Director, Medicinal Chemistry


Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage, Nasdaq listed (ticker ARWR) company developing medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery, our therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep and durable knockdown of target genes. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specified gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein. Our RNAi-based therapeutics are at the leading edge with the potential to bring life changing treatments for patients.

Our Targeted RNAi Molecule (TRiMTM) platform utilizes ligand-mediated delivery and is designed to enable tissue-specific targeting while being structurally simple. The TRiM platform builds on more than a decade of work on targeted RNA delivery and offers several advantages including simplified manufacturing and reduced costs; multiple routes of administration; and potential for improved safety.

Our employees are nimble, science-driven, innovative professionals. A career at Arrowhead offers the opportunity to collaborate with top notch scientists to rapidly discover and develop RNAi-based therapeutics in a variety of indications to add to our growing pipeline. Research and development activities are located in Madison, WI. Our R&D group includes fully-integrated capabilities for chemistry, biology, toxicology and manufacturing.

Madison, WI is an exciting and sophisticated city that includes state government, the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin, and major research organizations.

The Position

The Director, Medicinal Chemistry will be a key member of the drug discovery team at Arrowhead’s Madison, WI-based Research & Development facility and will lead multiple internal and/or partnered drug discovery programs based on the company’s RNAi-based platform technology.  The candidate will contribute to overall drug discovery strategy and pipeline prioritization and will drive medicinal chemistry strategy.  Significant experience with structure-based drug design, research project management and track record of developing candidates to enter the clinic is desired.

  • Provide scientific leadership, from a medicinal chemistry perspective;
  • Supervise a small team of synthetic chemists;
  • Establish new drug discovery targets and projects;
  • Lead internal and external discovery projects to help achieve departmental and site-wide milestones and goals
  • Provide expert insight into targeting ligands and design strategy;
  • Provide synthetic organic expertise to enable novel synthetic routes to novel molecules of interest;
  • Network and collaborate across Chemistry and Biology departments to integrate discovery efforts;
  • Present work at departmental and site-wide meetings;
  • Contribute to regulatory filings, scientific publications and conference proceeds, as appropriate


  • PhD degree with at least 10 years of drug discovery experience in pharmaceutical industry.
  • Demonstrated achievement in syntheses and design of bioactive compounds.
  • Extensive knowledge in synthetic organic chemistry, both theoretical and practical.
  • Solid understanding of pharmacology, PKPD and ADME concepts.
  • Experience in lead optimization, SAR analysis and drug design.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Please submit a resume and cover letter to

Arrowhead provides competitive salaries and an excellent benefit package.

All applicants must have authorization to work in the U.S. for a company.