal candidate will have some industrial medicinal chemistry experience.
  • B.Sc. degree with 3 plus years’ experience in synthetic / medicinal organic chemistry, ideally in a biopharmaceutical environment.
  • Excellent understanding and technical capabilities in synthetic organic chemistry techniques and procedures, including:
    • <10 mg to >100 g scale reaction synthesis
    • Multi-step organic synthesis (3-10 steps) and synthetic route optimization
    • Purification of novel small molecules by flash chromatography, HPLC and crystallization
    • Characterization of novel small molecules with LCMS, 1D and 2D NMR.
  • Experience in using online chemical search tools, such as SciFinder.
  • Modern synthetic organic methodology development experience as demonstrated by publication record in major peer-reviewed journals.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English, with the ability to present, explain and summarize scientific research and research progress.


Chinook is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, place of origin, religion, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and disability or any other federal, state, provincial or local protected ground.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

  • Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Department
    Chemistry (300)
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience