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Lilly Oligonucleotide Scientist – SMDD and RNA Therapeutics CMC 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 39,000 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.

Synthetic Molecule Design and Development (SMDD) and the RNA Therapeutics Area (TA) are innovation-focused organizations within Lilly Research Laboratories striving to identify, develop and apply cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum benefit to our patients. The RNA TA endeavors to operate as a small, agile and autonomous “biotech-like” company within the walls of a much larger company and works collaboratively with SMDD to efficiently deliver the RNAi clinical portfolio. Our team is looking for a creative and energetic chemist with experience in chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC) of oligonucleotides to participate in the process design, development, and manufacture of RNAi targets.

Expertise should include knowledge of monomer synthesis methods and oligonucleotide solid phase synthesis methods. Additionally, knowledge of novel synthetic alternatives as well as understanding of purification, isolation and formulation aspects are attractive attributes of top candidates. The chemist hired into this role will collaborate with a growing team comprised of process chemists, analysts, and engineers aimed at development and optimization of existing methods and the exploration of novel approaches to oligonucleotide synthesis. We strive to broadly improve oligonucleotide synthesis, including reagents, synthesis mode, analysis methods, yield, quality, and environmental footprint. This role is intended to operate at the interface between the RNA TA and SMDD with responsibilities for developing oligonucleotide synthesis capabilities while supporting activities to enable GMP manufacture of RNAi targets in support of clinical trials. Developing and working with external contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to support oligonucleotide synthesis and development will be an important aspect of this role.

Top candidates for this position will be expected to:

  • Bring oligonucleotide development experience to SMDD and foster growth in the team’s capabilities in the area of oligonucleotide process chemistry.

  • Identify and lead scientific projects/process improvements where solutions are developed through interactions with diverse talent across the larger organization.

  • Possess fluent knowledge in modern synthetic organic and nucleic acid chemistry methods with the drive to challenge existing methods.

  • Demonstrate high learning agility regarding grasping and exploiting new scientific concepts and methods across multiple disciplines; strong skills related to automated reactor platforms and purification technologies; be able to apply these learnings to a rapidly evolving portfolio of RNAi assets.

  • Provide examples of novel contributions to chemical design and mechanism-based problem solving as part of project driven goals such as total synthesis, novel methodology development and oligonucleotide synthesis. These examples should also be reflected in a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.

  • Collaborate with internal and external manufacturing partners to develop robust chemical processes that are readily amenable to efficient drug substance manufacturing for both clinical and commercial settings.

  • Engage the external chemistry environment through presentations, publication at external symposia or consortia. These activities are expected to advance the internal Lilly portfolio and help create new opportunities.

  • Identify, partner and develop external chemistry innovations to complement existing internal capabilities and incorporate these innovations across the portfolio of assets.

  • Embrace diversity of thought, background and experience to deliver innovative solutions. Possess strong communication (oral, written), organizational, and leadership skills.

  • Lead through ambiguity, welcome and rapidly adjust to change, and identify and drive superior methods to accomplish tasks.

Basic Qualifications :

  • PhD degree in a relevant scientific discipline with 2+ years of experience (synthesis, oligonucleotide experience, solid phase synthesis, CMC)

  • or MS degree with 7+ years of relevant experience (synthesis, oligonucleotide experience, solid phase synthesis, CMC)

Additional Skills/Preferences :

  • Good interpersonal skills and a sustained tendency for collaboration.

  • Demonstrated initiative and appropriate risk-taking.

  • Demonstrated technical proficiency and ability to create ideas for future work plans.

  • Strong technical skills to supply business value.

  • Knowledge and experience with management of a technical project.

  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities especially in a team environment.

  • Ability to prioritize multiple activities and manage ambiguity.

  • Ability to influence others to promote a positive work environment.

  • Demonstrated success in persuasion, influence and negotiation.

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.

At Lilly we strive to ensure our employees are part of a team that cares about them and our shared purpose of making life better for those around the world. How do we do this? We continue to look for ways to include, innovate, accelerate and deliver while maintaining integrity, excellence and respect for people.​ We hope that you seek to join us on our journey as we create medicine and deliver improved outcomes for patients across the globe!