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Lilly Director, Oligonucleotides/Organic Chemistry in Indianapolis, Indiana

At Lilly, we unite caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We are a global healthcare leader headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our 35,000 employees around the world work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. We give our best effort to our work, and we put people first. We’re looking for people who are determined to make life better for people around the world.

Organization Overview:

At Lilly, we serve an extraordinary purpose. We make a difference for people around the globe by discovering, developing and delivering medicines that help them live longer, healthier, more active lives. Not only do we deliver breakthrough medications, but you also can count on us to develop creative solutions to support communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.

Position Description:

Lilly is passionate about the discovery, development and commercialization of potential new medicines that will impact and improve the lives of patients. Our Lilly Genetic Medicines team is an innovation-focused organization striving to identify, develop and apply the most cutting edge technologies to deliver maximum benefit to our patients. Our agile and diverse team strives to operate as an autonomous ‘biotech-like’ company within the walls of Lilly. We are looking for creative and energetic problem solvers to join a multidisciplinary team at the front edge of innovation.

Key facets of the role are leading various oligonucleotide optimization projects, setting chemistry strategy and scientific directions with focus on scientific rigor and effective cross-functional team collaboration, and innovate on RNA cell specific extrahepatic delivery. We are building state-of-the art expertise in major oligonucleotide-based modalities and delivery approaches, with an emphasis on innovative approaches with potential for breakthrough efficacy. The successful applicant will utilize their knowledge and technical expertise to complement and enable core capabilities and help drive the revelation and development of RNA-based clinical candidates to enhance the Lilly portfolio.


  • Lead and drive chemistry efforts and work effectively with a cross-functional chemistry, biology and development team, to advance the preclinical portfolio. Provide project leadership to guide the oligonucleotide chemistry and bioconjugation strategies for extrahepatic delivery of RNA.

  • Lead the efforts in the discovery of novel delivery platforms for efficient cell type specific deliveries of RNA/oligonucleotides using innovative bioconjugation strategies. Conceive and execute scientific strategies for extrahepatic delivery platforms.

  • Provide scientific leadership with the design and synthesis of oligonucleotides and oligonucleotide bioconjugates, and analysis of structure-activity relationships.

  • Maintain an awareness of key opportunities in the external landscape, across the industry, in addition to competitor approaches to oligonucleotide discovery and development.

  • Maintain a high scientific profile for the group by encouraging participation in scientific exchange, publications and presentations.

  • Manage, coach, and develop direct reports and be an active participant in the interview and selection process for future hires.

Basic requirements:

  • PhD in Chemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry, or related field with 4-5+ years of experience in oligonucleotide therapeutics or pharmaceutical industry preferred.

Additional Skills/Preferences:

  • Strong organic chemistry expertise with excellent track record of problem solving synthetic challenges, preferred expertise in oligonucleotide and nucleotide/nucleoside design, synthesis and purification. Expertise in conjugation strategies for tissue selective delivery of oligonucleotide therapeutics is preferred.

  • Strong scientific and analytical skills. Demonstrated ability to multitask efficiently, prioritize quickly and bring projects to conclusion. Experience working in a matrixed environment as well as leading and leveraging the matrix and strong project management skills required.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development and Intellectual Property Processes preferred.

  • Have a track record of leadership of scientific rigor and excellence.

  • Excellent oral and written skills.

  • Highly creative and have a record of accomplishment. He/She will also be a team player, flexible and ready to overcome a variety of scientific challenges.

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to represent Lilly in a highly professional manner.

  • Passion for RNA/oligonucleotide therapeutic discovery and development.

Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly USA, LLC and our wholly owned subsidiaries (collectively “Lilly”) are committed to help individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce and ensure equal opportunity to compete for jobs. If you require an accommodation to submit a resume for positions at Lilly, please email Lilly Human Resources ( ) for further assistance. Please note This email address is intended for use only to request an accommodation as part of the application process. Any other correspondence will not receive a response.

Lilly is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

Our employee resource groups (ERGs) offer strong support networks for their members and help our company develop talented individuals for future leadership roles. Our current groups include: Africa, Middle East, Central Asia Network, African American Network, Chinese Culture Network, Early Career Professionals, Japanese International Leadership Network (JILN), Lilly India Network, Organization of Latinos at Lilly, PRIDE (LGBTQ + Allies), Veterans Leadership Network, Women’s Network, Working and Living with Disabilities. Learn more about all of our groups.

As a condition of employment with Eli Lilly and Company and its subsidiaries in the United States and Puerto Rico, you must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination satisfactory to the company (subject to applicable law).